(Video: Fox News)
Legal expert Jonathan Turley called out President Joe Biden for spreading “disinformation” by repeating a “clearly false statement about the Second Amendment.”
The George Washington University Law School professor reacted on Fox News to comments Biden had made on his return from visiting Uvalde, Texas, over the weekend, in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where 19 children and 2 adults were killed by an armed 18-year-old.
“There’s a real chilling effect on people talking about the facts of gun control. You know, people want to suggest that you can simply legislate away gun violence. That’s not going to happen,” Turley said on “Fox News Live” Monday.
“There’s 400 million weapons in this country, 15 million of which are estimated to be AR-15s. But it also is a fact that when we banned assault weapons for that earlier period there was not an appreciable decrease in gun violence associated with it. So we can have what the president calls a common-sense discussion, but we need to be able to deal with it on a factual rather than purely rhetorical way,” he added, saying that this has “got to start with the president.”
Turley blasted Biden’s comments that “the Second Amendment was never absolute” and for telling reporters that one simply “couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed.”
“Today he repeated a clearly false statement about the Second Amendment. Many of us have repeatedly said that his statement that you could not own a cannon or other weapons when the Second Amendment was ratified is untrue,” Turley, a Constitutional scholar said. “Even The Washington Post admitted it’s untrue and yet the president keeps on repeating that as a defense for his call for gun control. He’s undermining his own case by repeating what is, ironically, disinformation.”
As he returned to the White House after the weekend trip to Uvalde, Biden spoke about being “motivated” to push gun control legislation.
“I’ve been pretty motivated all along,” he told reporters before remarking about the “palpable” pain the Uvalde community is feeling and how he has not “been negotiating with any of the Republicans yet, and I deliberately did not engage in a debate about that with any Republican” while in Texas.
(Video: Associated Press)
“I know that it makes no sense to be able to purchase something that can fire up to 300 rounds,” Biden continued.
“And, remember, the constitution, the Second Amendment was never absolute,” he said. “You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed and you couldn’t go out and purchase a lot of weapons.”
Biden has previously made the same declaration about not being able to purchase certain weapons at the time the Second Amendment was ratified and has claimed that “the Second Amendment is not absolute.”
“That is simply untrue,” Turley wrote last week, adding that it is “factually and legally untrue” that Americans could not own a cannon in the nation’s early days.
…Biden has repeatedly defended his plans for banning certain weapon types based on his false understanding of the scope and history of the Second Amendment.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) May 30, 2022
“Once again, there were no federal laws barring cannon ownership when the Second Amendment was enacted. Gun laws remained local matters and I do not know of any bans on cannons or other gun types until much later in our history. Early local laws did control concealed weapons, though concealed cannons were not part of those ordinances,” Turley wrote.
“As with the failure to acknowledge the limitations on the range of legislative options due to Second Amendment protections, President Biden is undermining efforts to reach common ground with this repeated false claim,” Turley concluded. “If we are going to reach what the President calls ‘commonsense’ responses to this massacre, we must start from a common understanding of the constitutional and historical foundations for such reforms.”
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