Beto O’Rourke Hands Republicans A Gift On Guns

At last week's debate, Beto O'Rourke handed Republicans and gun rights advocates a nicely wrapped gift with his claim that he would seize guns from otherwise law-abiding Americans.

During Thursday’s Democratic Presidential debate, former Congressman and Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, who has seen his campaign fledgling for several months now, made a comment that is likely to haunt Democrats throughout the 2020 campaign, and perhaps for years after that:

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke reiterated his support for a mandatory gun-buyback program of assault-style rifles on Thursday and said, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”

“We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore,” the former Texas congressman said during the third Democratic presidential debate, hosted by ABC News.

“If the high-impact, high-velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body because it was designed to do that so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield … when we see that being used against children,” O’Rourke said. He recalled talking to a woman in Odessa, Texas, who had watched her 15-year-old daughter bleed to death after she was shot by a man wielding an AR-15 late last month.

O’Rourke’s comments come in the wake of a string of mass shootings in the United States, including in his hometown of El Paso, where 22 people were gunned down at a Walmart in August. O’Rourke unveiled a proposal weeks after that shooting calling for a national gun registry, a nationwide gun licensing system and the mandatory buyback of assault-style rifles as part of his plan to curb gun violence and the rise of white nationalism.

Here’s the video and the transcript of the relevant question and answer:

DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS: I am going–I am going to work down the row here but I do want to come to Congressman O’Rourke because I know this is personal to you. El Paso is your hometown. Some on this stage have suggested a voluntary buyback for guns in this country. You have gone further. You said quote Americans who own AR-15s and AK-47s will have to sell them to the government, all of them. You know the critics call this confiscation. Are you proposing taking away their guns and how would this work?

O’ROURKE: I am if it is a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield; if they high impact high velocity round when it hits your body shreds everything inside of your body because it was designed to do that so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers. When we see that being used against children and in Odessa I met the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was shot by an AR-15 and that mother watched her bleed to death over the course of an hour because so many other people were shot by that AR-15 in Odessa and Midland there weren’t enough ambulances to get to them in time. Hell yes we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.

(APPLAUSE)

We are not going to allow it to be used against fellow Americans anymore.

(APPLAUSE)

In addition to contradicting comments that O’Rourke himself made just a year ago, this comment has drawn a lot of attention toward O’Rourke, who was a guest on several mornings shows this morning due largely to the reaction to his comments. The reaction from the right, of course, has been predictable since, over the course of just two minutes O’Rourke seemingly confirmed something that gun rights advocates have been alleging for years, namely that advocates for even the most reasonable gun control proposals such as background checks and proposals to keep guns out of the hands of people who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others ultimately want to take weapons away from otherwise law-abiding Americans. By taking this position, which it should be clear has not been endorsed by any of his fellow candidates, O’Rourke has handed Republicans an argument that they will use against Democrats in 2020 and beyond, as Chris Cillizza notes at CNN:

For decades, the National Rifle Association — and its Republican allies in Congress and now in the White House — have used the idea of confiscation to win the gun debate. If Democrats were in control, they’d come to your house and take your guns!, the argument goes. It’s why gun purchases soared in the immediate aftermath of Barack Obama’s election in 2008, for example.

“It depends on if Democrats want to take your guns away,” President Donald Trump said in response to questions Thursday about whether some sort of gun control measure might be passed by Congress this fall. “If this is a movement by the Democrats to take your guns away, it’s never going to happen.”Up until very recently, the Democrats-want-to-get-rid-of-the-Second-Amendment talk was, like so much of Trump’s rhetoric, outlandish and without any basis in facts. Obama in 2008 and 2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 expressly made clear they had no interest in any sort of mandatory collection or buyback program.

“Of course Hillary does not support national mandatory gun buyback programs, including those modeled after Australia’s program,” said a Clinton campaign spokesman in 2016 when the NRA attacked her for allegedly supporting confiscation. “She was discussing voluntary buyback programs, which are drastically different than what occurred in Australia and are regularly run by cities across the America.”That changed — or at least shifted — on Thursday night with O’Rourke’s comment.

