Former Rep. Robert Francis O’Rourke (D-TX) (aka ‘Beto’) is the left-wing blowhard on guns that liberals fear. Why? Well, it’s because he gives up the playbook and he did so on a national stage. You all know about his plan to confiscate so-called scary guns from the hands of the law-abiding citizenry. AR-15 rifles, one of the most popular in the U.S., and AK-47s are the two scary rifles anti-gun liberals want out of the hands of civilians. Only the government can be trusted with guns is the de facto position of the Democratic Party—and Beto did a crackerjack job in picking Kent State University to make that pitch. Because nothing says trust government with guns than a site where the National Guard shot and killed four students in 1970.
Bob thinks that these people will simply comply with his authoritarian policy. They won’t. As for his plan to send cops to confiscate these weapons, law enforcement groups have rightly said this initiative is nuts and could lead to fatalities. Julio wrote about a bunch of sheriffs from around the country who have torched this idea; they called Bob “delusional” for even suggesting this was a rational policy. And now some of the largest law enforcement organizations are bashing this grossly unconstitutional plan. This is the confiscation of private property. We’re a nation that values freedom. Sorry, Bob, but like Medicare for All—it’s an election killer. But thanks for giving us oodles of ammunition and media to use against your party for the next generation. The Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski has more (via Free Beacon):
National law enforcement organizations harshly criticized Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke's plan to send police officers to collect AR-15s and AK-47s from those who refuse to turn them in under his mandatory buyback scheme.
In interviews with the Washington Free Beacon, leaders from groups representing hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers described Beto's gun confiscation plan as "ridiculous," "asinine," and likely unconstitutional.
A leader of the National Fraternal Order of Police—the nation's largest police union, representing more than 330,000 sworn law-enforcement officers—said that not only was Beto's plan unlikely to be constitutional but that Beto himself was unlikely to ever be elected.
"Mr. O'Rourke may not be aware that state and local police officers (who comprise more than 90% of all police in the U.S.) receive their orders from their local jurisdictions – not from the Federal government," Jim Pasco, executive director of the FOP, wrote in an email to the Free Beacon. "Further, any such legislation, if it passed, would no doubt be vigorously litigated with a view to its apparent inconsistency with the Second Amendment."
"In view of the foregoing, and in view of Mr. O'Rourke's current standing in the polls, we do not view this as an issue we will have to grapple within the foreseeable future," he added.
AJ Louderback, the sheriff of Jackson County, Tex., said he and many other sheriffs would not follow orders to confiscate guns en masse.
"I think he's seriously misjudging the law enforcement response to what he wants to do," Louderback told the Free Beacon. "Many sheriffs would not comply with his plan."
If Democrats think that rounding up all the illegals is unrealistic and a waste of time, then how is this anti-American policy a beacon of government efficiency? Ironic since this is exactly why the Founders made our government to be safe, not efficient, in order to prevent the draconian policies that they knew would be peddled by someone like Bob in the future. Also, it wouldn’t be hard to find illegal aliens and deport them. We already know where most of the so-called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients are located. Admitting to being here illegally and providing addresses was a requirement for receiving this shroud of protection from deportation, which is also a constitutionally dubious Obama-era policy.
The good news is that Bob won’t win the nomination. He will never be president. And this law, if it ever passed, would be shot down by the courts. Yet, there’s also a ton of evidence to view it as a waste of time outright. Rifles and shotguns don’t kill that many people. Yes, liberals, it’s a numbers game; you turned it into that. And by the numbers, traffic accidents kill more people than firearms homicides. No, I don’t include suicides. That’s not gun violence—and we all know the Left just ropes them into the homicide rates to pad the numbers. Gutowski also wrote in the Washington Examiner how Bob’s confiscation fetish will play out if implemented—and yeah—it’s still trash:
The realistic chances this proposal could become law and survive a legal challenge are currently vanishingly small. Beto is unlikely to win the primary given that he’s polling at about 3% and hasn't seen any real bump from his confiscation declaration. Such a scheme couldn’t pass the House or Senate as things stand now (even the Democrat-controlled House seems unlikely at this point to pass a ban on the sale of the same guns). And it is clearly unconstitutional under the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court precedents, which recognize an individual right to own firearms that are in common use by Americans for lawful purposes. There’s no rifle in more common lawful use in America than the AR-15. Additionally, many police officers are unlikely to be willing to enforce such an order should it ever come.
Still, it’s important to look at the reality of what such a proposal would require.
…it would be nearly impossibility to round up 16 million guns.
New Zealand is halfway through its gun confiscation effort, which is supported by nearly every politician in the country, and its government has seized under 20,000 firearms. That’s a compliance rate of just 10%, according to the New Zealand Herald. A similar compliance rate in the U.S. would leave more than 14 million ARs and AKs in circulation.
But if an American confiscation plan did somehow manage to get a 90% compliance rate, there would still be at least 1.6 million ARs and AKs left in the wild. To put that in context, the Small Arms Survey estimates there are about 1 million firearms held by police in the U.S. That means even if the vast majority of American gun owners gave up everything they’ve believed since John Parker and his Minute Men met Maj. John Pitcairn and his red coats on a field outside Lexington, there would still be more leftover AR-15s out there than the entire stockpile of every police force in the country.
Of course, many Americans would not turn over their guns. Many would not surrender their guns during a “mandatory buyback.” Many wouldn’t turn them over even if you sent armed men to their homes to collect them. In the end, to get every AR-15, you would have to be willing to kill some gun owners.
You would have to kill your fellow Americans to deny citizens their constitutional rights and accomplish what Beto O’Rourke says he wants. It’s an inescapable truth.
And what purpose would this serve?
Rifles play a small role in crime. Rifles, of which ARs are only a subset, were involved in 403 (2%) of the 15,129 murders committed in 2017, according to the FBI. They were used far less often than handguns (7,032) but also less often than knives (1,591) or blunt objects (467) or even hands and feet (692).
Peddling bad policy is a Democratic Party pastime, but a part of me wants Bob to keep pushing this. It’ll ensure no one takes the Left seriously for decades.