Breakdowns are not hit pieces toward the people or outlets highlighted. They are simply down to point out fallacies, inaccurate facts, tone, and wording used.
On April 8, 2021, Vice-President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden, Jr held an event in the Rose Garden regarding actions, presidential and otherwise, that will tackle gun violence in the United States.
There were several inaccuracies and usage of tone that will pointed out here.
Let’s address the phrase in pink first. This is anecdotal evidence. It is also an appeal to emotion. If you are going to talk about why you want stricter gun laws, come with statistics and full statistics, not cherry-picked or curated ones that back up your claims.
The phrase in yellow made me do a search.
This is from the CA government website, which will be linked below. I find it suspicious that the actual audio files have been taken off the site. The transcribed quotes above are bad enough. This clearly illustrates her support for red flag laws, which can be abused.
(Sorry for the squiggles. I am doing this in a moving vehicle, which is my home at this time.)
In the green, sense of urgency. There is always a sense of urgency. There was one under Obama, one under Trump, and now one under Biden. They are always in a rush to do this, but they never get around to doing anything.
Pink: another appeal to emotion. She WANTS you to keep the tragedies fresh in your mind so your emotions are swayed to back what they are going to do.
Red/Orange: Yes, they already exist. Background checks exist. Restrictions of the types of weapons you can get exists. As a matter of fact, in 1934, The National Firearms Act was passed with it having been amended in 1986 to restrict machine guns after they were legally defined.
The 1934 law lead to the licensing of gun retailers, which, in turn, gave us the registry for FFL dealers.
The Gun Control Act of 1968
The Gun Control Act is passed and imposes stricter licensing and regulation on the firearms industry, establishes new categories of firearms offenses, and prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to felons and certain other prohibited persons. It also imposes the first Federal jurisdiction over “destructive devices,” including bombs, mines, grenades and other similar devices. Congress reorganizes ATU into the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division (ATTD) and delegates to them the enforcement of the Gun Control Act.-ATF website
So, as you can see, there are law on the books and have been before Biden’s in 1993 which brings us to what is in yellow.
On November 30, 1993, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was enacted, amending the Gun Control Act of 1968. The Brady Law imposed as an interim measure a waiting period of 5 days before a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer may sell, deliver, or transfer a handgun to an unlicensed individual. The waiting period applies only in states without an acceptable alternate system of conducting background checks on handgun purchasers.-ATF website
Let’s address the assertion she made.
This law established a background check system and has kept more than three million firearms out of the hands of dangerous people.-VP Harris
This number is often disputed as gun violence was already in decline when the law cam into effect. In 2003, Philip J. Cook, a Duke University professor of public policy, economics and sociology asserted that the law itself was failure. “Control and treatment states had the same gun homicide rates before and after the Brady law passed,” Cook said. “It made no discernable difference. There is no statistically significant effect.”
It was conceded that it did undermine the gun-running within the country. Many would go on to point out over 60,000 felons that were prevented from purchasing a gun, but California never saw a notable change in criminal activity.
She refers to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Again, there is not conclusive evidence that the law reduced lives lost from mass shootings by banning “assault rifles” and large capacity magazines.
“Assault rifles” have yet to be firmly defined, as anything you attack a person with can become an “Assault [insert item here]”. A knife is merely a cutting tool until you attack someone with with, then it becomes an attack with a deadly weapon. The word is meant to scare people and isolate a particular type of rifle.
If they are hoping to stem the tide of mass shootings, they would be looking at the wrong firearm.
Let’s get back to the breakdown.
Light blue: Ah, relatability, we talk and reminisce as well. She built him up to be the savior of all with the second phrase. She also made him seem sympathetic and determined.
Yellow: The loophole to which they are referring is the one where background checks did not have to be done at gun shows and other off-site selling venues. The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act did not have that stipulation.
Pink: Here we have another appeal to emotion. We feel for you. We bleed with you. We grieve with you.