While a mandatory buyback campaign of weapons like the AR-15 and AK-47 doesn’t amount to a wholesale gun confiscation, it walks much closer to that doomsday scenario the NRA has spent years painting as just over the horizon if Democrats get into power.

Even if O’Rourke never even sniffs the Democratic presidential nomination, the eventual nominee will have to answer for his support of a mandatory buyback program.

And whether or not O’Rourke is the nominee, Republicans will use his comments to stoke fear and anger in their base — see, we told you Democrats really want to take all your guns … just look at this quote from Beto O’Rourke!!!

Is it possible that the debate on guns and gun control has been changed in a fundamental way by the recent spate of mass shootings? O’Rourke seems to believe it has. And maybe it has! But if it hasn’t, then O’Rourke just handed Republicans a massive political gift: A club to bash the eventual Democratic nominee with on confiscating peoples’ guns.

Echoing this position, Delaware Senator Chris Coons, who is admittedly a supporter of former Vice-President Biden, made much the same argument the day after the debate:

Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) on Friday warned that Beto O’Rourke’s pledge that the government will confiscate semiautomatic AR-15 rifles will become a rallying cry for gun rights groups for years to come and haunt the Democratic Party far into the future.

“I frankly think that that clip will be played for years at Second Amendment rallies with organizations that try to scare people by saying that Democrats are coming for your guns,” Coons, an ally of former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic race, told CNN’s Poppy Harlow in an interview.

O’Rourke, a former member of Congress from Texas, received loud applause at the Democratic debate in Houston on Thursday when he declared: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against fellow Americans anymore.”

O’Rourke’s statement confirms the fears of many Republicans and gun rights advocates who say the ultimate goal of the gun control movement is government confiscation of firearms.

“When you really understand what the endgame of the left is, it’s literally mandatory buybacks or as I call it: confiscation. This is a step-by-step process for them,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told The Hill Thursday when asked about the debate over expanded background checks for firearms sales.

Coons, who is working with Republicans to pass more modest gun control measures, scrambled on Friday to contain the fallout from O’Rourke’s statement.

“I don’t think having our presidential candidates, like Congressman O’Rourke did, say that we’re going to try to take people’s guns against their will is a wise policy or political move,” Coons said.

Asked if O’Rourke’s statement was irresponsible or hurt the party, Coons said, “we’ll have to see.”

Emma Green at The Atlantic pushes back against this argument and, citing the fact that O’Rourke’s position has essentially been adopted by Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, argues that Beto O’Rourke has effectively pushed the Overton Window on the gun control debate. Whether or not that’s true, though, the Editors at the National Review argue convincingly that O’Rourke’s idea would most likely be unconstitutional:

Prohibition has never been well received in America, and guns have proven no exception to that rule. In New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, attempts at the confiscation of “high capacity” magazines and the registration of “assault weapons” have both fallen embarrassingly flat — to the point that the police have simply refused to aid enforcement or to prosecute the dissenters. Does Beto, who must know this, expect the result to be different in Texas, Wyoming, or Florida? Earlier this week, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives was unable to marshal enough votes to pass a ban on the sale of “assault weapons” — let alone to mount a confiscation drive. Sorry, Robert Francis. That dog ain’t gonna hunt.

And nor should it, for O’Rourke’s policy is spectacularly unconstitutional. The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America by a considerable margin, and is therefore clearly protected by the “in common use” standard that was laid out in D.C. v. Heller. Put as baldly as possible, confiscation is not a program that the federal government is permitted to adopt.281

It is also a disaster on its own merits. Much has been made of the fact that an attempt to round up millions of guns would obviously be met with widespread non-compliance. Much has been made, too, of the fact that this is an odd target for a country-dividing panic, given that rifles of all types are used less frequently in murder than hands and fists, than handguns, and than knives. Less, however, has been made of the fact that such an attempt can not even be squared with characterizations of American life that O’Rourke, Booker, and Harris are themselves fond of making. If the trio’s testimony is to be believed, America is a deeply unequal place in which minorities and the poor bear the brunt of draconian legislation while wealthier and better-connected people romp scot free — which, if true, would lead one to expect a little less bravado in defense of what would be the most significant federal crackdown since the start of the War on Drugs than a self-congratulatory “Hell yes.” Such are the perils of making policy by T-shirt slogan.

