He didn’t come right out and say it, but Beto’s edging ever closer to taking my advice and calling for a full blown repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Speaking this afternoon at the March For Our Lives/Giffords forum on gun control, Beto approvingly referred to an anti-gun meme he saw recently that said something like “it took three minutes to reload a musket when the 2nd Amendment was ratified.”
Times have changed, says Beto, so why can’t the 2nd Amendment change with it? Because of the Constitution? Beto tried to claim that Antonin Scalia would be going along with the candidate’s plan for a gun ban and compensated confiscation plan, because (in O’Rourke’s words) Scalia agreed that “there were some understandable, commonsense limits”. What Scalia said is that the Heller decision recognizing an individual right to keep and bear arms should not case doubt on “longstanding” laws prohibiting gun ownership for felons, or those adjudicated mentally defective, “or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”
In fact, Scalia would most certainly not have supported Beto’s ban of the most commonly sold rifle in the country, because as Scalia said immediately after the quote above:
Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.
I’ve got news for Beto O’Rourke. The most commonly sold rifle in the country is in “common use”. There are more AR-15’s than Ram trucks in this country, and Ram pickups are pretty common. There is nothing “unusual” about a semi-automatic firearm, since they comprise the majority of firearms in this country. Beto’s assertion that Scalia would be a supporter of his gun ban plan goes beyond a gross mischaracterization of Scalia’s position, and falls squarely in the “lies politicians say” category.
O’Rourke broke no new ground in his appearance in Las Vegas, and is currently hovering around 1% in the polls, but he told the crowd of gun control activists (many of them survivors or friends or family members of those killed in an active assailant attack, gang violence, domestic violence, suicide, or accidents involving a firearm) that he was there until the end. The end of what, he didn’t say. The campaign, or his campaign? Beto O’Rourke has yet to release his fundraising totals for the third quarter, and generally speaking, if it’s great news a campaign wants to get that out there as soon as possible.
It’s clear that Beto sees himself as a moral compass on this issue, and he likely will stay in the race even after its evident he’s going nowhere, content to try and serve as the messenger of gun control and to try and push front-runners to embrace the most anti-gun agenda possible. And who knows, before all is said and done, he may very well decide to go all in on repealing the 2nd Amendment after all. It would at least a far more honest approach than his current strategy.