AP Photo/Steven Senne

Cory Booker thinks it would be a hell of an idea to require Americans to get government permission before exercising constitutional rights. Well, maybe not all rights, just second-class rights like the right to keep and bear arms. That right doesn’t matter to someone like Booker.

On Thursday, I wrote about how few Democrats would dismiss Booker’s scheme outright.

Among those asked about it included a couple of presidential candidates. However, one candidate for the Democratic nomination has come out opposing the measure, believe it or not.

They’re both highlighting their ideas to curb gun violence as they run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But Beto O’Rourke says that Sen. Cory Booker’s new proposal to mandate the federal licensing of all gun owners goes too far.

Asked by Fox News this week if he agreed with the U.S. senator from New Jersey, O’Rourke answered, “I don’t know that we need to take the additional step of licensing every single firearm to every single owner. I think that may be too far.”

The former three-term congressman from El Paso, Texas – who’s a proponent of universal background checks for gun sales, an assault weapons ban, and so-called “red-flag” laws to remove firearms from people who pose a danger to themselves or others — explained that “I come from, just like New Hampshire, a very proud gun-owning state. People who use firearms responsibly for hunting, for self-protection, for collection.

“I think relying on the responsibility and accountability that gun owners feel — matching that with universal background checks, stopping the sales of weapons of war, red flag laws — that’s the perfect way to compliment the responsible gun ownership that we see in this country right now,” O’Rourke continued.

Now, no one is going to mistake O’Rourke as a pro-gun candidate. His position on several anti-gun measures makes sure of that.

However, he’s the only Democrat who can look at this on its face and say, “No.”

What’s troubling is how few Democrats are willing to make a similar stand. That’s because the party has been so quiet about guns over the last few years and hadn’t come around on the principle of gun control. They were biding their time, waiting for a public to be convinced it needs Big Daddy Government to save us from ourselves.

And for them, it looks like that time has come.

What Democrats are debating on is to what degree should they infringe on our sacred right. Based on previous responses, they’re willing to go awfully far. O’Rourke is willing to do so as well, but Booker’s proposal is a bit too far for his own comfort.

The story here isn’t that O’Rourke is willing to oppose this measure, though. Not really.

The real story is that he appears to be the only one willing to oppose this measure. He’s the only one who recognizes that even if people are fine with red flag laws, that doesn’t mean they’re ready for licensing or bans.

And, honestly, that’s terrifying.