A flailing Democratic candidate has managed to stay in the headlines after publicly suggesting that the federal government should confiscate AR-15-style rifles from millions of Americans who own them.
After yet another gunman killed Texans in a rampage, this time in Odessa, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke was asked by a reporter about concerns from gun owners that the government would take back their firearms.
“I want to be really clear,” he responded, “that that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Americans who own AR-15, AK-47s, will have to sell them to the government.”
The gunman in Odessa, who killed seven and wounded many more, was reportedly armed with an AR-15 rifle that he bought in a private sale because a court ruled him mentally incapable of owning a firearm.
O’Rourke is currently polling in eighth place in the race to be the presidential nominee, so there is little chance he will confiscate AR-15s from the Oval Office anytime soon, but his comments kicked off discussion among gun supporters who maintain they will never give up their own rifles.
“If you’re going and talking about taking people’s guns away from them, there’s going to be violence,” Meghan McCain, citing O’Rourke’s statement, warned her liberal co-hosts on “The View.”
Responding to McCain’s warning, O’Rourke told the media that her comments were “not helpful” and claimed she is “almost giving you permission to be violent.”
"There are just two types of people engaging in this debate: People who know that Meghan McCain is correct, and people who are pretending that they do not know that Meghan McCain is correct," Charles Cooke, coming to McCain's defense, wrote at National Review.
An article at Reason.com points out that New Jersey citizens defied a 1991 state law banning “military-style” weapons. A year after the law passed, only four had been turned in and an estimated 300,000 still remained in homes.
More recently, Connecticut required a gun registry of “assault weapons” in 2014 but only an estimated 15 percent of residents complied.
In liberal New York, less than five percent of residents complied with a similar law there, the story also recalls.
How many of the semi-automatic rifles are owned by Americans? A 2018 Townhall article, citing research from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said the number is at least 16 million.
Gun Owners of America legislative counsel Mike Hammond tells OneNewsNow the Democratic candidates who are the most vocal about confiscating firearms are the ones who are far behind in the polls.
“And the reason is clear,” he says. “This issue doesn't matter as much even to Democratic voters as other issues. You know who the issue matters to? The people who have the guns that they're going to confiscate."
In a story about the Democrats’ stances, Fox News reports that Sen. Cory Booker and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio support a mandatory buyback program.
“Other Democratic candidates,” the article states, “including former Vice President Joe Biden, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, have voiced support for some sort of buyback program, albeit a voluntary one.”
Hammond tells OneNewsNow he trained with and used an actual fully automatic “assault weapon” in the U.S. armed forces and calls it unthinkable to go into combat armed with a semi-auto AR-15.
“This is just sort of fraudulent nomenclature used by the Left,” he says of he "assault rifle" label, “to try to fool people into passing gun control."
After O’Rourke accused McCain of encouraging violence by warning about confiscating firearms, McCain said of the former congressman: “Beto is the only man in all of Texas who would revise ‘Come and Take it’ to ‘Please, Come and Take it.’”