The Question That Wasn't Asked: Is The 2nd Amendment A Real Right?

Here’s a little quiz for you: Which candidate at last night’s Democrat presidential debate came said ““Owning a firearm is a privilege not a right,” while calling for federal gun licensing and registration laws?

A) Beto O’Rourke

B) Cory Booker

C) Pette Buttigieg

D) Kamala Harris?

Okay, this is a trick question. While Booker’s now sponsoring a federal gun licensing bill that also includes a de facto gun registry and Beto O’Rourke says he’s coming for your AR-15’s, it’s actually New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who made the comment as she called for more gun control laws in New Zealand on the six month anniversary of the attack in Christchurch that killed 51 people.

“Owning a firearm is a privilege not a right,” Ardern said in a statement announcing the new bill on Friday.

“That attack exposed weaknesses in legislation which we have the power to fix. We would not be a responsible government if we didn’t address them,” she said.

The new bill, details of which have already been made public and that will have its first reading on Sept. 24, will include the creation of a registry to monitor and track every firearm legally held in New Zealand.

It also tightens other rules for gun dealers and for individuals to get and keep a firearm license. License renewal for individuals was also reduced to five years from ten years.

Here’s the thing: Ardern says she can push these bills because owning a gun is a privilege, not a right. Yet Democrats like Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker are telling us, yes, you have the right to keep and bear arms, while they push American versions of Ardern’s gun ban/compensated confiscation and now her proposed gun registry/licensing scheme. They’re paying lip service to the idea of a right to keep and bear arms, while offering up plans that ignore the right entirely.

We all know Beto, Booker, and the other eight candidates on stage last night don’t think the right to keep and bear arms is a real right. If you asked those assembled on stage last night if the Supreme Court made the correct decision in Heller to strike down Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns on the grounds that the 2nd Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms, I doubt a single person would have said “yes”. They don’t think it’s a real right, they don’t treat it like it’s a real right, but they claim they support the right, even while saying this:

“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against fellow Americans anymore.”

When “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” meets “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47”, it’s time to drop the charade that you support the 2nd Amendment in any way. As I’ve argued before, I really think he should demand a full repeal of the 2nd Amendment.

Beto’s already calling for gun laws that would curtail the ability of some legal gun owners to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights through gun licensing and gun bans. Why not go all in and announce he wants to end legal gun ownership altogether? If, in his opinion, there’s no reason to own the most popular long gun in the United States today, does he have a good reason why Americans should be able to own a handgun that’s easily concealable and used in far more crimes than an AR-15? If he’s going to propose ineffectual gun control solutions to these active assailant attacks, why not go big and demand and just demand an end to the right to keep and bear arms altogether?

I wouldn’t ever vote for that, obviously, but I could at least respect the honesty in that position. And who knows, if Beto doesn’t see a bounce after last night’s debate, he might become desperate enough to say “f*** it” (as he increasingly does) and go full repeal in the hopes of capturing the hearts and minds of the anti-gun movement. In the meantime, however, Beto and the others will continue to treat the 2nd Amendment like a non-entity, while continuing to proclaim they support it.