Is Joe Biden going to war with the NRA? Why his latest tweet has gun-owners very worried

As President-elect Joe Biden pledges to curb gun violence, pro-gun voices vow to fight his mission


                            Is Joe Biden going to war with the NRA? Why his latest tweet has gun-owners very worried
(Getty Images)

Joe Biden's arrival at the White House could see an old battle getting renewed and it is against the pro-gun lobby. The Democrat strongly vowed to take on the gun lobby during his presidential campaign last year recently tweeted “defeat the NRA” in commemoration of the deadly shooting in Tucson in 2011 in which former Arizona Democratic representative Gabrielle Giffords was seriously injured and a federal judge was killed.

Biden’s tweet came in response to one by Giffords in which she recalled the shocking event on its 10th anniversary and he praised the former Congresswoman, saying her “perseverance and immeasurable courage” inspired him and millions of others. “I pledge to continue to work with you — and with survivors, families, and advocates across the country — to defeat the NRA (National Rifle Association) and end our epidemic of gun violence,” the president-elect said. Biden was the vice president at the time of the shooting that killed six people and injured many others and he said Giffords “has a backbone like a ramrod”



 

On Friday, January 8, Biden also released a statement on the anniversary of the Tucson shooting saying: "As President, I pledge to continue to work together with Congresswoman Giffords, and with survivors, families, and advocates across the country, to defeat the NRA and end the epidemic of gun violence in America."

Former Arizona lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords at the 2020 Gun Safety Forum hosted by gun control activist groups Giffords and March for Our Lives at Enclave on October 2, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Getty Images)

Biden’s message rattled the pro-gun lobby and the NRA responded to his tweet on Sunday, January 13, asking gun owners to stay vigilant and “engaged in elections and legislative process”. 

In its tweet, the NRA said: “On Friday, Biden pledged to DEFEAT THE NRA. Biden wants to ban our semi-auto rifles, tax our guns/mags & more. He knows the only thing standing in his way to DISMANTLE THE 2ND AMENDMENT is NRA. Gun owners must stay vigilant & be engaged in elections and the legislative process.”



 

On Tuesday, January 12, too, the NRA came up with another tweet targeting the incoming Biden-Kamala Harris administration’s pledge towards gun control. It said: ““I pledge to...defeat the NRA.” –@JoeBiden “The NRA has...gotta go.” –@KamalaHarris Joe Biden and Kamala Harris hate the NRA and want to destroy our 2nd Amendment. NRA members never back down. Stand with us to protect our right to self-defense.”



 

The NRA found a favorable president in Donald Trump who it had backed in his election campaign. It was reported in August 2019 that the outgoing president remained less committed towards a background check legislation (while purchasing weapons) in the Congress following a call with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. 

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to the crowd as he stands on stage along with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre (R), and Executive Director NRA-ILA Chris Cox (L) at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits on April 26, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Getty Images)

SAF backs NRA

But it is not just the NRA, which has expressed concerns over what Biden might do to curb the influence of the pro-gun lobby. Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), has said that while the president-elect has called out the NRA by name, the new administration’s initiative towards this end will hit every gun-possessing American. 

‘Time to ban Biden on Twitter and Facebook’

“Joe Biden has labored relentlessly for decades to reduce the Second Amendment to rubble,” Gottlieb said in a statement issued by the SAF. “He may attack one group by name, but his goal is to crush the rights of every gun owner in our country.

“By attacking the Second Amendment Rights of 100 million Americans, Biden is not bringing us together but dividing us further. If people take to the streets in protest, if violence occurs it will be his fault and he should be impeached for violating our constitutional rights and inciting violence. Maybe it is time to ban him from Twitter and Facebook!” he added. Gottlieb also warned that it was Biden who started the fire and not the SAF. 

Recently, President Trump was banned by Twitter and Facebook after he allegedly instigated his supporters to storm the Capitol to challenge the result of the 2020 presidential election that went to Biden. Violence erupted at the Capitol in which five people, including one policeman, were killed. 

Suggesting that the gun lobby was not ready to surrender before Biden, Gottlieb said the SAF was starting a major advertising project to recruit several gun owners into its 2nd Amendment First Responder Program -- a grassroots effort that gives gun owners the power to have their voice heard in the political process. The SAF official also accused Biden of spending nearly five decades on Capitol Hill trying to turn the right to keep and bear weapons into a regulated privilege. He said while Biden thinks he will be able to accomplish his mission as the next president, they will do their best to stop him. 

Pro-gun website Bearing Arms also backed the NRA and SAF and one of its articles said it was time to engage in the political process. “No matter how depressed, discouraged, or downtrodden you feel about the prospect of being able to defeat gun control legislation right now, the simple fact is that politics never stops. Disengaging from the political process only hurts our own cause. Even during the War of Independence and the Civil War we had elections and legislative sessions, so I feel confident in stating that the political process is going to continue during this period of unrest and uncertainty,” said Cam Edwards, an experienced journalist on Second Amendment, in the piece. 

“We need to be in the arena and not on the sidelines as state legislatures return to session and Democrats in control of Congress plan on their priorities for the coming months, and gun owners need to be unified in their opposition to any bill that seeks to address public safety by restricting the constitutionally protected rights of the People,” he added.

The former Barack Obama administration of which Biden was a part failed to put a curb on controlling weapons that kill several in the US every year. The two incoming leaders -- Biden and Harris -- have been stressing on the issue repeatedly, especially on the anniversaries of dreadful shooting incidents in the past. Last month, both of them vowed for “common-sense” gun control on the eighth anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre in which 20 children were killed by a gunman besides six adults at an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. The tragedy left even former president Obama in tears.

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