Beto O’Rourke stepped in it last week during the Democratic debate. The former congressman and failed Senate candidate was explicit. “Hell yeah,” he said, he was coming for our guns. After years and years of anti-gunners claiming no one was coming for our guns, trying to gaslight their pro-gun opponents, the truth was out there for all to see.
However, many people even on the anti-gun side think Beto went too far.
One of them is a state senate candidate from my home state of Georgia.
Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson reiterated her support for an “assault weapons” ban in a new interview, but said a confiscation scheme like that proposed by presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was neither possible nor lawful.
On WGAU’s “Mission: TimPossible” podcast, host Tim Bryant noted O’Rourke’s pronouncement that his hypothetical administration would confiscate semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 and AK-47 through a “mandatory” buyback program.
Asked for her thoughts, Tomlinson distanced herself from O’Rourke, despite previously lavishing praise on him on social media.
“I don’t know Beto O’Rourke obviously, but I can only imagine the trauma that they’ve experienced with the murders there,” Tomlinson said. “I do not, however, believe that confiscation is possible or lawful, and that’s my lawyer background talking there.”
Now, don’t start to think that Tomlinson is a pro-gun Democrat. She’s not.
In fact, she expressly calls for an assault weapon ban despite not really understanding what the hell the term even means.
“The better way to do it, frankly, is to have an assault weapons ban,” she said.
Bryant cut in to say an “assault weapons” ban of some form already exists, pointing out he couldn’t own an automatic rifle.
“I suppose we need to define what we mean when we say assault weapons,” Bryant said.
“But there are definitions. You know there’s definitions related to how quickly they load the chamber and so forth,” Tomlinson said. “So there are definitions related to that, and you can Google them and look them up.”
Anyway, it’s important to remember that people like Tomlinson are probably much closer to what the mainstream Democrat thinks on guns than, say, Beto. They may well want what Beto wants, but they also recognize that it’s not going to happen and, perhaps more importantly, it can’t happen. Not legally, anyway.
Tomlinson is right about that.
Of course, since she also supports an assault weapon ban herself, she may need to read up a bit on legality anyway.
A recent CNN fact check delved into the constitutionality of O’Rourke’s proposal. The landmark Supreme Court D.C. v. Heller decision in 2008 found a ban on handgun possession violated the Second Amendment. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote guns “in common use” were protected, and gun rights scholar Dave Kopel told CNN there was no question rifles like the AR-15 met that definition.
Kopel is right, something Tomlinson might do well to remember herself.
Still, it’s interesting to see just how little support O’Rourke is getting from even his fellow travelers.