The sense of urgency here is strategically placed. As is escalating the perceived problem as a “public health crisis”. This escalation is in hopes of keeping the problem in the forefront of people’s minds.
Red/Orange: Keep an eye on this one. We’ve seen the Democrats in the House and Senate try time and time again to pen and push bills that would have been in direct contrast to the Second Amendment.
Blue: Yes, the Constitution has been Amended, but he is talking about Amending the Bill of Rights itself.
I have never claimed to be a Constitutional Scholar, but “Peaceably assemble” covers the “Don’t yell fire in a theatre” argument. You can assemble PEACEABLY. This means you can’t do anything with your speech to cause a riot or panic.
Yellow: Yes, yes you could own any weapon you wanted. If I remember my history correctly, Naval officers asked to borrow cannons from CIVILIANS. So, no, there are no restrictions on the type of arms which can be owned. This is an outright lie.
“I am not aware of a ban on any arm in colonial America,” he said. “There were controls on people or locations, but not bans on types of arms.”-David Kopel, the research director and Second Amendment project director at the free-market Independence Institute
Pink: Here we have an escalated sense of danger. He also goes on to use anecdotal evidence, which many people dismiss. He could also be using it as an emotional bargaining tool. Many Democrats have been known to use tragedies to bring home their point instead of statistics and hard empirical evidence.
He goes through three paragraphs of anecdotal evidence with smatterings of emotional appeals.
I am not pointing it out to be callous. I feel for anyone who is the victim of gun violence. I am just disgusted that people would use such tragedies to drive home a point.
I am not going to repeat myself on the escalation.
Yellow: This is an admission that he will do whatever it takes for him to be able to pen Executive Orders on Gun Control without using Congress or the legislative process. Though there may be a way to do that, this shows he is not confident in the legislative process as a whole.
Put simply, a “ghost gun” is a 3D pattern for a gun that can be printed on a 3D printer. The gun is printed in parts and includes instructions on how to assemble them. They do not have serial numbers and thus are untraceable. They can be detected by metal detectors, during body scans, and will show up on x-rays. This means they are not illegal in that respect according to the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988.
There is not law that I can find that makes the absence of a serial illegal. If you find one, please feel free to add it in the comments.
He wishes to have serial numbers mandatory on key pieces of printed guns so they can be traceable when used for illegal means. He also wishes for them to be sold by licensed dealers so the purchaser would be subject to a background check.
I don’t see anything wrong with serial numbers of background checks. I do see this being a problem for the 3D printing industry if this passes. There would be the logistics of keeping up with the serial numbers, and the fear that the act of putting serial numbers on other products would be required down the road.
In the next section, I will now disclose that I am NOT a firearms expert. All the research I have done on this was for the purposes of this post.
These are short-barreled rifles with braces.
This is an info-graphic of modifications for a pistol.
You also have to take into consideration that gun laws are differ from state to state. This means guns laws can get even murkier when you at the laws for your specific state.
This also means what he is talking about above has already been covered in federal laws.
He admits that here.
“Red Flag” Laws are a hot-button topic. Some feel these should be implemented, and others feel these laws can be abused, leading to people being banned from using firearms due to someone falsely reporting someone with whom they have an issue.
As to the assertion about falling suicide rates when there is no way to obtain a firearm, there is some evidence to back this, but it is more correlation than empirical. Correlation does not mean causation, and there are other ways in which someone can commit suicide if they are so determined.
He goes on to throw out a figure and relate it to women only. Though there were 2000 female deaths in 2018 with the most common weapon being a firearm, I could not find any statistics that were country specific to either refute or back this.
He is using these statistics to further back the need for Red Flag laws.
He eludes to his states and proposed legislated in that state, but does not goes on to state any impact of the Red Flag Law in his state.
This would have done more to back his point.
I am disturbed that he did not include domestic violence against men. I have a feeling he did this on purpose due to the current political climate and the push of the current wave of feminism.
This is the end of part one. Part two will be out tomorrow.
Anissa “Maddy” Walker
All pictures used are not my property and were found by doing image searches on the internet.