It doesn’t take long for things to get political after a mass shooting.
And to no one’s surprise, President Joe Biden is immediately jumping to pushing for strong gun control in the aftermath of Monday’s shooting in Boulder, Colorado.
But will Biden forgo his heavily armed Secret Service protection?
Perhaps doing so would become one of few campaign promises he delivers, considering he pledged such a ban during the 2020 election cycle, both in an August 2019 Op-Ed for The New York Times and in a November tweet.
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
While the term “assault weapons” itself is an overly broad one that’s used largely to conjure up images of scary-looking weapons used by SWAT teams and military personnel, an “assault weapons” ban, would, as Breitbart reported, no doubt prohibit most Americans “from buying rifles such as AR-15s, AK-47s, and Sig Sauer MCXs, for self-defense.”
Biden, of course, receives round-the-clock Secret Service protection, including by agents armed with AR-15s or similar weapons. The exact specifications of the weapons used to protect the president are unclear. (The Western Journal reached out to Secret Service for comment on the types of weapons its agents use but did not immediately receive a response.) But Breitbart reported last year, citing an unnamed source, that “such protection means Biden is protected with pistols, semiautomatic rifles–perhaps ARs and/or Sig Sauer MCX platform firearms–and there is the strong possibility of fully automatic firearms being part of the equation too.”
Specifications aside, the point remains: When it comes to protecting the president, gun regulations are not part of the equation. Just as some police officers and members of the armed services have access to firearms that Biden wants to ban, the same appears to be true of the Secret Service.
There are other major problems with the president’s vision for gun control.
We can begin by citing the Second Amendment, knowing our Founders were forward-thinking enough to realize weapons would change drastically from the muskets of their time.
We can also acknowledge that disallowing the general public ownership of these “assault weapons” means that only a select number of elites would have access to them.
Is that our standard for safety?
Maybe Biden should go without his Secret Service protection and see how he feels.
So many times we hear that people don’t “need” these weapons.
But who is to decide what we “need” and don’t need? The president? The legislature? The courts?
It will become increasingly alarming when this same trio determines what we do or do not need in other aspects of our lives, including the extent to which we are allowed to speak or worship freely.
This could become a slippery slope.
Of course, many cite the “falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater” phrase as an example of a limitation on our First Amendment rights, and this seems to create limitations on our other endowed rights as well.
We acknowledge not limitations, but rather consequences of what we choose to do with our rights.
Many Americans own assault weapons and never commit atrocities.
They realize that if they did, they would face the consequences of their actions, as would someone who decided to shout “fire” in a crowded theater.
It all boils down to the essence of responsibility and whether the government believes we are autonomous enough to handle that responsibility.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.