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Kamala Harris Declares War on Guns

Whether Kamala Harris can stay on message remains to be seen, but she appears to have found a message that Democrats think can be effective.

Kamala Harris. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris speaking with attendees at the 2019 National Forum on Wages and Working People hosted by the Center for the American Progress Action Fund and the SEIU at the Enclave in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Kamala Harris Takes Aim at NRA and Guns: The National Rifle Association’s convention in Indianapolis was in Vice President Kamala Harris’ crosshairs during a speech before the non-profit civil-rights group the National Action Network back in April.

The speech, at the time, could be seen as a start to the 2024 campaign season on the Democratic side. 

MSNBC host and activist Al Sharpton founded the group in 1991.  

What Did Kamala Harris Say? 

Her speech marked a clear departure from the rambling and incoherent statements she made that landed her in hot water with Democrats and Republicans alike.

It was clear and focused, and filled the vice presidential attack dog role.

Kamala Harris ridiculed the convention slogan about freedom asking “freedom for who?”? She noted that it was not freedom for gun-violence victims or their families.

“This is not for the parents who pray their children will come home from school safe,” Harris said.

 She claimed that 150 mass shootings had occurred across the country since January 1 through April and invoked the mass shootings in Nashville; in Buffalo; and in Uvalde, Texas. 

“Gun violence is now the number one cause of death of children in our nation,” she said. “And while all this violence impacts all communities in devastating ways, we know it does not do so equally. Black people are only 13% of America’s population but more than 60% of homicide victims from gun violence.”

FBI statistics also show that the number of black offenders in homicides is significantly higher. In 2019, the last year for which national statistics are available shows that 55.9% offenders in gun crimes were black compared with 41.1% who were white. 

Republican candidates, including Donald Trump and Nikki Haley and potential candidates such as Mike Pence and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke. 

She returned to her defense of the protesters who took over the Tennessee legislative chamber, calling the expulsion of two Democratic legislators “an attempt to silence the voices of the people.”

“The voice of the people was too much for these extremists to handle,” Harris said. “It was too much. They couldn’t bear it.”

Team Biden Goes on the Offensive for Gun Control 

This comes as the Biden administration hopes to win points for 2024 and to pressure congressional Republicans who stand in the way of the administration’s gun-control measures.

Back in March, President Joe Biden signed an executive order with the goal of increasing the number of background checks firearm purchasers must endure before buying a gun. It also aims to increase the number of red flag orders designed to take firearms from the hands of those deemed unfit to carry a gun. 

Statistics show that a large number of mass shooters passed background checks. A National Institute of Justice report found that 77% of shooters between 1966 and 2019 legally purchased their firearms.

The president recently renewed his call for a ban of semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 that automatically reload each time the trigger is pulled. 

“In our communities across our nation, let us declare enough is enough,” Harris said. “Enough is enough.”

Gun control and race are clear wedge issues where Democrats believe they can persuade younger voters. 

“But the Tennessee Three said, ‘All right, let’s pull out that bullhorn because we will be heard.’(Applause.)  And they channeled the cries and the pleas and the demands of the people, and required that those voices be heard,” Harris said. “And then what happened?  For only the fourth time in nearly 160 years, there was a vote there in Tennessee to expel elected legislators from their seats — two young Black men.

Harris continued: “But 7,000 students and parents continued to march and organize and raise their voices.  And now, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson are back in their seats! That’s right. The people spoke.  The people spoke.”  

Whether Harris can stay on message remains to be seen, but she appears to have found a message that Democrats think can be effective.

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Written By

John Rossomando is a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics,, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator,, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award in 2008 for his reporting.