For two days, Vice President Joe Biden has insisted that the assault weapons ban can still pass, even after the Senate dropped it. He has three reasons to keep making noise.
For the second day in a row, Vice President Joe Biden made an emotional plea for gun-control legislation – including an assault weapons ban that Senate majority leader Harry Reid has already removed from the bill, saying it can’t pass.
Speaking Thursday alongside Michael Bloomberg, New York mayor and antigun activist, Vice President Biden asserted that some of the victims of last December’s Newtown, Conn., massacre might be alive today had those restrictions been in place.
“For all those who say we shouldn't and can't ban assault weapons, for all those who say the politics is too hard,” Biden said at City Hall in New York, accompanied also by parents of Newtown victims, “how can they say that when you take a look at those 20 beautiful babies and what happened to them and those six teachers and administrators?”
The day before, Biden told NPR he’s not giving up on an assault-weapons ban.
“We are still pushing that it pass,” said Biden, a former senator. “The same thing was told to me when the first assault weapons ban in 1994 was attached to the Biden crime bill – that it couldn’t possibly pass.”
The ban did eventually pass, and was in place for 10 years, before it expired in 2004.
But why is Biden still pushing so hard for something the top Democrat in the Senate says can’t pass, and will not be part of the gun-control package that goes before Congress after the Easter recess? Senator Reid said Tuesday the assault weapons ban didn’t even have 40 votes, out of 60 needed to overcome a filibuster.
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said Tuesday that Feinstein could still get her vote by bringing up the assault-weapons ban as an amendment to another bill.
“We’re going to work on this, we’re going to find the votes, and it deserves a vote,” Mr. McDonough said on CNN. “Let’s see if we can get it done.”