President Joe Biden’s demand for a ban on so-called “assault weapons” during his State of the Union speech earlier this week is getting serious push-back from Second Amendment advocates because of a new ABC News/Washington Post poll showing public support for such a ban has plummeted.
The gun rights community thinks he knew about the poll, which was released the day before his speech at the Capitol.
Near the end of his 75-minute address, Biden did something that, in retrospect, appears like bait-and-switch. He honored a young California resident for wrestling a pistol from the hands of a man who had killed several people in a mass shooting, but then quickly called for the “assault weapons” ban. The crime to which Biden had just referred involved a handgun, not a rifle.
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms called him out, likening it to a “cover-up.” The ABC/WaPo poll released Monday, more than 24 hours before Biden’s speech, shows 51 percent of Americans are opposed to a ban. Other recent polls indicate a similar decline in public support for a gun ban.
“The poll results were available a full day ahead of Biden’s State of the Union address,” Gottlieb said, “yet there he was Tuesday night, telling Congress and the American people to ‘ban assault weapons now,’ as if ordained by some higher power to ignore the Constitution and stigmatize millions of law-abiding gun owners just to enjoy a brief moment of manufactured drama near the end of his speech.”
Gottlieb isn’t the only critic who is publicly criticizing the president for pushing for a ban the majority doesn’t support.
Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel at the National Shooting Sports Foundation, wrote this week, “President Biden scolded Congress for not sending him legislation to renew this unconstitutional ban on these commonly-owned commonly-used rifles. Never mind that the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in the Heller, McDonald and Bruen decisions that any such ban is unconstitutional…What President Biden didn’t tell the American public – and won’t – is what the rest of America is saying about any proposed ban. Over half the country doesn’t want it, according to a recent poll by ABC News/Washington Post.”
Gottlieb believes one reason more Americans are rejecting Biden’s gun control crusade is a remark he made during a CNN Townhall broadcast during which he blurted, “Whether it’s a 9mm pistol or a rifle, it is ridiculous. I am continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things.” CCRKBA and its sister organization, the Second Amendment Foundation, have both made the most of that short clip in television advertising for most of the past year. It is impossible for Biden or his spokespeople to deny he said it.
Gottlieb offered an explanation for why Biden continues to press for a gun ban.
“Biden needs a bogey man cause,” he observed, “and guns have always been his favorite target. It’s easy to demonize firearms when you’ve got an establishment media to parrot, rather than challenge, anything you say because much, if not most, of the press is ignorant about guns and the millions of citizens who own them.”
Gottlieb also does not believe the poll was overlooked.
“This is such a dramatic shift in public opinion that not even Joe Biden and his speechwriters could claim not to have noticed,” he said. “The White House pays attention to polling, so we can only conclude the president was hoping nobody would notice. Well, we did, and we’re calling him out. He can’t just sweep this new survey under the rug.”
Keane’s column recalled past Biden falsehoods about guns, including one from last summer which left ballistics experts astonished: “Do you realize the bullet out of an AR-15 travels five times as rapidly as a bullet shot out of any other gun?”
Gottlieb perhaps best summed up the situation.
“The public appears to be catching on,” he said, “even if the White House press corps is oblivious. We’re encouraged by the new poll results because they suggest people are finally figuring out that the problem isn’t guns, but the policies of this administration and Biden’s allies on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures. The country is changing course and Biden should get aboard. He needs to abandon the ship of gun prohibition because it has clearly run aground, is taking on water and is sinking.”