As President Joe Biden pushes his gun control agenda it could end up costing the Democrats control of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate in next year’s mid-term election.
It can be argued the same thing happened in 1994 after President Bill Clinton signed into law the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB)
If history does repeat itself, and Biden pushes for greater gun control, a lot of his long-range plans could be derailed in the process.
He’s supported legislation that would ban “assault rifles” while on the campaign trail and has supported the misguided notion that the AR-15 is a “weapon of war,” all while he has touted the fact that he owns shotguns.
In a 2013 Facebook “chat” he even claimed to have advised his wife that she should fire a shotgun in the air if she was concerned for her safety! “I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.’”
The fact that the then-vice president of the United States of America, a man who went to law school, would offer such advice clearly is a problem. As was noted at the time, firing a shotgun in such a manner – unless the shots were fired in self-defense in a truly life-threatening situation – would be illegal.
Clearly, Biden isn’t the guy most would want to take legal advice from regarding firearms, but as vice president, Biden often took a line similar to then-President Obama that efforts would be made to retain the rights of sportsmen.
Biden seriously needs to be reminded that the Second Amendment isn’t about the right to hunt animals or shoot target clay. It guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, and his push for greater gun control – which could seem to be the worst thing for supporters of the Second Amendment right now – could be the best thing for the Republican Party and for gun owners in the longer term.
Clinton signed the AWB into law on September 13, 1994. It wasn’t the only reason that Republicans took control of the house and senate but it could be argued it pushed it over the top. The GOP maintained that control for more than a decade – and the same thing could happen now.
In fact, while the Republicans did lose control of the senate in the 2020 election, it was predicted and even expected that they could have lost more seats. Had Georgia’s elections not resulted in the runoff, which came after the January 6, 2021, Capitol Hill riots, it is likely the Republicans would have maintained control of the senate. Meanwhile, the GOP gained house seats and a betting person would lay the money that the house flips back to red.
As for the actual assault weapon ban, it didn’t result in fewer mass shootings. The number of shootings during the nearly ten-year period actually edged up slightly.
Democrats are worried now that history could be repeating itself.
“Republicans are already claiming that Democrats are trying to take people’s guns and have no respect for the Second Amendment,” one North Carolina-based Democratic strategist told The Hill this week.
Many of the states that swung in favor of Biden – including Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – have senate races in 2022, as do Ohio and North Carolina. It is likely with gun control on the minds of voters in those states the Republicans can either hold the seats or flip the ones held by the Democrats.
In that way, Biden’s calls for gun control could work against his overall agenda.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites.