As recent mass shooting events have reignited Democrat calls for stricter gun control, President Joe Biden made it alarmingly clear that he would have no problem curtailing the fundamental rights of Americans when he declared in a Tuesday speech that the Second Amendment is “not absolute,” as Fox News reports.
Addressing the country from the White House, Biden called on Congress to reinstate a ban an assault weapons, outlaw high-capacity magazines, raise the minimum purchase age for semi-automatic weapons to 21, and impose stronger background checks, red-flag laws, and safe gun storage regulations.
In Biden’s estimation, doing all of those things is a matter of “conscience and common sense,” and he attempted to assuage concerns of law-abiding gun owners by saying, “[f]or so many of you at home, I want to be very clear – this is not about taking away anyone’s guns. It’s not about vilifying gun owners.”
“I respect the culture, the tradition, the concerns of lawful gun owners,” Biden stated, while adding, “[a]t the same time, the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute.”
Though Biden essentially asserts that he – together with Congress – has the power to determine the precise extent to which citizens will be permitted to exercise the liberties granted to them in the Bill of Rights, legal scholar Jonathan Turley begs to differ and underscores the crucial flaws in the president’s take.
Writing for The Hill recently, Turley explained that try as the left might to blame the “gun lobby” and Republican opposition for the absence of stronger gun control measures, the true obstacle to such restrictions is indeed the inviolability of the Second Amendment.
Turley wrote, “If we want to get something done, we will need to be honest and nonpartisan, a challenge that previously has proven too much for our leaders. There is a limited range of movement for legislation, given the constitutional right to bear arms and controlling constitutional precedent.”
With the Supreme Court’s decision in the pivotal case of District of Columbia v. Heller already affirming an individual’s right to maintain a gun in the home for purposes of self-defense, and a pending ruling in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen potentially poised to make it even harder for states and cities to restrict concealed carry of weapons, Biden’s claim that Congress can simply abrogate Second Amendment liberties on his command is readily exposed as false.
The truth of the matter was aptly articulated by attorney Paul Clement during oral arguments in the aforementioned New York case when he noted that the amendment’s text plainly affords citizens the right to bear arms, that the right to carry a weapon for self-defense is an enduring tradition in this country, and that the entire point of a constitutional right is that there is no obligation to persuade the state of any “good reason” for its exercise, and that is the case regardless of Biden’s wishful thinking.