For years, advocates of the right to keep and bear arms have suspected that confiscation was the endgame but have been rebuffed as paranoiacs in the press. Such a rebuffing is no longer possible. If it ever was, “Nobody is coming for your guns!” is no longer true — which means that a host of commonly posed inquiries now have the same simple answer. “Why do you oppose federal licensing?” Because leading Democrats are threatening confiscation. “Why do you oppose ‘universal’ background checks?” Because they would create a registry. “And why do you oppose a registry?” Because leading Democrats are threatening confiscation. Unwittingly or not, O’Rourke and his acolytes have stuck a dagger into the exquisitely calibrated gun-control messaging on which their party has worked for the better part of 20 years. No voter can now say he wasn’t warned.

Democrats are right to be concerned that O’Rourke’s comments are likely to come back to haunt them. While it’s most likely true that the voters who are most concerned about this issue are unlikely to vote for a Democrat for President, it’s unlikely that is universally true and only accounts for one of the reasons why O’Rourke pushing the gun control debate into the confiscation area is a mistake.

First of all, it’s unlikely that every person who supports gun rights and the right to keep and bear arms is automatically a Republican voter. The majority of them probably are, but it’s also probable that there’s a significant segment of this part of the public that is not affiliated with either party and potentially a “gettable” vote. This most likely includes working-class voters in the Midwest and other parts of the country who voted for Trump in 2016 but may have voted for former President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Some of these are also voters who also people who support reasonable gun control measures like expanded background checks and maybe even bans on the production and future sale of so-called “assault weapons.” But there’s a significant difference between those positions and favoring the idea that Federal or state law enforcement authorities should be authorized to confiscate the weapons of otherwise law-abiding Americans.

Second, O’Rourke and other supporters of the idea of confiscation have not explained, or even been asked to explain, how they would get such a measure through Congress or the state legislatures and how they’d get it past the Court. In the interviews on Sunday, O’Rourke made vague references to the Interstate Commerce Clause, but even the expansive reading of that provision that the Supreme Court has adopted would not justify the involuntary seizure of property from innocent people. On the political side, it’s not even clear that such a measure would get majority support in a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, and it’s clear that it would not make it through the Senate except in the unlikely event that Democrats obtained at filibuster-proof majority in that body and that they were able to stay united on a cloture vote. Alternatively, I suppose it could happen if the legislative filibuster were repealed, but that’s even less likely than this idea being adopted into law any time soon. Yes, such measures have been adopted into law by nations such as Australia and New Zealand, but those nations are not the United States and cannot be looked to as guides for what is politically possible here.

As I’ve said, there are reasonable ideas that have been put forward by gun control advocates, such as enhanced background checks and “red flag laws,” By pushing an unrealistic and plainly unconstitutional idea like gun seizures, though, Beto O’Rourke has arguably done more to hurt the gun control movement than the NRA could ever have done on its own.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2020, Guns and Gun Control, Law and the Courts, Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Beto O’Rourke has arguably done more to hurt the gun control movement than the NRA could ever have done on its own.

    This x 100,000.
    The TV ads write themselves.
    And the whichever Democratic candidate is eventually chosen, will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to explain this away.
    Beto needs to get of the stage, post-haste.

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  2. Paul L. says:

    HEE,HEE,HEE,HEE,HEE,HEE,HEE,HEE,HEE,HEE
    From one of the dumbest progressives out there.
    https://crooksandliars.com/2019/09/beto-orourke-hell-yes-were-going-take-your
    Mandatory Buybacks are not Confiscation.

