VP Kamala Harris proposes public health gun control remedy
Vice President Kamala Harris believes gun control is a public health issue, giving Americans more reasons to be wary of gun control efforts.
The problem is, crime isn’t a disease, as much as gun control advocates want to treat it as such. Criminal activity is a behavior and science has yet to bring about a medical remedy that prevents an individual from committing crimes. That’s not stopping Vice President Harris from tossing out debunked data, purposefully confusing suicides with criminal firearm misuse and conveniently glossing over the Biden administration’s failures to address the real problem of crime.
“I — as Vice President of the United States, I am acutely aware of the fact that gun violence is the leading cause of death of the children of America,” Vice President Harris told Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund’s Annual Gun Sense University Conference in Chicago last week. “It’s — it’s the number one cause of death — not some disease — well, although this is a form of a disease, to be sure. Gun violence is the leading cause of death of our children.”
First, Vice President Harris is throwing around the debunked talking point of “gun violence” being the leading cause of death among children. That’s a lie. NSSF exposed that false talking point in April. The University of Michigan arrived at that data by including adults aged 18 and 19 to the data set. In any other setting, people of those two ages are categorized as adults. They’re hardly children. Without that expanded age group, the talking point falls flat.
NSSF wasn’t the only one to shine a light on the lie. Breitbart busted the lie as well, as did the website Gun Facts. David Harsanyi took apart the false claim in The Federalist. Even NBC News gave the side-eye to the loose interpretation of “children.”
Starting out by stumbling out of the gate with debunked talking points is hardly a way to build support for public policy. However, that’s exactly what Vice President Harris is attempting. Notice she called it a “form of disease.” Later in her remarks, she clued the crowd in more.
“But what we have been able to do, to your point about a public health crisis, is to put substantial resources into things like mental health, put substantial resources into community-based response…” Vice President Harris said.
That’s the second problem – public health crisis. Rebranding the criminal misuse of firearms as a “public health crisis” raises considerable concerns. Analyzing a criminal justice problem with an epidemiological lens ends with a distorted picture of a very real issue. Misidentifying the problem ensures that no real solutions will be found. No vaccine will be discovered. No pill will be developed. And more importantly, no solutions will be identified.
In her remarks, Vice President Harris lumped together suicide deaths with all other “gun violence” issues. That’s confusing the issues and it can’t be by accident. It’s purposely by design.
Suicide, especially suicide by firearm, is a serious issue. That’s why NSSF partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the largest suicide prevention organization in America, to provide resources to firearm ranges and retailers to prevent the tragedy of suicide. The Reload did a deep dive and noted that the antigun group Violence Policy Center listed 1,200 suicide victims as “killers” when they harmed no other individuals. The Reload further found that gun control laws have little to nothing to do with suicide prevention. Prohibitions of Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) and magazine restrictions have no bearing on suicide prevention.
That’s what Vice President Harris said was part of this “public health crisis” response. She wants to resurrect an MSR ban, despite the fact that knives, fists and clubs are more commonly used in murders than all types of rifles combined. The vice president wants to ensure that those who are a danger to themselves are prohibited from buying guns. She fails to mention that the firearm industry is the leading force in getting all disqualifying background records into the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. That includes those who have been involuntarily admitted to a mental health institution and adjudicated mentally defective – or told by a court they cannot be trusted to possess a firearm.
Vice President Harris added that based on her previous career as a prosecutor, “the gun manufacturers should not have immunity from litigation.” If she were a true student of the law, she would know that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) prevents frivolous lawsuits brought when remote third parties criminally misuse a firearm. That’s basic tort law – those who cause harm are responsible for the harm they cause. Vice President Harris’ argument would mean that beer breweries and automakers would be responsible for harm caused by drunk drivers.
Vice President Harris wasn’t done. She claimed to be supportive of the Second Amendment yet has never taken a stand to protect it. She only talks about chipping away at it, or in cases where she argues for bans on entire classes of firearms, negates it all together.
“That false choice [would] be to suggest that you’re either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone’s guns away…,” she explained. “I believe in the Second Amendment, but I also believe we need to renew the assault weapons ban. We need red flag laws. We need universal background checks.”
In that statement alone, she admits she opposes Second Amendment rights and washes over an individual’s Due Process rights and rights against illegal search and seizure. None of the states with red flag laws include Due Process rights protections and for universal background checks to work, it would require a national firearm registry – which is still illegal under federal law.
America needs only look to the recent past to see how the federal government handles a “public health crisis.” COVID-19 demonstrated that they would compel individuals to take unwanted vaccines, restrict them to their homes and even abuse authority to restrict Constitutionally-protected rights. The tendency of the government to assume police-state authorities is enough to warn Americans when their elected officials want to invoke a “public health crisis.”
Republished with permission from NSSF.