Meet an Anti-Gun Senate Candidate: JD Vance

The Ohio GOP Senate candidate got the highest possible rating from the National Rifle Association and wants to “ABOLISH the ATF.”

Although he once supported some efforts to combat gun violence, Republican Senate candidate from Ohio, JD Vance, now presents himself as a vocal opponent of ‘gun hoarders’ in government or industry. private.

Author and venture capitalist “Hillbilly Elegy” is running for the open seat of retired Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). As a candidate, he abandoned his previous positions on several issues, including laws to temporarily disarm dangerous individuals, and now stands as a hardline conservative on social issues such as gun safety and Abortion. Vance even tweeted a photo of himself bringing his toddler to a gun show last September.

Former President Donald Trump has approved Advance in the race. His Democratic opponent is Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), who has pushed for background checks and expanded laws to prevent would-be criminals from having guns. Last month, Ryan voted for a bipartisan compromise package to address gun violence, explaining“While this legislation isn’t perfect, it’s a huge step in the right direction to address the ever-present threat of gun violence in America. It’s just the beginning.”

A spokesperson for Vance did not respond to an inquiry into his story. But a review of his positions reveals continued opposition to even widely popular proposals to reduce armed violence.

Funded by the National Rifle Association

While Vance does no mention for his support of the National Rifle Association on his website, the firearms group June deposit with the Federal Election Commission reveals that she directly contributed $4,950 from her political action committee to Vance’s campaign.

Ahead of the Ohio Senate primary, the group gave him a “QA” grade – its highest possible grade for a first-time candidate.

Special protections for gun dealers

Vance has a “Protecting Second Amendment Rights” section on his campaign problems page in which he swears, “I will fight gun thieves, whether they are federal bureaucrats enacting regulations or multinational corporations punishing people for exercising their rights. When a payment processor attempts to prevent Americans from purchasing firearms or ammunition, I will push back with federal law.

This seems to be a reference to the fact that some financial institutions and credit card processing services — including PayPal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay — have opted out of partnering with gun companies.

Although the Republican Party Platform says the federal government shouldn’t be a “prying controller” in tech industries, some Republican lawmakers have pushed to interfere in their business decisions on behalf of the gun industry. In March 2021, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and most of his Republican Senate colleagues introduced a bill granting special rights to gun and ammunition companies and making it illegal for banks and credit card processors not to do business with guns. fossil fuel companies or industries.

In a July 20, 2021, opinion piece in the Columbus Dispatch, Vance also argued that private companies should not be able to set their own policies regarding the purchase or possession of firearms.

Worryingly, the greatest threat to the Second Amendment may not come from the Biden administration, but from some of our biggest corporations. Blackrock, one of the largest fund managers in the world, recently started buying large numbers of single-family homes. And they threatened to make it difficult for their tenants to own guns.

Meanwhile, many of the world’s largest payment processors have made it impossible to buy guns, and credit card companies have openly considered doing the same. This is nonsense: giving our biggest corporations the right to dictate what rights American citizens are allowed to exercise.

A day later he tweetedthat the “Second Amendment won’t mean much if Visa won’t let you buy ammunition.”

Opposed even to the bipartisan compromise on guns

Following May 24 mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and two adults, President Joe Biden urged Congress take several steps to prevent similar tragedies, including banning assault weapons, banning high-capacity magazines, strengthening background checks, enacting safe storage laws and protective orders against extreme risks otherwise known as “red flag” laws, and the repeal of liability immunity for gun manufacturers.

At the very least, Biden argued, the United States should raise the legal age to purchase assault weapons from 18 to 21. Uvalde’s shooter purchased legally two AR-style rifles days after his 18th birthday.

In response, Vance claimed without evidence that Biden’s proposed policies would do nothing to stop future mass shootings. “None of these would ameliorate the problem of gun violence in this country. All satisfy the urge to ‘do something’ without doing anything useful, to the detriment of the rights of law-abiding people,” Vance tweeted June 2.

Instead, he argued, the best solution would be to institutionalize more people against their will. “But whether it’s a lone teenager in Texas or a screaming madman outside the New York City subway, we need to ignore less and institutionalize more,” he proposed, adding, ” we have to be prepared to institutionalize people further, both to clean up our streets and also to help some obviously very sick people.This would be far more effective than any ‘red flag’ law.

Experts have repeatedly rejected proposals like this, noting that there is no proof that the mentally ill are more likely to be violent than others. A 2014 study in the scientific journal Annals of Epidemiology found that only 4% of interpersonal violence in the United States can be attributed to mental illness alone and that “the vast majority of people with serious mental illnesses are never violent”.

With Republicans in the Senate determined to block most of Biden’s proposals on gun safety, a bipartisan group brokered a compromise package. Their bill – the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – included provisions to disarm those convicted of domestic violence, fund implementation of state “red flag” laws, and strengthen background checks on gun buyers under 21.

It passed with the support of Portman and even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but Vance made it clear he would have voted against the package. In a June 22 interview on the right-wing Breitbart News Daily podcast, he said: ‘I think the big issue here is that we’re talking about giving a massive amount of bureaucratic power to federal and state governments, after two years of seeing people abuse that power in a different area. So I think it’s a bad idea. I wouldn’t support legislation.

On the Breitbart podcast, Vance also dismissed gun violence as primarily “inner-city urban crime,” called red flag laws a “slippery slope,” and claimed they “don’t solve the problem. armed violence”.

Flip-flopping on ‘red flag’ laws

Vance hasn’t always opposed the idea of ​​extreme risk protection orders. As recently as March 2018, he told Republican Party dinner attendees in Darke County, Ohio, “We should make it easier to get these guns out of the hands of the people who are about to use them for murder a large number of people.”

“We have to find the right balance between protecting citizens, protecting our schools and protecting the children who go there, but also protecting our really important and fundamental constitutional freedom,” he said at the time.

But since deciding to run for the Senate, Vance has backtracked and now says he opposes the idea. “Any ‘crime prevention’ effort focused on job training or gun grabbing is a giant distraction,” he said. tweeted in June 2021.

Defend untraceable “ghost weapons”

In his July 2021 Columbus Dispatch opinion pieceVance defended”ghost guns– the untraceable, serial-free gun kits that are sold online or at gun shows for home assembly, allowing buyers to evade background checks. were used in a growing number of crimes with firearms.

“Biden also pushed for executive orders that would restrict ‘ghost guns’ and certain types of firearm braces,” Vance wrote last year. “This is the worst kind of political showmanship: These restrictions will make it harder for law-abiding Ohioans to exercise their Second Amendment rights and none will have even a small effect on gun violence in our country. “

In February, the Biden administration launched the National Ghost Gun Enforcement Initiative to limit gun availability, and in April Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a ban on the manufacture of certain ghost guns and ruled kits subject to the same rules as other firearms. .

Vance tweeted “The Constitution would like a word…” in response.

Wants to abolish the entire DOJ office dedicated to handling gun crimes

According to his websitethe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)” is a law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Justice that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the use and illegal firearms trafficking, illegal use and stockpiling of explosives, arson and bombings, acts of terrorism and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products.”

Vance wants to eliminate him completely.

In February, Vance wrongfully accused the illegal firearms transaction tracking agency. “Joe Biden’s ATF illegally collects gun transaction information from millions of law-abiding citizens and places it in a digital database. the ATF”, he tweeted.

In a Cincinnati Investigator editorialVance acknowledged that “the ATF performs a very important public safety function in our country,” but added “it’s time to get rid of it” anyway.

Published with permission of the American Independent Foundation.

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