The New York Times has done what may be an unintentional favor for Second Amendment activists by detailing the gun control positions of Democrat candidates now running to become the next president, and it might serve as a proverbial wake-up call to lethargic gun owners as the 2020 campaign season looms large on the horizon.
Noting that “the political terrain on guns has been shifting for several years in response to a seemingly unending series of mass shootings and a newly emboldened network of advocacy groups,” the article is blunt: “proposals that were politically untouchable are now firmly on the table.”
The Times reminds readers that anti-gun New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker was first to propose a federal licensing program,” as though the right to keep and bear arms has somehow become a government-regulated privilege.
A few paragraphs earlier, the newspaper revealed “Only five candidates support mandatory buybacks; Senator Kamala Harris is the highest polling among them. But their calls have gotten outsized attention, especially since one candidate, former Representative Beto O’Rourke, declared at the last debate: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
“That remark,” the Times reported, “led to a caustic exchange at a recent gun control forum that pointed to differences in strategy. Mayor Pete Buttigieg argued that by insisting on mandatory buybacks, Democrats might squander a chance to pass new gun laws. Mr. O’Rourke accused him of being ‘afraid of doing the right thing.’”
This revelation underscores the race by every candidate to out-do their opponents on the subject of gun restrictions.
There was another interesting passage in the story that bears repeating. “The Times survey asked the candidates who supported mandatory buybacks how they intended to enforce them. None answered in detail. While they described penalties for noncompliance, they did not explain how, if the owner of an AR-15 kept it, officials would ever know.”
And this is where readers got a glimpse of the naiveté of at least some Democrat anti-gunners. A spokesman for O’Rourke told the newspaper matter-of-factly, “When a mandatory buyback program for assault weapons is enacted, it is the law. We expect people to follow the law here in the United States, and we know that Americans are law-abiding people.”
That’s worked so well with the ban on bump stocks. As the Washington Times reported recently, the federal government “collected fewer than 1,000 bump stocks during the run-up to a new ban in March despite estimates that hundreds of thousands of the devices that mimic machine gun fire are in circulation.”
There are an estimated 15-18 million so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles” in circulation, and the owners of those firearms—the most popular rifle in the United States—laugh out loud at the notion they will all line up to turn in their guns. The United States, say rights activists, isn’t New Zealand or Australia.
Something else the Times stated in its report is this: “It is no longer politically tenable to be a Democratic presidential candidate and support the sale of the AR-15.”
After O’Rourke’s perhaps-Freudian outburst at the debate, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms released a statement declaring, “Democrats have just graduated from being the ‘party of gun control’ to officially being the ‘party of gun confiscation,’ and nobody in the firearms community is going to forget that.”
From all indications, they’re going to be reminded frequently by news articles and broadcasts no longer shy about discussing restrictive gun control as inevitable.