U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) tried her best to knock former Vice President Joe Biden off the debate stage last June. Now she’s playing nice, trying to make it up to him and land the coveted spot as his running mate on the most antigun Democratic presidential ticket in history.
Sen. Harris was forced to suspend her presidential campaign because of little voter support and lackluster fundraising, decrying “I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign.” But that attitude didn’t stop her from joining Moms Demand Action’s Shannon Watts and Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt for the latest installment of their antigun Veepstakes to stay in the spotlight. Those groups are funded by failed 2020 presidential candidate and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who endorsed Biden and pledged to spend several million dollars in support of his campaign. Biden’s antigun history and his current platform are well known.
‘Astroturfing’ State Capitals
A major theme established by Watts and Sen. Harris throughout their discussion is that the concerns of millions of Americans who purchase firearms during the coronavirus pandemic are unfounded and baseless. “We’re seeing these AstroTurf protests springing up at state houses,” Watts said. “They’re fueled by fearmongering from the NRA and their allies. It’s really terrifying. These rallies are organized and funded by gun extremists.”
Harris agreed, “It’s not grassroots. It’s a façade. It’s a front for some other agenda. It’s not real.”
That’s right. She said the hundreds of thousands of new gun owners who chose to buy a firearm to protect themselves during a crisis aren’t real people. The two, along with several of Everytown’s previous participants, dismissed the legitimate reasons why millions of Americans lawfully purchased firearms recently. The reasons are evident, including criminals being let out of jails, prosecutors publicly announcing they won’t prosecute and law enforcement continues to be stretched thin.
“So listen, I’m always gonna be supportive of peaceful protests,” Harris added. Maybe she means only the protests with which she agrees.
The California senator made no mention of the several thousand pro-Second Amendment supporters who peacefully rallied in Richmond, Va., against the Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s and the legislature’s antigun overreach. Pundits warned of “dangerous extremists” descending on the capital beforehand. Afterwards, one arrest was made, ironically for wearing a face mask. Protesters picked up trash on their way home.
Sen. Harris’s support of the Untraceable Firearms Act, S. 3473, introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), was also discussed. Watts claimed, “Many websites are selling out of ghost guns, these homemade, unserialized guns that have shown up at crime scenes across the country.” Harris echoed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other gun control groups to describe the unassembled firearms that have been legal since the founding of America and are still used legally by gunsmiths and firearm enthusiasts today. Sen. Harris added the kits “allow you to bypass all the precautions we’ve put into place.”
Except it doesn’t. If an individual is prohibited from owning a firearm, it is illegal to own a gun built at home.
So-called “ghost guns” are expensive and difficult to produce. They are very rarely used in crimes. The Department of Justice confirmed through surveys that most criminals obtain firearms through theft or the black market.
These issues are the reason NSSF launched the #GUNVOTE online resource to educate voters about candidate’s words and actions on firearm safety and legislation. It’s a resource for voters to learn about the issues, where the candidates stand, how to register and where and when to vote.
Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.
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