Showdown on the Second Amendment: Harris Calls for Ban on “Assault Weapons”

We recently discussed how President Joe Biden has not only repeated false statements about the history of the Second Amendment, but has failed to acknowledge the limits imposed by the Second Amendment in calling for a crackdown on “assault weapons.” He recently has not, however, called specifically for a ban, which would run into serious constitutional challenges. Now Vice President Kamala Harris has taken that step forward in demanding a ban on “assault weapons.” (Notably, this week, a Republican house member also came out in favor of a ban on “assault weapons.”)

Politicians often use the term “assault weapon” to refer to the AR-15 and similar models of firearms.  These civilian models are not automatic weapons (which are illegal for sale for most citizens). As discussed earlier, the AR-15 is the most popular gun in America and the number is continuing to rise rapidly, with one AR-15 purchased in every five new firearms sales. These AR-15s clearly are not being purchased for armored deer. Many are purchased for personal and home protection; it also is popular for target shooting and hunting. Many gun owners like the AR-15 because it is modular; depending on the model, you can swap out barrels, bolts and high-capacity magazines, or add a variety of accessories. While it does more damage than a typical handgun, it is not the most powerful gun sold in terms of caliber; many guns have equal or greater calibre.

Nevertheless, Vice President Harris declared this  a”weapon of war” that has “no place in civil society.” What followed would appear to push beyond where President Biden left the issue as a criticism as opposed to a call for an outright ban: “We are not sitting around waiting to figure out what the solution looks like. You know, we’re not looking for a vaccine. We know what works on this. Let’s have an assault weapons ban.”

In boarding Air Force 2 after attending one of the funerals in Texas, Harris told the press “You know what an assault weapon is? You know how an assault weapon was designed? It was designed for a specific purpose – to kill a lot of human beings quickly. An assault weapon is a weapon of war with no place, no place in a civil society.”

I have previously written about the failure of politicians to acknowledge the limits posed by the Second Amendment and controlling case law. While there are good-faith objections to how the Second Amendment has been interpreted, the current case law makes such bans very difficult to defend. In 2008, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, recognizing the Second Amendment as encompassing an individual right to bear arms.

The effort to ban AR-15s often fails to clearly distinguish the weapons from other semi-automatic weapons in terms of calibre or rate of fire. There are also obvious practical problems. With an estimated 393 million guns in the United States and an estimated 72 million gun owners; three out of ten Americans say they have guns. Indeed, gun ownership rose during the pandemic. When former Texas congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke declared, “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15,” he was widely celebrated on the left. However, even seizing that one type of gun would require confiscation of as many as 15 million weapons.

Notably, O’Rourke previously walked back his declaration that he was coming for everyone’s AR-15s when he declared his candidacy for the Texas governorship. He recently switched back to his earlier position after the massacre and his controversial appearance at a press conference with local officials.

Efforts to ban this model already have failed in the courts on constitutional grounds, though litigation is continuing on that issue. Most recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down a California ban on adults under 21 from purchasing semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15.

The Supreme Court has a pending Second Amendment case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, that is likely to further strengthen gun rights this term.

Politicians have often ignored such precedent in pushing legislation that is likely to fail in the courts. The result is that liberal cities like New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., have created precedent against gun control efforts.

With almost 400 million guns in the country, politicians do not want to admit that no legislative measure is likely to stop such massacres by loners like the Texas gunman. He likely could have killed the same number of victims with a semi-automatic handgun. Those are questions that will be asked by courts in any challenge to a ban pursued by the Biden Administration. However, there are things that we can do like address the lack of funding for mental illness treatments in this country. That will require politicians who are willing to work on the basis of the realities rather than the rhetoric surrounding this national crisis.

264 thoughts on “Showdown on the Second Amendment: Harris Calls for Ban on “Assault Weapons””

  1. I would be happy to have any conversation with anyone about ways to keep this kind of thing from happening. What I won’t do, is entertain new gun laws put out by people who don’t know the difference between a shotgun and an revolver.

