I missed this on Wednesday but Breitbart didn’t. Why would Crazy Joe confirm the worst suspicions of gun-rights supporters by admitting that Democrats won’t stop at the AWB? It’s much harder to use an incrementalist strategy towards aggressive regulation when you’re calling attention to your incrementalism. The way to play this, as Mike Bloomberg could tell you, is to reassure the public that you’re only trying to tweak their behavior at the margins with minor infringements on freedom. If you tell the frog you’re trying to boil him, he’ll jump out of the pot.
This is, I take it, actually an admission of defeat by Biden. He knows the AWB won’t pass this year; with the GOP likely to hold the House and pick up seats in the Senate in 2014, it won’t pass before O leaves office either. If you know you’re beat, you might as well comfort your base with grandiose bluster about the golden age of gun control to come. Who knows? He might even believe it. Judging from the stories about his ludicrous presidential ambitions, he might honestly imagine himself signing a new AWB into law circa 2017. Good ol’ Joe.
By the way, note that he refers not once but twice here to assault weapons as “weapons of war.” Obama used the same term yesterday in his speech. This is, apparently, the White House’s new messaging gambit to goose support for the AWB, never mind the fact that the U.S. military’s actual weapon of war, the M16, is fully automatic. Half the battle for public opinion on this subject is confusing the public into believing AR-15s are machine guns. It’s clever, and characteristically dishonest.
Update: A clarification via a military reader: Not all versions of the M16 are fully automatic. The M16A3 has that capability, but the M16A2/A4 used by most Marines only fires up to three-shot bursts. Both weapons also have a semiautomatic mode.