Monday, August 14, 2023

Harris Asserts 'False Choice' Between Gun Laws and Second Amendment in Chicago Address

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks with Mongolia’s Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai at her ceremonial office, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, on the White House campus in Washington, U.S., August 2, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Wurm/File Photo

On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris of the United States engaged in another contentious topic in American politics ahead of the 2024 re-election campaign. She expressed her solidarity with those advocating for an end to gun violence, and lambasted opponents of gun control for their "duplicity."

Assuming a more confrontational stance as the re-election campaign of President Joe Biden gains momentum, Harris criticized Republicans for obstructing proposed Democratic gun control measures. She argued that such changes would not infringe on the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms. "Some individuals are merely presenting a misleading dilemma… that you must either support the Second Amendment or desire to confiscate all guns," she asserted.

She further remarked at a Chicago gathering hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety, a group opposing gun violence, "The very same individuals who adamantly decline to enter a substantive discussion on this matter, or to enact sensible legislation, are the same ones who constantly preach about responsibility. Their hypocrisy is blatant."

The right of Americans to "keep and bear arms," as necessitated by a "well-regulated militia," is safeguarded by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Gun rights organizations have resisted legislative efforts to limit those rights, viewing them as a violation of the Constitution. This resistance persists despite the fact that a majority of Americans support stricter gun regulations.

Last year, President Biden enacted the first significant federal gun reform in several years and sought additional executive measures on this issue. However, efforts to reinstate a ban on standard-capacity and semiautomatic "assault" firearms have been stymied, even as the country has seen an "Increase in mass shootings," since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harris delivered her remarks at Everytown's "Gun Sense University" in Chicago. This annual event attracts activists and survivors of gun violence, many affiliated with the influential "Moms Demand Action" group, for education and political strategizing.

The Biden campaign anticipates that widespread outrage over gun violence may galvanize young voters, and sees their engagement as essential for securing another presidential term. They intend to increasingly utilize Harris to connect with this demographic, as per someone privy to their strategies.

Harris addressed the young attendees, saying, "Your generation is vital. We depend on you. We need you," amid enthusiastic applause.

On Thursday, Biden's 2024 re-election campaign received endorsements from four prominent gun safety organizations, including Everytown, thereby facilitating contributions from these groups' political action committees.

Everytown was established by former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who allocated $1 billion to his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign before emerging as the principal contributor to Biden and other Democrats.

19-year-old Makayla Jordan, affiliated with Students Demand Action, noted that mass shootings are merely one aspect of America's chronic gun violence issue. She highlighted that the risk of being shot en route to school was more prevalent than in-school shootings for many Black children.

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