Vice President Biden told All Things Considered co-host Melissa Block in an interview Wednesday that he and the Obama administration plan to continue to fight for a ban on assault weapons to be included in a larger bill in Congress.
That, despite signs that a new ban on assault weapons doesn’t have enough support, even from members of Biden’s own party, to make it through the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Biden was Senate Judiciary Committee chairman in 1994 during creation of a 10-year-long assault weapons ban that was part of a larger crime bill. He reminded Melissa that many people doubted that the prohibition on the military style weapons could pass in 1994, as well.
This week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, indicated that he would not include the controversial assault weapons ban in the legislation he plans to introduce on the Senate floor.
To Melissa’s question as to whether the administration planned to continue fighting for a ban that for all the world appeared a lost cause, Biden said:
“I’m still pushing that it pass. We are still pushing that it pass. The same thing was told to me when the first assault wea(pon) ban in ’94 was attached to the Biden crime bill, that it couldn’t possibly pass. It was declared dead several times.
“I believe that the vast majority of the American people agree with us, the vast majority of gun owners agree with us that military assault style weapons, these are weapons of war, they don’t belong in the street.
“And … even in the recent decision declaring the right of someone to own a weapon in their home for self protection, Justice Scalia acknowledged that you can constitutionally ban certain weapons. So I’m not going to give up on this.”