Last night, when erstwhile Senate-candidate and former Demcoratic Party golden boy Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke issued his unequivocal war-cry on gun ownership in America if he we’re elected president, Democrats in the audience, including his opponents, applauded his answer.
“Hell, yes; we’re gonna take your AR-15, your AK-47.” Beto O’Rourke, September 12, 2019
Sure. Sounds good.
If we can forget, for a moment, the legislative impossibly of such a move; if we can also forget its questionable constitutional legality; and provided we ignore the logistical problems as well; it sounds great.
If we go a step further and forget that new technology will soon make printing a gun as easy as printing a recipe, it sounds really great.
But the implied answer from gun-rights advocates was the white elephant in the room. “Take” implies forced confiscation. “Take” implies that any voluntary buyback would be ultimately involuntary.
“I want to be clear: That’s exactly what we’re going to do. Americans who own AR-15s and AK-47s will have to sell their assault weapons. All of them. It is not voluntary, I want to be sure we make the distinction here, it is mandatory. It will be the law. You will be required to comply with the law.” — Beto O’Rourke. September 2019
We can all just imagine those stalwart, gun-loving conservatives and libertarians sitting at home watching Beto’s performance on last night’s Democratic debates, can’t we?
Well none of them we’re watching, it was barely watchable for people being paid to do so. But you can bet they’ll hear all about it from Fox & Friends or Rush Limbaugh soon enough.
And we all know what their response is likely to be:
“Yeah? You and what army?”
A Republican lawmaker in Beto’s native Texas summed up the feelings of many of his gun-owning Texas constituents in a Tweet, which O’Rourke called a “death threat” and referred to the FBI.
“My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.” — Texas Republican Representative Briscoe Cain
In other words, come and get it.
Behind Every Blade of Grass
During WWII, the Japanese, were reluctant to invade the United States mainland. Japanese military leaders feared they would find an “armed American behind every blade of grass”. They weren’t wrong.
Tourists considering visiting America today are often concerned about the very same thing, given the frequency of shootings in the U.S. and the violence in television, movies and video games.
Gun ownership is more than just a constitutional right to some people. It is a community, a way to connect with friends, a culture; to them, target practice on weekends or a trip to the gun range is good clean fun.
They also like paintball.
They quote Charleston Heston, who is perhaps the only celebrity actor they would ever consider quoting. And they might only know him from his post-Hollywood career as head of the NRA.
“You can have my guns when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.” — NRA slogan, famously used by Charlton Heston in 2000.
Millions of people in America own guns- perhaps as many as half. Americans are currently armed with more than 300 million guns. The true number being completely unknown is only one of the glaring logistical problems in any mandatory gun confiscation program.
There may be anywhere from 5 million to 10 million AR-15s in the U.S. That is a pretty broad estimate.
Some law-abiding outlaw types will not go quietly into any good night that involves separating them from the guns they cling to.
Bad things happen to populations when the government disarms them; the gun advocates aren’t necessarily wrong about that. The same Democrats who insist that our democratically elected president, the head of our government, is a white supremacists and a murderer also insist gun-owners should trust the government to protect them.
O’Rourke’s statement might have had more impact if he had voluntarily given up the AR-15 he claimed to own in April of 2018.
“I own an AR-15. A lot of our listeners out there own AR-15s. Why should we not have one? To be clear, they should have them. If you purchased that AR-15, if you own it, you should get to keep it.” — Beto O’Rourke, April 2018
During last night’s round of Democratic presidential debates certain topics were verboten; none of the remaining 10 candidates mentioned the economy, wage gains, or employment gains. Strangely absent after months of drumming was any mention of the word “impeachment”. Nor was abortion, that always hot-button topic, mentioned.
Democrats like O’Rourke instead chose to promise their voting base something they can never, ever deliver- like wide-scale gun confiscation. In the same breath, they declare their intentions to upend the U.S. constitutional rights of hundreds of millions of American citizens.
With friends like Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, the left hardly needs enemies.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)