Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, embraces Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, hosted by ABC News, Apple News, and WMUR-TV at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
At a CNN townhall on Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden promised an all-out assault on our Second Amendment rights. He told voters that on day one, he will “seek to end gun manufacturers’ exemption from civil liability for gun violence.”
Surrounded by people who have lost family members to gun violence, Biden said, “It is so long past time that we correct one of the most egregious special interest giveaways the United States Congress has ever engaged in – the civil liability protections granted to gun manufacturers against being sued by the victims of gun violence.” He believes this is “just flat out immoral.”
Additionally, Biden vowed to ban assault weapons and to “get those clips that have multiple bullets in them not for sale.” In other words, he will have magazines banned.
He also repeated one of his old favorites, “I’m the only guy that has beaten the NRA nationally, and I did it twice, nationally. And gun manufacturers, I’m coming for you. Period.”
Joe Biden ratcheted up the Democrat Party’s attacks on the Second Amendment:
Biden: ban “assault weapons” & “get those clips that have multiple bullets in them not for sale, not be able to sell silencers, all those things.”
This is a broadside on every law abiding American. pic.twitter.com/NDA0YYVlQv
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) February 21, 2020
This is not a new issue for Biden. “In the early 1990s, Biden worked on the passage of the assault weapons ban and the Brady Bill.”
He is using this issue to draw a contrast with Bernie Sanders, whose voting record on firearms regulation is mixed. Bloomberg reports:
The NRA has over the years given him [Sanders] grades as high as C- and as low as F, according to Politifact. He voted against five versions of what ultimately became the 1993 Brady Bill, which created the U.S. gun-buying background check system and a waiting period for gun purchases. In 2005, he voted in favor of granting gun manufacturers immunity in lawsuits involving violent crimes committed with guns. But Sanders has also cast several votes in favor of the assault weapons ban and other gun laws.
Even though Sanders’ positions on gun control legislation have evolved closer to his own, Biden continues to use Sanders’ 15-year-old voting record against him.
Biden faces an uphill battle ahead of Saturday’s Nevada caucuses and the forthcoming South Carolina primary. More bluntly, Biden’s campaign is on life support and the results of the next two contests are critical to its survival.
The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Sanders leading in Nevada with 30% and Biden a distant second with 16%. Buttigieg, who currently has momentum, is not far behind with 14% and could easily surpass him. Warren, who is probably finished, follows with 13.7%, leaving Steyer and Klobuchar with 10.3% and 10%, respectively.
Last summer, Biden was on top in Nevada with a 32.5% margin compared to Sanders’ 18%. The polls began to tighten in January which is natural as the primary season approaches. However, following Biden’s poor showing in Iowa and his disastrous results in New Hampshire, their performance lines crossed. The current results are nearly a reverse mirror image of what they had been.
Biden held onto a commanding lead in South Carolina of 35% or more (based on RCP data) throughout 2019. Even with the normal pre-primary tightening, he was still at 31% until the Iowa caucuses. Although Biden is still in the lead with 24.5%, he’s watched his support steadily erode since then. Sanders is not too far behind at 20.8%. Next comes Steyer with 15.5%.
Given the recent collapse in support he’s experienced, I suppose it really doesn’t matter if Biden says he plans “to get those clips that have multiple bullets in them not for sale” instead of saying ‘I plan to ban magazines.’ But it certainly can’t help.
“Gun manufacturers, I’m coming for you. Period,” Biden says on CNN looking directly into the camera. Earlier today he said that on his first day in office he would roll out a proposal to end their liability shield. https://t.co/JOjaqnYHJ6
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) February 21, 2020