    Note the right-wing framing there. Buying back is not “taking away.”

    I am almost a single-issue voter on this. I don’t want to hear mishy-mashy NRA mumbo-jumbo. I want clear policy initiatives like this one. Ban those fckers and then buy the ones out there back.

    Also, memo to ABC News: Buybacks aren’t confiscation. Quit using right wing messaging.

    That means Trump can do a Mandatory Buyback of the land needed for the Border wall.

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  3. SKI says:

    Please explain how the GOP attacks will be any different than the ones they launched against Obama (and Clinton) on the same issue?

    They said then that Obama would grab all the guns. They will say it again against whomever the nominee is – and would have regardless of whether or not Beto, who assuredly won’t be the nominee, said what he said.

    That you have to resort to relying on a vacuous, always-wrong, conventional wisdom broker like Cillizza should be pretty good indication that your position isn’t actually supported by reason, logic or evidence. It certainly isn’t “Outside the Beltway” thinking. It is pure inside the beltway idiocy.

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  4. Modulo Myself says:

    The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America by a considerable margin

    A sad, pathetic fact. At a certain level, it was a stupid thing to stay. But the stupid fantasy world of guns is a million times larger, and frankly, it’s hard to imagine there’s anything to say to gun people. Like, if you have a 30-06 and you like to hunt because it’s a more ethical way to eat meat than factory farming, you should be appalled at what guns have become in this country. When people buy sports cars, no one’s like I need this Porsche because as a doctor/lawyer/investment banker I need to get to my job quickly. No, it’s because they’re fun as hell to drive, if you like that driving. But with guns it’s hell yeah this AR-15 is of use to me. It’s completely ridiculous.

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  5. Jay L Gischer says:

    @SKI: Hey, I won 20 bucks on a bet with a friend of mine about whether there would be gun control legislation after Obama took office with majorities in both houses.

    Easy money.

    That said, I would support things like a 10-day waiting period and mandatory background checks.

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  6. Gustopher says:

    As I’ve said, there are reasonable ideas that have been put forward by gun control advocates, such as enhanced background checks and “red flag laws,” By pushing an unrealistic and plainly unconstitutional idea like gun seizures, though, Beto O’Rourke has arguably done more to hurt the gun control movement than the NRA could ever have done on its own.

    It’s good to have a few gadflies pushing the bounds. Opens the world of possibilities up for the more reasonable candidates.

    The gun nuts are going to vote Republican anyway. They thought every Democrat was going to take away their guns for decades.

    The reachable gun enthusiasts will say “wow, the Democrats really missed the bullet when they didn’t nominate that guy who never led a poll.”

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    At last week’s debate, Beto O’Rourke handed Republicans and gun rights advocates a nicely wrapped gift with his claim that he would seize guns from otherwise law-abiding Americans.

    I am sick to death of people framing the argument the argument in this fashion. It’s as stupid as saying, “Sending otherwise law abiding Americans to prison for selling heroin on the street.” or “Prosecuting this otherwise fine upstanding man for the sin of insider trading.” or “It’s just a little fraud.”

    What happens to “law and order” Republicans when the subject of the law being broken becomes guns? Oh yeah, white people.

    @Modulo Myself:

    Like, if you have a 30-06 and you like to hunt because it’s a more ethical way to eat meat than factory farming, you should be appalled at what guns have become in this country.

    I am appalled. It’s absolute idiocy. No private citizen needs an AR-15, AK-47, or other such firearm. Period. My bolt action .30-06 does the job just fine.

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  8. michael reynolds says:

    Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire – the states we have to win that O’Rourke’s approach could cost us.

    The states we would add by going hard on gun control? Not one. Risking six for zero gain is not good politics. It is literally all downside in electoral terms.

    Hearts and minds, not legislation. We are close to the tipping point, but pushing now, in this way, is a mistake. It will force other Dems either to say ‘me too’ or to move to the center to save themselves. Not helpful.

