Gun Control Debate: Bloomberg and Biden Hold Gun Control Conference

Vice President Joe Biden, along with New York City Mayor and Co-Chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Michael Bloomberg, held a town hall press conference Thursday to garner support for gun control legislation. The town hall meeting was held two days after Senate Democrat Majority, leader Harry Reid announced that his caucus would not be addressing their gun control agenda.

Vice President Biden has been leading the Obama administration’s effort to enact “common sense gun safety measures that most Americans clearly want.” Alongside Vice President Biden and Mayor Bloomberg were family members of victims of Adam Lanza’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.

Bloomberg opened the press conference with statistics gathered by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, claiming that 89% of likely voters approve background checks for firearms purchases. Additionally, Bloomberg highlighted in the findings that 40% of all gun purchases are made through private sales, which are exempt from Federal background checks.

Biden appealed to previous 1994 legislation, which he claimed had a positive impact on public safety. Regarding the new legislation, Biden expressed that there is “not one single thing being proposed that infringes upon anyone’s second amendment constitutional right.” Biden claimed that “combined, these are common sense approaches” with regard to universal background checks, reports filed for those purchasing multiple firearms, and high capacity magazines (traditionally known as one that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition). 

Biden claimed, “ … that weapon of war [firearm used by Lanza] has no place on American streets, and taking it off American streets has no impact on one’s constitutional right to own a weapon.”

Vice President Biden urged politicians to have the “courage to do the right thing,” despite political consequences.

After Mayor Bloomberg and Vice President Biden made their remarks, some family members of victims had their say in the matter. Neil Heslin, father of murdered Sandy Hook Elementary student Jesse McCord Lewis, said, “my son Jesse’s life was taken by a cowardly deranged person with an assault weapon” and that Lanza targeted those who would be least resistant. 

The opposition to the assault weapons ban is not about needing AR-15s to hunt or solely for home defense. Many opponents to the assault weapons ban claim that the constitutional issue with outlawing various firearms threatens the ability to defend one’s self or nation from tyrannical takeover. Assault weapons allow the citizen to defend themselves against forces that seek to overtake, much more so than simple bolt-action hunting rifles or muzzle loading relics. Many arms manufacturers have united under “The Police Loophole” and claim that many of those in favor of restricting specific gun ownership have exempted their own employees. Others have criticized Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) who proposed the recently failed assault weapon’s ban for having her own concealed carry permit in which she explains her own need for personal protection.

It appears to me as if Heslin is on the right path; first and foremost, his son’s life was taken by a “cowardly deranged person,” and that ought to be the cause of concern, not the assault weapon used to carry out the evil intention. Criminals, by definition, will continue to ignore laws and use whatever means are available to them to accomplish their criminal intentions.

Let us all unite together to seek legislation and proactive approaches that battle the real epidemic of mental health issues and violent tendencies in those who seek attention for the mass murder of innocents.

To view the meeting, click here.