    If you don’t know what you are talking about (Maxine Waters) don’t presume to think that you can do anything about firearms that any of us would support.
    If you can’t explain why Chicago is a nightly slaughter house when it has strict gun control, but the neighboring places you blame for having to many guns is not, don’t try to explain to me why more gun control is a good idea.

    We broke society. Maybe fixing it would be a good idea?

    1. RE:”If you don’t know what you are talking about (Maxine Waters) don’t presume to think…..” “That Waters is recycled to D.C. on a regular basis gives her cause to presume to think whatever she pleases, she and others of her ilk, and have accountability to no one. It further serves to enlighten our understanding as to why the dilemmas within the community she claims to represent persists, and why they remain chained to the proverbial plantation and under the yoke of suppression.[ Read the works of Steele, Sowell, Woodson, and Owens]. As you’ve suggested in your closing, the fault, dear Kathy, is not in their stars, but in themselves, that they are underlings. .

  2. Guns are not designed to kill. They are designed to propel a projectile at a high velocity. The target of that projectile is determined by the shooter – NOT the gun.

  3. Fine Kamala. But you be the first one in the patriot’s door that you want to subjugate. Then, the rest of you pagan dems who would vote for less freedom can follow behind her. Guaranteed hell will be rained down on those who try. Doors would be breached, but how long do you think it will be before your lapdogs are unwilling to be cannon fodder anymore? There is utterly no chance Americans will surrender their guns.

  4. How do you decide which idealism is good and which idealism is not?

  5. Putin has had no qualms or reservations about killing thousands of people, so why should anyone have any qualms or reservations about killing Putin?

    1. So far, the UN has documented close to 4,000 civilian deaths in Ukraine in three months of fighting. There were about 7,000 civilian deaths in the less than one month shock and awe bombing campaign at the beginning of the Iraq war in March/April 2003.

  6. Not to worry, Biden will blame it on Putin and task Kamala “Barack says she’s really hot” Harris with fixing the supply chain: Yesterday, we went to a McDonald’s that was out of hamburger. The only thing left? A chicken sandwich meal that cost $10.50.

  7. The context of the Bill of Rights speaks definitively…The Amendments, both proceeding and following the 2nd Amendment are addressing individual rights and protections. Drivel about a well regulated militia seems especially disingenuous in the fuller context. If there is enough support to repeal the 2nd Amendment then fine, but don’t pretend there is sound contextual reasoning that suggests the Second Amendment does not provide for an individual right to bear arms.

    1. Drivel about a well regulated militia seems especially disingenuous in the fuller context

      Or we can go back to 1st grade. Understand that the Bill of Rights protected rights of man. Those rights, endowed by our creator, pre existed the realm of England, and for sure pre existed whatever a ‘militia’ might be defined as.

      The Constitution protected all from the Power of the Government formed by The People. Governed, by The People

      To engage in all this academic intellectual masturbation, is to play the game of those with no power. Who can only have the power if it is ceded by The People.

    2. The first ten amendments are “natural rights” Rights that the gov cannot take from us. So they cannot repeal the 2nd, even if they succeeded in doing so, we free men still have the right.

  8. Professor Turley writes, “While there are good-faith objections to how the Second Amendment has been interpreted….” I would like Professor Turley to write an article regarding the good faith objections he is referencing concerning the court ruling recognizing the Second Amendment as encompassing an individual right to bear arms. Professor Turley’s site title is “Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks.” The context of the Bill of Rights seems itself to speak definitively…The Amendments, both proceeding and following the 2nd Amendment are addressing individual rights and protections. Drivel about a well regulated militia seem seem especially disingenuous. If there is enough support to repeal the 2nd Amendment then fine, but don’t pretend there are “good faith objections” to recognizing the Second Amendment as encompassing an individual right to bear arms.

  9. Camela Harris needs to read about the individuals such as the pregnant woman in Florida, who us AR-15s to protect themselves. or the teenage in Oklahoma who used an AR-15 to kill an intruder. and for those who want to ban magazines that carry more than 10 rounds tell that to tthe Florida man whose trailer home was invade by 7 yes 7 perps. a 10 round magazine would not have helped him

    1. It’s impossible to avoid noticing which shootings inspire outrage from Democrats. Not to put a racial tint to it, the shootings that generate the most attention from politicians and the media are the ones that involve a deranged white shooter.