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  9. Tyrell says:

    Beto also helped out the gun shops as their sales soared after he made that statement. That seems to happen after these debates.
    There is no way that could be carried out: it would be a logistics nightmare as police try to get warrants. Police would be reluctant to enforce such an order. It is clearly unconstitutional People bought these guns legally.
    Beto does need to leave the campaign.

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  10. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:
    Paul has a difficult time with the difference between a lower tier candidate (1-3% support) in a primary race, and the POTUS.
    Of course Paul has a difficult time with the simplistic of concepts, so this is of no surprise.

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  11. mattbernius says:

    Pretty much what most everyone has said — this is a terrible approach for the Democrats in an election where everything will be able turnout. Like bear baiting in Maine, it’s hard to think of another issue that will turn out more rural conservative voters than this one.

    Beyond that, any lasting gun control/regulation should not come from the executive branch. The first two years of the Trump administration (more than any other) should have taught us that. Frankly no lasting regulation of any sort should ever come from the executive branch. The sooner we can get away from that and focus on change via Congress the better.

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  12. Paul L. says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    I remember the cheers from the crowd and the agreement of the other candidates from the debate.

    Hey, Joe, instead of saying, ‘No, we can’t,’ let’s say, ‘Yes, we can.'”

    Remember how Todd Akin’s comments were portrayed as a plank in the GOP platform?

    Paul has a difficult time with the difference between a lower tier candidate (1-3% support) in a primary race, and the POTUS.

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  13. Paul L. says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Hey, I won 20 bucks on a bet with a friend of mine about whether there would be gun control legislation after Obama took office with majorities in both houses.

    Why would your friend believe Obama would push gun control legislation when he ran from and dodged the issue until he was reelected?

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  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds:

    We are close to the tipping point, but pushing now, in this way, is a mistake.

    I find myself nodding in agreement that this may not yet be the time, but I am still heartily sick of the stupid arguments put forward for why “we can’t regulate guns”, the most moronic of which is “but what about the gun owners’ fee fees?”

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  15. mattbernius says:

    @SKI:

    Please explain how the GOP attacks will be any different than the ones they launched against Obama (and Clinton) on the same issue?

    Because they have an incredibly explicit sound byte — including him doubling down. And that’s a critical asset.

    Again, if you read any current election analysis, the reality is that swing voters do not appear to really exist. It appears that everything really boils down to turnout. And its hard to think of another issue that will get people in rural areas and states to the polls to defensively vote (even those who are not particularly enthusiastic about Trump).

    And trust me, the Republicans are looking for ANY issues that will do that.

    And, again I think Paul L. is right, this is not dissimilar to what happened with Todd Akin. The other challenge is, to Michael’s point, Beto staking such a strong and extreme position also forces all the other candidates to comment on it and that has the danger of producing similar sound bites.

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  16. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:

    Remember how Todd Akin’s comments were portrayed as a plank in the GOP platform?

    Akin was an outspoken opponent of abortion in all cases, including health reasons or in cases of rape or incest…several Red states have passed these laws, and overturning Roe is the holy grail of the Republican party.
    There are no serious proposals for O’Rourkes position.
    You might want to look up the Dunning Kruger Effect.

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  17. SKI says:

    @mattbernius:

    Because they have an incredibly explicit sound byte — including him doubling down. And that’s a critical asset.

    That would indeed be a difference – if he was the nominee. He won’t be.

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  18. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:

    Why would your friend believe Obama would push gun control legislation

    Because Fox News said it and all of you RWNJ’s believed it.

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  19. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “The states we would add by going hard on gun control? Not one. Risking six for zero gain is not good politics. It is literally all downside in electoral terms.”

    So tired of Democratic cowardice. We spend years blasting our politicians for pre-compromising — that is, starting all our negotiations with our hoped-for endpoint and then watching as the other side takes it as our opening bid and drags it all way to the right. That’s not the way anyone negotiates — no one who ever wins, anyway.

