Biden: Constitution Doesn't Say 'Anyone Can Own a Weapon,' Each Amendment Has a 'Limitation'
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, said that U.S. Constitution does not allow "anyone" to own a weapon and does not give citizens the right to buy "any kind of weapon" they want because every amendment has limitations.
Biden positioned himself as the only Democratic candidate who took on the National Rifle Association nationally and won, citing the temporary assault weapons ban that was passed when former President Bill Clinton was in office. It expired under former President George W. Bush and Congress did not renew it when former President Barack Obama was in office.
"Every single solitary amendment has a limitation on it. Now, the limitation that exists on the Second Amendment is, nowhere does it say you can own any kind of weapon you want. Nowhere does it say anyone can own a weapon. And those who say, and maybe some do, that the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots, meaning you've got to be able to have enough power to take on your government — well, you need an F-15, you need an M1 tank, you need flame throwers, you need bazookas. No, I'm serious, if that's the rationale," Biden said during a campaign town hall in Rock Hill, S.C. on Thursday.
"That has not been the rationale for the Second Amendment in most scholars' view but here's the deal: we've always been able to say certain people should not own a weapon. A person who in fact beats and abuses his wife and is convicted of it should not be able to get a weapon. A person who has engaged in violence should not be able to get a weapon. A terrorist should not be able to purchase a weapon. I could go on the list -- that's why universal background checks are absolutely required and they do not violate anyone's Second Amendment right," he added.
Biden argued that a shotgun is a better defense against home intruders than semi-automatic weapons. He recalled conversations he had with constituents about gun rights when he was a U.S. senator from Delaware.
"I said you need a hundred rounds to go deer hunting man? I said you must be one hell of a lousy shot. You need an AR-15?" Biden said. "I said you want to be protected in your home; you don't need an AR-15, you don't need an assault weapon, you don't even know how to fire it very well."
He continued, "If you want to keep someone away from your door and they're coming, have a 12-gauge shotgun and blow a hole in your door. I promise they'll go away. An assault weapon is not the thing that's going to do it for them."
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