Fact Check: Biden Did NOT Say The Second Amendment is 'Obsolete'

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: Biden Did NOT Say The Second Amendment is 'Obsolete' Satire

Did Joe Biden say the Second Amendment is "obsolete"? No, that's not true: This claim is from a satirical website that publishes outlandish claims about Democrats with the goal of making Republicans believe and share them. It is also sometimes copied by other websites that do not include the satire disclaimers.

The claim originated from an article archived here) published by americaslastlineofdefense.com on September 3, 2020 titled "Biden Says the Second Amendment is 'Obsolete'" which read in part:

Just recently, Biden confirmed one of those very fears during a campaign speech at the Joe Barron Jewish community center in Pohtaytoe, Virginia, referring to the sacred and God-blessed second amendment right of all Americans to own and use firearms at any time anywhere for any reason whatsoever as "obsolete." Clearly, this is either a case of Trump being right on the money, or a satirical article to drive gullible Trumpers into blood pressure fits.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Biden Says the Second Amendment is 'Obsolete'

"It is a relic of violence we no longer want."

Biden has a long history of advocating and legislating for better gun control, but he never said the Second Amendment is "obsolete." Biden was endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun control organization funded by former New York Mayor and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.

The Los Angeles Times summarized Biden's stance on gun control as a presidential candidate as follows:

As candidate, Biden supports universal background checks and a ban on the manufacture and sale of semiautomatic rifles and higher-capacity magazines, along with tighter regulation or the buyback of those weapons currently in private hands. Smaller-bore proposals including limiting the ability of Americans to buy more than one gun a month.

Biden supports restricting gun purchases and possession by fugitives, people convicted of hate crimes, and those deemed by the Social Security Administration to be unable to manage their own affairs. He also supports banning online sales of weapons and ammunition and requiring background checks for people buying gun kits or 3D printer codes for guns.

The site is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run by self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair from Maine along with a loose confederation of friends and allies. He runs several websites and Facebook pages with visible satire disclaimers everywhere. They mostly publish made-up stories with headlines specifically created to trigger Republicans, conservatives and evangelical Christians into angrily sharing or commenting on the story on Facebook without actually reading the full article, exposing them to mockery and ridicule by fans of the sites and pages.

Every site in the network has an about page that reads (in part):

About Satire
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":

sat·ire
ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
noun
The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.

Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites who omit the satire disclaimer and other hints the stories are fake. One of the most persistent networks of such sites is run by a man from Pakistan named Kashif Shahzad Khokhar (aka "DashiKashi") who has spammed hundreds of such stolen stories into conservative and right-wing Facebook pages in order to profit from the ad revenue.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes americaslastlineofdefense.com as:

A network of sites that publish false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news, run by hoax perpetrator Christopher Blair.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

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  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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