      Shooting events involving black shooters rarely stay in the news for long here There have been 1194 people shot in Chicago so far this year, nearly 80% involving black victims, a pattern than has repeated itself every summer for decades. You don’t hear too much sputtering outrage in the media about that.

      Some days, it takes swim fins to keep our heads above the sewage.

      1. RE:””You don’t hear too much sputtering outrage in the media about that…..”” The U.S. electorate, by its choices, pretty much serves as a red flag for the media and the political establishment as to which way the wind is blowing and how to set their sails to satisfy their agendas. There should be full bore and endless protesting IN CHICAGO about the gun violence in Chicago. The same, AT THE SOUTHERN BORDER, about the unlawful entry of undocumented and unvetted non-citizens. It’s the bur under the saddle which bolts the horse.

  10. The fate of the Constitution of the United States of America hangs in the balance of the actions of the random, iniquitous and infernal spawn of a doubtless illegal alien?

    Where the —- is the American Sleeping Giant?

    Somebody wake him the —- up!

    1. You are it. We are it. We The People are the Sleeping Giant.
      We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
      The power of The People is stronger than the People in Power.
      We The Peope are all being called right now.

      1. The Power of The People is stronger than the People in Power. Including, Klaus Schwab and his Build Back Better, World Economic Forum full of elite psychopaths who intend to take over control of The World.

        One word for Klaus and gang: Nope.

    2. Every time the press quotes Harris — the readers of her idiocy drop several IQ points.

  11. Everyone that is still pushing the ban on “assault weapons. They know they are lying. They know, constitutionally it will not stand. The lie because they can.

    But every time they do lie, it only adds to the evidence Democrats hate the Constitution, and hate the people that vote them. the power they wield.

    All you have to know. Democracts spent months evaluating the skills, talents, experience and intelligence of all the people that would be a good Vice President. They picked Harris.

    1. This whole screed of the left is an abomination. It’s group think flavored with feelings , not facts , truths but good old fashioned knee jerk feelings of the drone group think kind. Reasoning as such is as useless as teats on a bull to any bipartisan discussions going. This pompous one sided and vitriolic one way group think is childish as well as being evil. The moronic left wields this ignorant tactic like a dumb bomb. Pretty much like apes flinging poo when they are agitated in the slightest.
      If you have ever wasted time listening to one of these militant leftists when they go on a verbal diarrhea hate rant you always hear the same vile group think attack filled with talking points and buzz words like a terrets syndrome sufferer bleats out curse words impulsively.
      The left has proven they have contempt for our constitution and wish it gone and replaced with mobocracy. Any uncivil discourse is as such AOK with them to get their filth across in any vile way they choose…they lock ranks and beg to differ they’re hate is not hate because bunk. Bolsheviks by any other definition.

    2. There are numerous studies that conclude the AW ban did nothing to stop gun violence. Even Obama had the CDC conduct a study and they reached the same conclusion. Funny that this study never reached the light of day.

  12. ZZDoc,

    Just like Diogenes, you are evading my question for this reason:

    Currentsitguy was honest enough to admit the logical consequences of NRA’s arguments:

    “Government should have no role or say *whatsoever* in the purchase or ownership of weapons of *any* kind barring felony conviction or being judged incompetent by medical examination” (my emphasis)

    Do you agree with disagree with Currentsitguy?

    Tough choice isn’t it?

    1. What people, primarily progressives, miss is that I can have a fully functioning tank- or a rotary minigun, and be absolutely no danger to the public. (And in fact there are a number of private citizens with such weapons, authorized by the ATF to have them).

      What matters is not that we ban all weapons or even weapons of war. What matters is that we carefully vet those allowed to have such weapons. Example:

      The NICS instant background check system turns away thousands of felons attempting to purchase firearms each year. It is a felony to even ATTEMPT to purchase a firearm if you are a felon yet only about 5% are ever charged. Why are we not taking these criminals off the streets?

