Juan Williams defends calls for ‘assault weapons’ ban: ‘The American people agree with Biden on this one’

One of Fox News’ resident liberals, Juan Williams, has delivered a full-throated defense of President Joe Biden’s call for all so-called “assault weapons” to be banned.

Speaking this Friday on Fox News’s “Special Report,” Williams was asked by fill-in host Gillian Turner for his thoughts on the president’s otherwise widely-panned call.

Listen:

“Well, I think the president is reflecting a sort of a national frustration, but his frustration in specific, remember, he was behind a previous ban on semi-automatic weapons in the 90s. Today, Gillian, it’s still the case that universal background checks and a ban on semi-automatic weapons is favored by a majority of the American people,” Williams replied.

This is true, according to polling data, though the polls admittedly aren’t always accurate.

“But Congress won’t act, and the Supreme Court, in fact, is going in the other direction, saying that state and local restrictions on open carry, stand your ground, all those are violations of the Second Amendment. I mean, the argument is the Second Amendment,” Williams continued.

“You know, do you think that the Founders really had in mind people having weapons that are best intended for a battlefield, you know, in the hands of private people? I mean, that’s the argument. The American people agree with President Biden on this one,” he added.

The remarks came only days after the latest set of mass shootings, one of which occurred at a gay nightclub.

Following the Colorado Springs nightclub mass shooting that left five dead, Biden issued a lengthy statement excoriating guns and particularly “assault weapons.”

“When will we decide we’ve had enough? We must address the public health epidemic of gun violence in all of its forms. Earlier this year, I signed the most significant gun safety law in nearly three decades, in addition to taking other historic actions. But we must do more. We need to enact an assault weapons ban to get weapons of war off America’s streets,” he said.

A couple of days later on Thanksgiving, he doubled down on this sentiment, telling reporters, “The idea we still allow semiautomatic weapons to be purchased is sick. It’s just sick. It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers.”

This prompted a reporter to ask whether he has the power to “do anything about gun laws” as a lame-duck president.

“I will try. … I will try to get rid of assault weapons,” the president replied.

Listen:

That being said, the president’s chances of being able to push through a ban on so-called “assault weapons” are extremely slim.

Even now, with the House and Senate both still in his control, he nevertheless lacks the votes to pass any sort of draconian legislation.

“A 60-vote threshold in the Senate means some Republicans must be on board. Most are steadfastly opposed, arguing it would be too complicated, especially as sales and varieties of the firearms have proliferated. There are many more types of these high-powered guns today than in 1994, when the ban was signed into law by President Bill Clinton,” the Associated Press notes.

“I’d rather not try to define a whole group of guns as being no longer available to the American public. For those of us who have grown up with guns as part of our culture, and we use them as tools — there’s millions of us, there’s hundreds of millions of us — that use them lawfully,” Sen. Mike Rounds, a Republican, said to the AP.

David Warrington, the chairman and general counsel of the National Association for Gun Rights, added, “We feel pretty confident, even despite the arguments made by the other side, that history and tradition as well as the text of the Second Amendment are on our side.”

Speaking on “Special Report” this Friday alongside Williams, former Trump administration official Morgan Ortagus also warned of the difficulties inherent in pushing such controversial legislation.

“He’s going to run into a problem if you just look at this from a political perspective. And it’s not in the Republican House. I’m sure there will be issues there, but you would actually even have issues in the Senate,” she said.

“If you look at the ’24 calendar, if you look at this in political terms, you have [Jon] Tester up in Montana. You have Sherrod Brown even up in Ohio, which is a red state. And you have [Joe] Manchin up in West Virginia,” she added.

Ortagus also slammed the president for just now, at the last moment, trying to ban “assault weapons.”

“If President Biden believed it so passionately … he had both branches of Congress and the presidency over the past two years and didn’t do anything about it. So I’m not sure how much passionately he believes it. … So if he wanted to get something done about this, he had the past two years to do it. And now he would have problems in his Democratic Senate, not to mention the Republican House,” she said.

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