Monday, December 14th marked the anniversary of the Sandy Hook 2012 mass shooting. It occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, when the 20-year-old shooter killed 26 people, including 20 children between six and seven years old, and six adult staff members. While Vice President-elect Kamala Harris called to honor the lives of its victims, she called out some “common-sense” gun reforms that have sparked concern among gun owners.
“Today marks 8 years since 20 first-graders and 6 educators were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. To honor the lives lost in this terrible tragedy, it’s past time we implement common-sense gun safety reforms to keep our children safe,” Harris tweeted.
President-elect Joe Biden’s website has called for buying back assault weapons and high-capacity magazines already in our communities, including the popular AR-15 rifle which was used in the Sandy Hook massacre. Biden said this gives gun owners two options: sell the weapons to the government, or register them under the National Firearms Act.
U.S Sen. Bernie Sanders, surprisingly, argued that banning the sale and distribution of assault weapons today won’t solve our problem. He pointed out that there are already 5-10 million assault rifles already in circulation. He pointed out what former President Ronald Reagan and Congress did back in 1986, when heavily licensing machine guns, and recommended doing the same for assault weapons. “The second amendment gives the individual citizen a means of protection against the despotism of the state,” said Ronald Reagan.
As a candidate for president, Harris has also promised assault weapon bans. She had previously told the New York Times that she would introduce executive actions if Congress did not pass gun control legislation in the first 100 days of her presidency.
While Biden and Harris seem to be on the same page about gun control, Twitter users asked what exactly ‘common-sense’ gun safety reforms are. “So exactly what are your ‘common-sense’ gun safety reforms that are going to keep children safe? Make sure you show real-world statistics to back up the ideas/positions . . . as I’ve seen a lot of statistical ‘cherry-picking’ related to this subject,” one user tweeted.
Others noted that restrictions to the second amendment don’t change the outcome we’ve seen in our great nation. There are some very disturbed people out there and it has nothing to do with gun laws. Gun owners provided alternative recommendations to Harris as well, including extensive background checks and taking gun safety courses.
The most important question asked by social media users was how the Biden Administration plans to remove guns from criminal hands. People who want to do violent things will always find a way to “scratch the itch,” but when did the government have the right to infringe the Second Amendment?