      Additionally there has been at least two mass shootings where the perps SHOULD have been on the NICS list but weren’t because local law enforcement and the mental / judicial system was lax in reporting.

      Finally as an example. Blacks, just 13% of the population, account for 56% of murder VICTIMS, 86% by other blacks. 60% of all violent crime arrests. A rate FIVE TIMES their representation in society. Blacks also have a 70% single mother birthrate, 60% of those children grow up with no father. Think there is a connection there?

      We have a black-on-black genocide occurring and nobody cares about root causes – if anything is racist, considering members of a race as expendable because the roots of their crime problem is too complex for your lazy mind to handle is racist.

      The Texas shooter came from a broken home, drug addict mother, raised by grandparents. Nothing tells a child “I love you” more than being emotionally neglected in favor of their mother’s next heroin fix. Any wonder such children think nothing of offing innocents when they themselves are treated as expendable?

      So before we go off the cliff and normalize taking away Constitutional rights explicitly described as “shall not be infringed”, lets solve THOSE problems first.

      1. RE:””So before we go off the cliff and normalize taking away Constitutional rights explicitly described as “shall not be infringed”, lets solve THOSE problems first…….”” Brian, you may have read my exchanges with Jeff. Jeff has already pontificated to the effect that he knows what my position is on the question on the basis of inference alone. He suffers from ‘last word’ syndrome. I’ve opted out of any further exchange of ideas with him. He suffers from an unmet need which is fed by these which I choose to no longer nurture.

        1. I’ve opted out of any further exchange of ideas with him. He suffers from an unmet need which is fed by these which I choose to no longer nurture.

          You are new here though perhaps a quick learner. Professor Turley requests that readers ignore trolls. Since youre a physician, I think, you might appreciate any number of articles cited on PubMed, many of which have been referenced on here many times by me. I provided newer ones below from PubMed. The literature is growing and staggering as to the prevalence and incidence of these Dark Triad personality disorder trolls.

          Jeff comments on here as early as 6 am EST. He has stated he lives in San Francisco region, which is unlikely since he lies. If true he lives in SF, that means he lives in the PST zone, like Olly and Young, two honest regular commenters on here. Jeff comments till late in the evening. His message is the same day after day, much like Natacha, Svelaz, Sammy, Dennis, Enigma, etc, as if out of a playbook. That is because their playbook is provided to them by Act Blue, a Leftwing political action committee funded in part by George Soros. Act Blue was founded, IIRC, by David Brock, a rabid Clinton supporter once accused by John Podesta as being batsh|t crazy.

          Jeff has been playing you but it appears you have learned your lesson. If only the half dozen prolific commenters on here who engage these trolls, also respected Professor Turley’s request, and not feed the trolls. Alas they too have an unmet need. It is our new normal, sadly.


          Kristinsdottir KH, Gylfason HF, Sigurvinsdottir R. Narcissism and Social Media: The Role of Communal Narcissism. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Sep 26;18(19):10106. doi: 10.3390/ijerph181910106. PMID: 34639406; PMCID: PMC8508105.

          Gylfason HF, Sveinsdottir AH, Vésteinsdóttir V, Sigurvinsdottir R. Haters Gonna Hate, Trolls Gonna Troll: The Personality Profile of a Facebook Troll. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 May 26;18(11):5722. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18115722. PMID: 34073523; PMCID: PMC8199376.

          March E, Steele G. High Esteem and Hurting Others Online: Trait Sadism Moderates the Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Internet Trolling. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2020 Jul;23(7):441-446. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2019.0652. Epub 2020 May 4. PMID: 32364769.

          Buckels EE, Trapnell PD, Andjelovic T, Paulhus DL. Internet trolling and everyday sadism: Parallel effects on pain perception and moral judgment. J Pers. 2019 Apr;87(2):328-340. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12393. Epub 2018 Aug 14. PMID: 29663396.

