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Joe Biden has called for an extension to the $200 special firearms tax, which would then be applied to so called “assault weapons.” The Merriam Webster definition of assault weapon is any of various automatic or semiautomatic firearms, implying that this broad plan could apply to any semi-automatic rifle.

This will mark the beginning of the Biden administration’s incremental creep to whittle down our most fundamental freedom: the right to keep and bear arms. Joe Biden’s presidency could prove extremely dangerous to the second amendment.

Joe Biden has stated he would ban the online sale of firearms and ammunition, implement a buyback program for loosely defined “assault weapons” and even reduce an individual's ability to purchase firearms to one per month. This level of regulation will ultimately end in the erosion of our second amendment.

The issue with the aforementioned laws is that they only affect law-abiding citizens. 90% of firearms utilized in crime were not obtained through a retail source. According to a study published in Social Medicine, 80% of guns found on criminals were not in the possession of their lawful owners, meaning they were obtained illegally. The implementation of gun control laws would only affect law abiding citizens and would probably not affect gun violence in America.

Jean Luc Reynolds

Reynolds is an aerospace engineering junior and Community Voices columnist for The Shorthorn.

Incremental creep is described as taking away something in small, intentionally undetectable, increments under the guise of assistance or positivity. By implementing gun laws that only affect law-abiding citizens, one must deduce the Biden administration is attempting to disarm the public. Actually, rather than assuming, take a direct quote from Biden’s website, which states:

“This will give individuals who now possess assault weapons or high-capacity magazines two options: sell the weapons to the government, or register them under the National Firearms Act.”

Incremental creep. First it's the banning of indescribable “assault weapons,” then it's high-capacity magazines, then it could be pistols. Four supreme court justices during the DC v. Heller case explicitly stated that the second amendment did not protect an individual's right to own firearms. The sentiment seems to be shared across a portion of the Democratic Party, which Biden represents. The second amendment will then be whittled down to only protect the ownership of common hunting weapons.

The second amendment was not only intended to combat tyrannical governments, but also allow an otherwise defenseless populus to defend themselves from other, more local, threats.

The second amendment is the gate guardian that protects all other rights, most importantly the basic freedom of self-preservation. The DC v. Heller’s majority opinion enshrined the individual's right to bear arms in order to protect their home from assailants and ultimately their nation from a tyrannical regime.

Justice Antonin Scalia famously quoted federalists in the majority opinion, stating, “because Congress was given no power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, such a force could never oppress the people.” Those who believe the right to bear arms is reserved for hunting lack the context as to why it exists in the first place.

The dissenting opinion of four supreme court justices specifically states citizens do not have the right to individually own firearms. When asked about the DC v. Heller decision, Biden simply responded with:

“If I were on the Court I wouldn’t make the same ruling. Okay?”

That's not to say Donald Trump has been perfect on the second amendment either. The administration has banned the production and sale of bump stocks as well as the ability for citizens to 3D print firearms and firearm parts. He strongly supported the idea that schools should arm and extensively train certain staff members to defend students as a way to combat the increasing level of school shootings.

This is not to say that gun violence is not an issue in America. My issue with the Democratic Party’s solution is their desire to limit law-abiding citizens’ constitutional rights as a means to solve the problem.

The Biden administration has policy views that would directly attack the second amendment and its founding principles. The powers of the government are granted by the citizenry. With that said, it is the civic duty of the citizenry to take action and contact their local representatives to advise against these proposals to limit the second amendment and our fundamental freedoms.

opinion-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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