O’Rourke: Yep, let’s grab their guns
Beto O’Rourke has finally exposed “the unspoken truth” behind Democrats’ gun-control policy, said David Marcus in TheFederalist.com. For decades, the party has insisted the federal government wouldn’t seize gun owners’ weapons. Then, during the third Democratic presidential debate last week, the former Texas congressman issued a “loud threat” to do just that. “Hell, yes,” he said when asked about his proposal for a mandatory buyback of assault rifles. “We’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, and we’re not going to allow it to be used against your fellow Americans anymore.” Afterward, Democrats criticized O’Rourke for “bad politics”—not for completely ignoring Americans’ constitutional right to own guns. “Wherever this fight over gun control leads, at least today we know where we really stand.”
O’Rourke “just handed Republicans a massive political gift,” said Chris Cillizza in CNN.com. Though he has virtually no chance of getting the Democratic nomination, the National Rifle Association and its Republican allies will use his comments “to stoke fear and anger in their base.” Recent mass shootings—including the one that killed 22 people in O’Rourke’s hometown of El Paso, Texas—may have shifted public sentiment in favor of more gun control. But raising the prospect of government confiscation just gave the GOP “a club to bash the eventual nominee” and an excuse for President Trump and Senate Republicans not to support any new laws—not even mandatory background checks. So what? said Charles Blow in The New York Times. For years, gun control advocates have limited themselves to half measures for fear of upsetting gun-rights extremists. Assault weapons made for war have no place in civilian hands. Finally, a Democrat “is speaking openly, passionately, and honestly” about how “to stem our epidemic of gun violence.”
Just try it, said James Bovard in TheAmericanConservative.com. There are about 10 million so-called assault weapons in private hands, and if the feds tried to confiscate them, I promise you that many Americans would resist—violently if necessary. “Many rural gun owners are as unlikely to surrender their guns as they are to give up their Bibles.” And don’t underestimate the ability of a popular resistance armed with AR-15s to hold off government forces. Videos of federal agents attacking groups of citizens would “spur vast uprisings.” O’Rourke’s proposal would cause far more “carnage” than it would prevent.