          Kircaburun K, Griffiths MD. The dark side of internet: Preliminary evidence for the associations of dark personality traits with specific online activities and problematic internet use. J Behav Addict. 2018 Dec 1;7(4):993-1003. doi: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.109. Epub 2018 Nov 14. PMID: 30427212; PMCID: PMC6376394.

          1. RE:”Jeff has been playing you but it appears you have learned your lesson…..” Thanks for the heads up and the reading list. I’ll give it a go. Jeff’s ‘thing’ became more apparent, not so much from my ‘call and response’ with him, but what I gleaned from his exchanges with others. The fact that he kept ‘pushing’ was evidence enough that there was no interest in an exchange of ideas which reached a conclusion.

          2. RE: “Reading list’…..An interesting group of papers, Thank you. My conclusion about him, “He suffers from an unmet need which I choose to no longer nurture” was spot on.

  13. Hey, Vice President Harris, why not just pass a law making murder illegal!

    1. That should take care of it. But while we’re at it, let’s also pass a law making everything illegal that, you don’t have a note from your mommy saying it’s alright for you to participate in.

  14. You can attempt to educate the ignorant, and call the liars out, but if they don’t catch on quickly, leave them in the dust. Article 5 Convention of States can’t happen soon enough. There is such ignorance among the people. Rinos pretend they don’t have a clue about rigged election machines, ballot-harvesting, and run-of-the-mill bribery, they are boldface liars. They are not merely stupid, but intentionally evil, the globalists/socialists, REGARDLESS of the political party they belong to. It used to be that politicians declared their party’s platform, and their positions on it. Now, most lie to your face. Actions speak louder than words don’t they? Don’t be afraid, but get angry, and take positive, effective action. Start with the truth, and beat them about their heads with it.

  15. Everything that Russia does is a slap in the face to international law and order, so Russia
    should be kicked out of the United Nations.

    1. Brilliant, just brilliant. The only reason we host the UN in the US is it makes it easier to bug their rooms and spy on them. When you have some idea what’s actually going on, please feel free to come back and get educated.

  16. “While it does more damage than a typical handgun”. I think I’d take my chances being hit by a .223 round than by my Model 1911 .45 ACP

    1. You would choose unwisely. Due to its high velocity, (3200 fps), the shockwave preceding the .223 pulverizes tissue 30 times its size. This tissue is no longer viable. The .45 acp, with its comparatively sedate velocity of 800-1200 fps generally destroys only what the metal contacts. Unless it strikes bone, the metal of a .223 does not even come into contact with tissue.

  17. I am sick and tired of sleazy, ignorant politicians trying to ban “assault weapons” when they have no idea what they’re talking about. I am also tired of seeing legal gun owners being blamed for the actions of sick criminals. Kamal Harris should shut her mouth. She had no problem condoning the violence of BLM and Antifa rioters and even started a bail fund for them. Many of the recipients of her largesse were criminals who had previous arrests for murder. Now to see her mouthing off on this school shooting advocating for weapons bans instead of enforcing our existing gun laws is just a slap in the face to those grieving parents.

  18. What these colossal idiots don’t seem to understand is that the 2nd Amendment (the entire Constitution actually) was not written for the people. It was written for the government. It is a command, in no uncertain terms, that the government is limited in its powers to only those things expressly given to it in the Constitution. Nothing more. When you come to understand that on a fundamental level, you’ll be amazed at all of the unconstitutional shit this government is doing; illegally I might add.

    1. Close call, but my vote is for ‘Guam might capsize or tip over’ Hank what’s his name.

    2. They are self serving sacks of trash!! From the liberal to the Rino!! Many republicans are heading in a bad direction. I’ve gotten where I can’t stomach any of them. I’m waiting to see the republicans that many on the right see as decent, start siding with the left on gun control. We need idiot control!! Not gun control! If gun control starts getting tighter, there is a bunch of people in our country that won’t be happy!!!! Second amendment is a constitutional/ fundamental right! Period end of story! The left simply thinks the bill of rights can change. They often say the 2nd amendment didn’t mean that weapon or that weapon… sTFU already! The left is a mental disease. Centrist/ conservatives can’t live with the left! They have ruined our country enough! They stand against everything good and decent.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks
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