    And maybe, just maybe, it’s not actually 1982 anymore. Maybe the NRA is a shadow of its former self, nothing more than a slush fund for sleazebags and a laundering operation for Russian campaign contributions. Maybe Beto is smart enough to look at polls and see that the vast majority of Americans want serious gun control — and the issue of buybacks is 50-50.

    Is he right? We’ll see. But this pearl-clutching from people on both sides is incredible. Beto didn’t hand anyone an issue — the arguments they use now are exactly the same ones they’ve been using for 30 years. For God’s sake, if a Democrat came out in favor of mandatory gun ownership and forced open carry, the Republicans would claim it was the first step towards confiscation. The downside is pretty close to zero.

    And the upside? Well, maybe Beto gains in some polls. Either way, other Democrats can say “See, I’m not a crazy radical. I don’t want to take your guns. All I want is the following sensible measures.” And magically, those sensible measures every sane person — and 75% of the country — agrees on are no longer the left fringe… they’re the compromise.

    You’re both smart and tough, Michael. Why you think that cowering in weakness is a political plus here is a mystery to me.

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  20. wr says:

    @mattbernius: “Because they have an incredibly explicit sound byte — including him doubling down’

    You know what people say they like about Trump? Even if they don’t agree with him, he says what he believes and he sticks to it. (And yes, I know this is an absurd fantasy — but these are Trump followers…) He projects strength.

    You know what people hate about Democrats? They’re fucking pussies. They claim to have beliefs, but they’re too cowardly to stand behind them.

    You know one reason why gun-control has been a one-position-only issue for the last few decades? Because there hasn’t been a single politician on the left with enough guts to actually stand up for it.

    Will this work for Beto? I’ve got no idea. If he’s the nominee, will it hurt him? We’ll have to find out.

    But I’m glad to see at least one Democrat coming out and saying “Fuck yeah, these guns should not be allowed.”

    And appalled that every sane commenter here has fallen into the Fox-news trap. “Oh, no, the people who have been calling us commie gun grabbers for 30 years will now call us commie gun-grabbers.”

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  21. mattbernius says:

    @SKI:

    That would indeed be a difference – if he was the nominee. He won’t be.

    He doesn’t need to be the nominee. The NRA can just run him saying that over and over. And whoever the nominee is will have to define there position against his/comment on his position.

    Again this is what the Dems did with Troy Akin.

    @wr:

    You know one reason why gun-control has been a one-position-only issue for the last few decades? Because there hasn’t been a single politician on the left with enough guts to actually stand up for it.

    Bullshit. The reason that gun-control has been a one-position-only issue at the federal level is that the entire structure of congress is biased towards rural areas. You can hold your breath and stamp your feet and wish for Green Lantern Politics as much as you want, but that doesn’t change that fact. So long as the House representative cap remains the same and the Senate is structured the way it is, jack and shit are going to happen on this topic outside of the State level.

    You want gun control at the Federal Level? Start pushing to lift the cap of members in the House. But saying its not happening because the Dems aren’t trying hard enough fundamentally ignores the underlying structural realities that bias us towards rural areas.

    I mean I guess it’s cathartic to get angry at the party. But it’s ultimately missing the point.

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  22. wr says:

    @mattbernius: “But it’s ultimately missing the point.”

    It’s not missing the point. You act as if every rural voter was some toothless goober drooling down the barrel of their AR-15. I’m saying maybe some minds can be changed if there’s someone out there trying to change minds.

    Odds are, the first guy who tries won’t succeed. So bye-bye President Beto. But someone else can pick up that torch.

    Or we can patronize the entire middle of the country the way people accuse Democrats of doing and just assume they’re all too stupid to ever be able to change their minds when the circumstances around them change. Maybe, just maybe, one or two of these horrible goobers you seem to loathe so much is also tired of seeing kids murdered in their schools.

