We’re forty days away from Election Day, and on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, we’re zeroing in on a House race in Illinois that features one of the more outspoken, if not well-informed, gun control advocates in Congress.
I don’t know if Illinois Congressman Sean Casten has missed the news, but Americans have been purchasing firearms in record numbers for months now, and there are millions of Americans who’ve become new gun owners since the start of 2020. Demand for firearms is higher than it’s ever been at the moment, but the first-term Democrat says there are “too many guns,” and he’s pushing an Australia-style compensated confiscation to remove guns from the hands of legal gun owners.
Casten made the comments in an interview with the editorial board of the Daily Herald newspaper in Illinois, though the paper itself had to correct some of Casten’s erroneous assertions in its news report.
Casten, who has touted the success of gun buyback programs before, suggested the U.S. follow Australia’s lead.
“They took a whole bunch of guns out of circulation, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since,” Casten said. “Why don’t we do that?”
There have been shootings with multiple deaths in Australia since those laws were enacted, however, including at least one last year. But none were as deadly as the 1996 attack.
Casten said Australian leaders used money as an incentive because they recognized reducing the number of privately owned guns would be “extremely difficult.”
“Would it work exactly the same way, adapted to U.S. culture? I don’t know,” Casten said. “My interest right now is less about how to do that particular policy (and more about) let’s start having the conversation.”
I hope that Casten was serious about having the conversation, because I’ve extended an invitation for him to join me on an upcoming episode of Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co to talk about his ideas in greater detail.
I’m glad that the Daily Herald pointed out that there have, in fact, been additional mass shootings in Australia since their compensated confiscation program, but neither the paper’s editors nor Casten himself seem to be aware of the fact that the number of guns in Australia is now higher than before the ban took effect in the late 1990s. In fact, gun control activists in Australia have been demanding a second round of gun confiscations.
It’s also worth pointing out that Australia had about 3.2-million firearms before the ban, which took about 700,000 firearms out of the hands of ordinary citizens. The United States, on the other hand, has about 400-million privately owned firearms. Even if Casten wanted to focus a compensated confiscation effort solely on the guns he and other anti-gun advocates call “assault weapons,” we’re looking at close to 20-million legally owned firearms.
An Australian-style gun ban on commonly-owned firearms, in other words, is as impractical as it would be unconstitutional here in the United States. Given the fact that Casten’s recent commentary on gun control has largely consisted of him taunting gun owners about the size of their genitals, I don’t think Casten’s really interested in a serious discussion about the merits of his proposal, but I do hope he takes me up on the offer to appear on a future episode of the show.
In addition to delving into Casten’s claims about how easy it would be to ban guns, we’re covering several other stories on today’s program, including an armed grandmother in Washington State who held a burglar at bay with her shotgun, a Massachusetts man sentenced to probation last year for trafficking in fentanyl who’s now accused of shooting his pregnant girlfriend in the head, and a police officer in Lisle, Illinois in the right place at the right time to save a teenager trapped inside of a burning home. Be sure to check out the entire show in the video window above, or listen to the podcast version on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.