Biden: The Second Amendment Isn't 'Absolute'

'Give me a break.'

August 10, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Saturday claimed none of the amendments to the Constitution are "absolute" while discussing the Second Amendment.

Biden made the remarks while participating in Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund's Presidential Gun Sense Forum in Des Moines, Iowa.

"The Second Amendment — no amendment is in fact absolute," Biden said. "You cannot stand up in this hall and yell fire. That's not freedom of speech because they know the consequence of yelling fire: There'll be a stampede, and someone will get hurt."

The former Vice President also noted how the national conversation about gun control has changed, adding he has witnessed "a movement" toward change, according to the Washington Examiner.

"Folks, don't apologize at all about the Second Amendment," said Biden, explaining how the amendment allows for limitations. "These guys will tell you, 'the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots.' Give me a break."

The quote he was mocking comes from Thomas Jefferson, who, Biden named one of his favorite presidents. Still, he continued disparaging the idea that the Second Amendment exists in part to help people resist tyranny.

"Can you go out and buy a flamethrower? Can you go out and buy an F-15?" he continued. "If you want to protect yourself against the federal government, you’re going to need at least an F-15."

During a campaign event on Thursday, Biden called for a ban on assault weapons and said there should be a limit on the amount of ammunition a person can own, WeAreIowa reported.

"It violates no one’s Second Amendment right to say that you can’t own certain weapons," Biden said.

"We can get it done, and we can get background checks done," Biden continued. "We can get it done because the public is finally at the point where they are sick of it … I’ve got it done once before and I can get it done again."

Biden was also critical of President Donald Trump's response to the two mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas last weekend, claiming, "Everything the president says and has done encourages white supremacists."

"Unlike Trump, I know there’s a Constitution," Biden said when questioned whether his proposal was legal through executive action. "In terms of dealing with the core issue of getting assault weapons off the street, limiting the number of bullets that could be in a single clip, that requires legislation."