Beto O’Rourke’s mandatory buyback scheme had its moment in the sun. His fellow Democrats seemed to fawn all over it. Some formally endorsing it while the only candidate to push back on it came from a place of pragmatism rather than morality. It seemed that O’Rourke’s plan might well make it to the White House sooner or later, even if he didn’t.
That was then, though.
Now, we see the former congressman facing pushback on the issue from CNN of all places.
During the Ohio presidential debate, O’Rourke drew attention from the moment where he and Pete Buttigieg clashed on whether the buyback proposal is a feasible solution to gun violence in America. In a follow-up conversation with Alisyn Camerota, O’Rourke was asked “How do you plan to get assault weapons away from people who don’t want to give them up?”
“As with any law in this country, we would expect our fellow Americans to follow the law,” he answered. “We’re a nation of laws and no person is above the law. No matter how much they may disagree with a given law…This is the right thing to do. And I fully expect my fellow Americans to follow the law.”
“You expect mass shooters to follow the law?” Camerota responded. “Congressman, mass shooters by definition…they don’t follow the law.”
O’Rourke continued to say that there is “no excuse for not taking action now while we have the opportunity to do the right thing,” even if he proposal won’t completely stop shootings.
His response is hilarious, especially since I could form a better anti-gun argument in response to Camerota’s question than Beto apparently can. That’s because I read and understand the other side of the argument. Apparently, I understand Beto’s position better than he does.
Not that I’m going to present those arguments, of course. I don’t want to help O’Rourke not shoot himself in the foot on the issue.
Camerota, however, does expose the big problem with O’Rourke’s plan, and that’s how criminals are guaranteed not to follow the law. Mass shooters are criminals, but so are a lot of other people, people who represent a more realistic danger to the average citizen. Those people aren’t about to suddenly decide to follow the law simply because Beto asked them very nicely.
Gun laws only really have an impact on law-abiding citizens. It doesn’t stop the criminals who are already ignoring a plethora of other laws in their day-to-day activities. They don’t undergo background checks, they don’t limit themselves to a given round capacity, and they don’t get permits before carrying their guns around on a regular basis.
They’re criminals, for crying out loud. Breaking the law is what they do.
All Beto’s proposal would do, though, is turn a whole lot of law-abiding citizens into criminals as well, simply because they refuse to give up their weapons for the comfort of someone like O’Rourke. The phrase “cold, dead hands” comes into play at a time like this, and it’s not some idle threat by any stretch of the imagination.
I’m just amazed to see pushback on CNN of all places.