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  23. mattbernius says:

    @wr:

    You act as if every rural voter was some toothless goober drooling down the barrel of their AR-15. I’m saying maybe some minds can be changed if there’s someone out there trying to change minds.

    I live in Western NY, which puts me in touch with a lot of rural communities. I’m 10 minutes away from farm land. I by produce directly from small farmers from across the political spectrum.

    And I have had a lot of conversations with people about guns including the AR-15 platform — including lots of people who use that platform for hunting. Heck, I know people whose businesses are built around AR-15 custom modifications.

    I’ve also had a lot of conversations with people about the NY Safe act, which is far, far, far less extreme than what Beto is pushing. And I can tell you exactly how well it plays outside of NYC and the Long Island (where my roots are). The only reason that New York and Cali (among other states) were able to pass their gun control legislation was because their legislatures more fairly weight urban and rural populations in terms of representation.

    But seriously, please lecture me more on how I’m looking down on rural folks and how little I understand the issue.

    (addendum: I’m also leaving out the not insignificant number of suburbanites I know who have AR platform guns and hunt… I’m a little biased in my sample due to the fact I’m involved with martial arts and people in the community tend to either be very gun or very anti-gun).

    (addendum 2: I am for gun control via statute versus executive order — if for no other reason than we don’t have to worry about a new administration coming in a reversing everything)

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  24. michael reynolds says:

    @wr:
    I want to win. The country needs us to win. A hardcore approach on guns at this point does nothing to increase our chances of winning, and in fact increases the odds of defeat. I’m opposed to guns in private hands, period, but my preferences aren’t going to help us carry Michigan.

    The problem with let’s just go balls to the wall is that it’s bad strategy, simplistic strategy. A smart strategist knows it can’t be attack, attack, attack all the time. Sometimes you dig holes and sit tight. Sometimes you fall back to a more defensible position. Sometimes you just harry the enemy, and sometimes you launch a full-scale attack.

    Beto’s approach will excite voters in California. And what good are marginal California voters in a general election? No good at all. Ditto New York and Massachusetts. But Michigan? Florida? Wisconsin? Will Beto’s position help us or hurt us in Michigan? And for what? To strike a brave pose in defense of legislation we have zero chance of passing and would likely be struck down as unconstitutional?

    I am not a fan of suicide missions. I don’t admire Pickett’s Charge or Balaklava. If that’s cowardly, I’m fine with that.

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  25. mattbernius says:

    Addendum, let’s also all pretend that the current PotUS didn’t win the ’16 election by carrying rural states and the rural areas of places like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, while losing the popular vote. No way that happens again.

    Much like there’s no way batshit crazy Paul LaPage wasn’t elected to a second term as Maine’s governor largely due to a Bear Baiting hunting measure being on the ballot. Nope, it’s not possible that happened.

    If we just try harder and all talk like Beto, Trump is definitely going down!

    (BTW, anyone remember that special election in Charleston just two weeks ago and how, while the Dem’s made big inroads, Republicans still won due to rural turnout? Again, gerrymandered district, but close doesn’t win it with the EC).

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  26. Modulo Myself says:

    @mattbernius:

    And I have had a lot of conversations with people about guns including the AR-15 platform — including lots of people who use that platform for hunting.

    There’s something darkly comic about the masculinity involved in turning a normal gun used for hunting into a weapons platform. I grew up in rural PA 30 or so years ago, and most gun owners were halfway normal. They didn’t sound as if they came out of the Turner Diaries.

    Personally, I think that talking tough to gun owners is far less effective than treating the miliatization of rural life a problem for rural people

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  27. mattbernius says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    There’s something darkly comic about the masculinity involved in turning a normal gun used for hunting into a weapons platform.

    Let’s not mince words, its a military weapons platform that was adapted for hunting and other sports. The entire “it’s a hunting rifle” is playing fast and lose with the AR-15’s history (and was part of a rebranding effort for it).

    And again, while I respect the hunting argument, I again think it tends to breakdown when people get apoplectic about regulating high capacity magazines (50+) or grenade… excuse me, “flare” launcher muzzle attachments.

