Gun Control: Joe Biden branded 'third world dictator' for saying no amendment to the Constitution is absolute

The president has promised to tackle the gun violence epidemic, and has managed to anger the conservatives with his strong words


                            Gun Control: Joe Biden branded 'third world dictator' for saying no amendment to the Constitution is absolute
President Joe Biden speaks as Vice President Kamala Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland listen during an event on gun control, at the White House (Getty Images)

In an announcement at the Rose Garden, President Joe Biden's strong words against gun violence have not gone down well with many conservatives. On Thursday, April 8, the president announced a series of executive actions and legislative proposals. Speaking to reporters about his plans, the president said, "nothing, nothing I am about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment", then added, "no amendment, no amendment to the Constitution is absolute".

Biden also called the arguments for the Second Amendment "phony", and dubbed the issue "an international embarrassment". He also issued a series of tweets on the matter, with one saying, "We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country. There’s no reason somebody needs a weapon of war with 100 rounds in a magazine. None."



 

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President Joe Biden speaks during an event on gun control in the Rose Garden at the White House April 8, 2021, in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

Conservatives have responded by slamming Biden on social media. Many are unhappy with the president's plans to tackle the issue and the way he said it. One user compared Biden to a 'third world dictator', tweeting, "Biden just said, "no amendment to the Constitution is absolute." Nice. Spoken just like a Third World Dictator."



 

The person has since received a lot of backlash on Twitter. One person replied, "Spoken like a founding father is more like it. They planned for this, that why they are called AMENDments. So we can AMEND them as time and society changes." Another said, "The fact that the constitution HAS AMENDMENTS means none of it is absolute. It was designed as a living document, not a holy relic. It has, can, and SHOULD change with the times. Stop fear mongering."



 



 

Others reminded the person of the 21st Amendment, which repealed the federal prohibition on alcohol set by the 18th Amendment. "The 21st amendment nullified the 18th, so there is precedent for it," one person tweeted. Another person trolled, "So you don't understand what amendments are and how the constitution works?"



 

 



 

The person also received support from others, who also slammed Biden for his plans. One of the sharpest responses came from the National Rifle Association. The pro-gun group issued a statement saying, "Biden has made clear his sights are set on restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners while ignoring criminals and foregoing substantive measures that will actually keep Americans safe." 

People participate in a demonstration and news conference against illegal guns in front of the Jacob Javits Federal Building on August 12, 2019, in New York City (Getty Images)

Biden's plans

At the announcement, the president nominated David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). If confirmed, he would be the first permanent head of the agency in six years, since former president Donald Trump never bothered to fill the vacancy. He also said that the Justice Department would be given 30 days to issue "potential changes" to federal rules. Within 60 days, Biden wants the DoJ to issue a proposal to tackle stabilizing braces, which are used to transform pistols into short-barreled rifles.

Biden also tapped the department to enact "red flag" laws at the state level. His executive actions include a crackdown of self-assembled "ghost guns", more data on firearms trafficking and investing more in community intervention programs. The measures are a long way from what Biden promised on the campaign trail. His website still lists those promises like banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, instituting a buy-back program, reducing stockpiling of weapons, and expanding background checks for all gun sales.

Given the fraught nature of gun control, these promises are hard for Biden to keep. To deliver on them, Biden will need Congress to pass legislation, which seems impossible with the current make-up of the Senate. Split 50-50, Republicans have stonewalled any gun safety laws Democrats have attempted to pass. In March this year, the House passed two bills on federal background checks with limited Republican support. It faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where Republicans have been more vocal about their opposition. 

The president also slammed this stonewalling, saying, "They've offered plenty of thoughts and prayers — members of Congress — but they've passed not a single new federal law to reduce gun violence."

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