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March 27, 2024

Vice President Harris Marks Parkland Tragedy Anniversary with Political Gun Grab

By Matt Manda

Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Parkland, Fla., to mark the anniversary of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy when a known deranged murderer killed 17 innocent Americans and injured 17 more.

The vice president, understanding full-time campaign season is underway, used the occasion to push a political agenda and peddle more gun control.

Despite the numerous failures to prevent the tragedy from happening, as well as the failures during the heinous incident, the vice president stuck to her scripted talking points and offered up a wish list of failed – and unconstitutional – gun control laws.

Not everyone agreed or respected her for doing so – including parents of Parkland victims.

New ‘Red Flag’ Push

After walking the halls of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to mark the solemn occasion, Vice President Harris jumped into the gun control push by announcing a federal effort to coordinate with states to push so-called “red flag” laws. The announcement included that The White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which is staffed by former gun control lobbyists who still closely coordinate with gun control activist groups. Vice President Harris launched the National Extreme Risk Protection Resource Center, a new office to be housed in the Department of Justice (DOJ). That office would provide $750 million of taxpayer money to coordinate only with the 21 states that already implement their own “red flag” laws.

“Of the 21 [states] that have passed red flag laws, I challenge the others to come on over,” the vice president said. “We got some resources for you to help you implement the work that you have done that has been the work of a leader on this tragic issue.”

These “red flag” laws allow law enforcement or other officials to confiscate firearms from individuals who have been accused of potentially being a threat to themselves or others but haven’t been accused of a crime. Those laws are also devoid of any Due Process considerations, which would allow for anyone subject to them to challenge and refute evidence before a judge. These laws are ripe for abuse as anyone can accuse someone as being a threat to themselves or others and their Constitutional rights can be denied without first going before a judge. NSSF hasn’t opposed “red flag” laws, so long as they include Due Process considerations. To date, none of those laws have these protections.

Not Well Received

Not everyone who was directly impacted by the Parkland tragedy agrees with the vice president. Ryan Petty, whose 14-year-old daughter Alaina was murdered in the tragedy, had some choice words for Vice President Harris.

“Stop using my daughter as a photo op!,” Petty posted on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter. He told Fox News the vice president’s visit was a “slap in the face” to parents who have worked to find solutions to schools that do not include “infringement on Second Amendment rights.”

“The vice president and the White House’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention made it very clear to families early on that nothing short of new gun control was going to satisfy them in protecting our nation’s schools,” said Petty, who now sits on the Florida State Board of Education. “There are so many ways that we can protect our kids and our teachers at school that don’t require the infringement on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners around the country. But the vice president and the Office of Gun Violence Prevention don’t want to hear any of those solutions. What they want to do is create an opportunity for the vice president to spout gun control talking points at a site that, quite frankly, is hallowed ground at this point.”

Petty has been an outspoken supporter of NSSF’s Real Solutions. Safer Communities® efforts that focus on impactful initiatives that prevent tragedies while respecting Second Amendment rights.

Gun Control Laundry List

The announcement for the “red flag” law federal office and taxpayer funding for it wasn’t the only gun control policy Vice President Harris rattled off. If ever the president or vice president are given the chance, they make sure to call for several of their favorite gun control policies.

“Inspired by the community’s courage, let us find it within ourselves to do more. We know what works: Universal background checks. Red flag laws. An assault weapons ban. Now, legislators must act,” Vice President posted on X.

Taken individually, legislators have acted on these policies, or more appropriately have acted to stop these flawed policies from passing.

Universal background checks on all firearm sales and transfers is an unworkable scheme ripe for government abuse that is only possible with the implementation of a national firearm ownership registry. Universal background checks on private-party firearm transactions not only impose heavy regulatory burdens on federally licensed retailers, but they would also require a national gun registry, which is unlawful, have no effect on criminals, pose a confiscation risk for law-abiding gun owners and open retailers up to unprecedented liability exposure.

What’s most glaring is the so-called “assault weapons” ban the president, vice president and gun control legislators in federal, state and local offices continue to call for has been rejected by the American people. That includes during the first two years of the Biden-Harris administration, in which the president’s party held control of the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate and the White House. Not even all members of the Democratic-controlled Senate supported a new “assault weapons” ban and it failed.

At the same time, opposition to a federal ban on Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) reached new highs while Americans also purchased more MSRs than ever before. There are more than 28 million MSRs in circulation. Even as the FBI’s crime data shows, all rifles are used in a small fraction of firearm homicides and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admitted the previous ban that expired in 2004 didn’t reduce crime. NSSF data shows just the opposite: as MSR ownership has increased, violent crime has trended lower.

The Biden administration called the firearm industry “the enemy” and treats lawful and responsible gun owners like second-class citizens. The vice president had her gun control ploy in mind before her visit to Parkland and used the occasion for a political public relations stunt. The reaction from those closest to the victims, such as Petty and others, showed there are alternative real solutions that have real impact and proven results. The political theatrics were an unsurprising low blow.

You may also be interested in:

Father of Parkland Victim Encourages Gun Owners to Head to Their Local Range

Universal Background Checks

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