Vice President Kamala Harris recently attended the funeral of Ruth Whitfield, an 86-year-old Buffalo woman who died in a mass shooting that left 9 others dead.
Yet instead of staying focused on offering comfort, Harris crossed the line by pushing political talking points.
“Let’s have an assault weapons ban”
That was evident from comments she made to reporters at Buffalo Niagara International Airport concerning “assault weapons.”
“You know what an assault weapon is? … It was designed for a specific purpose: to kill a lot of human beings quickly.”
US Vice President Kamala Harris calls for an assault weapons ban in the wake of mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo this month. pic.twitter.com/1BnrZKfhIj
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) May 29, 2022
“We are not sitting around waiting to figure out what the solution looks like,” Harris insisted. “You know, we’re not looking for a vaccine. We know what works on this. Let’s have an assault weapons ban.”
“You know what an assault weapon is?” the vice president continued, adding, “You know how an assault weapon was designed?”
“It was designed for a specific purpose,” she went on, “to kill a lot of human beings quickly. An assault weapon is a weapon of war with no place, no place in a civil society.”
Harris did not provide a definition for the term “assault weapon.” However, if she understands it to mean a semiautomatic rifle then the facts don’t fit with her claim.
Statistics don’t support Harris’ claim
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, semiautomatic rifles are among the most commonly sold firearms in America.
Despite this, FBI figures show that in 2019 (the last year for which complete data is available), only 364 people were murdered using rifles of any kind. This hardly seems consistent with a weapon that has the “specific purpose” of killing “a lot of human beings quickly.”
Nor do incidents in which victims have made use of semiautomatic rifles to ward off criminal mobs. Examples of such bloodless deterrence were seen during the 1992 L.A. riots as well as in the unrest following George Floyd’s death.
Of course, Harris is far from alone in using solemn occasions to promote her agenda. Last week, Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke showed up at a press conference where parents of the Uvalde victims were present to attack Gov. Greg Abbott.