For months now, disappointed liberals have been scratching their heads and bemoaning one question hanging over the 2020 elections. Why aren’t Democrats talking about gun control? It was all the rage last year, but now you don’t hear a peep about if from almost any of their candidates and it wasn’t even mentioned at the Democratic National Convention. The reasons seemed fairly obvious to me and it looked as if the issue had been put to rest for this cycle. But then, only this weekend, Democratic candidate Joe Biden broke the mold and ended the silence. His Twitter account chimed in, seemingly out of nowhere, with a promise to infringe on your Second Amendment rights if he’s sworn in as the 46th president.
It’s long past time we take action to end the scourge of gun violence in America.
As president, I’ll ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, implement universal background checks, and enact other common-sense reforms to end our gun violence epidemic.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 1, 2020
This was just a curious decision on so many levels. First of all, did Joe Biden tweet that himself, or did one of his aides go rogue and do it without consulting him? (Whether Biden does his own tweeting all or even some of the time remains an open question. It’s a common opinion that he doesn’t.) In any event, it’s out there on the record and it will be ascribed to him anyway, so it’s a bit late to worry about that.
Also, it’s not as if Biden has made any secret of his intentions. All of his Second Amendment restriction plans are still posted on his campaign website even if nobody is talking about them in public.
But why tweet this? And more to the point, why now? Gun sales are through the roof all across the country, including among Democrats and liberals who are fearful of the violence engulfing the streets. Any discussions of making it even more difficult to legally purchase a firearm for your own protection aren’t likely to go over very well with anyone but the most hardened of the liberal base who were going to vote for Biden in any event. All this does is throw ammunition to the Trump campaign to use in the final hours as people prepare to go to the polls.
Or could there be something more here than meets the eye? This is the sort of thing any Democratic presidential candidate would be expected to say in more normal times, primarily to instill confidence in their base that they will support the liberal gun-grabbing agenda. Is Biden’s team looking at the numbers in some of the swing states and beginning to worry about turnout among their own people as opposed to any persuadable moderates that may still be sitting on the fence? If so, this could be a bid to drive the last few of them out to the polls.
That’s not an entirely crazy idea. Even the Washington Post admitted this weekend that the Biden campaign was growing increasingly worried about the polling in Pennsylvania and fear that his previous, slim lead could be slipping away at the eleventh hour. But this doesn’t sound like a move that would help him much, if at all, on that score. The vast majority of Biden’s support in the Keystone State is going to come from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. But the latter city is currently overrun by mobs and is going up in flames. Philly is one of the places where the demand for guns is off the charts in a Democratic stronghold and people can’t even get applications for permits, to say nothing of laying their hands on a legal firearm. Something tells me that even his base there doesn’t want to hear any gun control claptrap at the moment.
Or was this just a slip-up on someone’s part on Team Biden? I honestly can’t come up with a viable explanation for this other than poor management in the final stretch of the campaign. Either way, Trump’s people need to pick up this ball and run with it all night.