It could be argued that fact-checking President Joe Biden isn’t all that hard of a job, as he tends to tell the same debunked stories over and over – seemingly unaware, or simply not caring that his tall tales have been repeatedly fact-checked.
Yet, on Tuesday evening, as Fox News reported, President Biden had the Second Amendment in his political crosshairs again as he spoke at a fundraising event in a private residence in California.
Biden was arguably playing to the crowd – a point that is no different from how former President Donald Trump continues to speak of a stolen election despite the lack of evidence.
It could be argued that both men simply tell their followers what they want/expect to hear.
Second Amendment Disinformation
Joe Biden has long engaged in a practice of what can only be described as “disinformation” when it comes to the Second Amendment, and he used some past “material” while speaking to his high-ticket donors on Tuesday.
Let’s review the key points that the president made, which were also published by the White House:
“There’s a lot of things we can change, because the American people by and large agree you don’t need a weapon of war. I’m a Second Amendment guy. I taught it for four years, six years in law school. And guess what? It doesn’t say that you can own any weapon you want. It says there are certain weapons that you just can’t own. Even during when it was passed, you couldn’t own a cannon. You can’t own a machine gun.… No, I’m serious.”
The president then continued, “You know, I love these guys who say the Second Amendment is — you know, the tree of liberty is water with the blood of patriots. Well, if [you] want to do that, you want to work against the government, you need an F-16. You need something else than just an AR-15.”
That was a bit of a switch-up as Joe Biden previously suggested it was an F-15 you’d need – but he may have the F-16 Fighting Falcon at the front of his thoughts as he’s considering providing the aircraft to Ukraine.
The president also tried to imply that the cost of the AR-15 is what makes it popular today.
“You know one of the reasons why the AR-15 is so strongly supported by so many folks in that — in that industry? Number one, it’s the cheapest weapon to make and it’s the highest profit motive they have for any weapon that is made. It makes more money to sell an AR-15 than any other weapon you can buy,” Biden suggested.
Fact-Checking Biden’s Statements
Much of what Biden said is pure hyperbole. Of course, that doesn’t mean any of it is actually true. First, there is no evidence that Biden “taught” the Second Amendment at any point.
As the fact check website Snopes.com noted, “U.S. President Joe Biden once held an honorary professor position at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), from 2017-2021, after being vice president in Barack Obama’s administration. However, he did not teach a semester’s worth of courses; he primarily gave talks and lectures to students, and he led the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C.”
In addition, Biden did serve as an adjunct professor at Widener University Delaware Law School for 17 years, where he spoke at the Delaware and Chester campuses and served as the speaker at three commencements. There is no record that he ever taught any courses related to the Second Amendment, and it isn’t something that most law students ever studied in depth. In fact, it has only been in recent years that there is any discussion about it today.
Moving on to his Second Amendment claims, it may not spell out “that you can own any weapon you want,” but it also doesn’t say “there are certain weapons you just can’t own.” Moreover, it is an outright lie to suggest individuals couldn’t own cannons in the past. This has never been the case in our nation’s history.
Cannons could be and still can be owned by private citizens.
As far as a machine gun, those too are legal to own in 37 states provided the individual undergoes a deep background check conducted by the ATF that requires fingerprinting and photos. The process takes upwards of one year and requires the buyer to pay a $200 transfer fee to acquire a tax stamp to possess the firearm.
The president is also being disingenuous when it comes to the cost to produce an AR-15. It has been reported that some firearms, such as classic revolvers that are forged from steel can cost a lot more to produce today – yet there remains a market for those as well modern handguns that are made of polymer plastics, and which are cheaper to produce.
Even as prices have continued to go up consumers have purchased more than a million firearms monthly for nearly 50 months in a row – that suggests there are a lot of supporters for the Second Amendment. They’re not being forced to buy the firearms. Likewise, trucks continue to see strong sales, but the president hasn’t dared to speak out about that, even as he pushes for electric vehicles. The difference is that he needs the votes of union autoworkers, and knows that the firearms industry has largely fled all the blue states!
Taken as a whole, Biden has no real argument in calling for gun control – and instead continues to resort to disinformation and outright lies on the subject.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.