    Personally, I think that talking tough to gun owners is far less effective than treating the miliatization of rural life a problem for rural people

    I completely agree on this one. And not just rural life. This also is deep into things like the police force.

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  28. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @wr:

    So bye-bye President Beto.

    It’s not bye-bye Beto…It’s hello political wastelands for the Democrats.
    This is not Australia and people are NOT going to give up their guns willingly.
    We passed some pretty good gun control laws here in CT…but there is still law enforcement that refuses to enforce it. Yes, that’s Blue state CT. Good luck in western PA, or MI.

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  29. mattbernius says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    We passed some pretty good gun control laws here in CT…but there is still law enforcement that refuses to enforce it. Yes, that’s Blue state CT

    We have a similar situation with the SAFE act in New York. BTW, it’s a similar situation in some rural counties in CA too.

    I really don’t like being the downer here, but this is a much deeper issue than people realize and the way to convert people isn’t to force everyone to talk about mandatory buy backs that can NOT happen under current political structures.

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  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Paul L.: Just so you’ll realize what a buffoon you sound like tee heeing away, Trump doesn’t need gun buyback laws to get land for the wall. There’s something called “eminent domain” that provides government all the legal power it needs to acquire land for anything it wants to pay for. You should look it up.

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  31. wr says:

    @mattbernius: “If we just try harder and all talk like Beto, Trump is definitely going down!”

    Nobody is calling for everyone to talk like Beto. Just to let Beto talk like Beto. You are acting like there really is a secret Democratic conspiracy to grab guns if they get into power and he’s spilling the beans.

    He’s one candidate. He said something that violated the incredibly narrow space in which we’re allowed to talk about guns. He’ll be rewarded or punished for it.

    But now everyone is freaking out. Do we have to have this freak out every time one Democratic candidate says something that everyone knows is true but it’s impolite to say?

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  32. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    I think that the politics of guns are changing. The big point of Democrats losing elections because gun control was that most voters did not care for guns. But more and more people are having to deal with active-shooter drills(And worse, they make sense if you have people with semi-automatic rifles willing to shoot a lot of people) and having lunch with people with concealed-carry not knowing whether the guy is just lunching or if he wants to have his last meal(I would not be comfortable doing that).

    O’Rourke is being desperate. But I think that in long run gun owners and the people of the NRA that should be worried.

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  33. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “I want to win.”

    We all want to win. Heck, I’d guess that even Beto wants to win. So far, pretending not to believe things everyone already knows you believe hasn’t been a winning strategy most of the time. Will it be this time? Don’t know. What I do see is Elizabeth Warren climbing in the polls every day simply on the strength of saying what she believes.

    Oh, yes, that would be the Elizabeth Warren that all the amateur pundits around here insisted was doomed because of the moronic Pocohantas crap a couple of months back.

    So while we all have the same goal, I will continue to believe there might be multiple different paths towards it, not just the one annointed by the Cilizzas of the world.

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  34. michael reynolds says:

    Gun manufacturers are the moral equals of Purdue Pharma. They knowingly sell a dangerous product they know will be abused and result in death. In the process they create addicts. And addicts care only about feeding their addiction.

    They stay in business purely because of special carve-outs and protections that shield them from lawsuits. This would be a fruitful area for legislation – remove the special protections, let the gun manufacturers defend their actions in civil court.

    It’s an easy fairness argument to make, and it would do far more damage to the gun profiteers than a buy-back. The cost of lawsuits would have to be passed along, raising the price of guns, possibly by a great deal. And at least some manufacturers would go bankrupt. Ditto retailers – make them as liable as they’d be if they knowingly sold land mines. Major retailers would run, gun manufacturers would raise prices and go under. Net effect: fewer guns sold, fewer guns owned, and the manufacturers would suddenly discover the usefulness of safe gun technology.

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  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    After Trump’s election, I’ve given up on the notion that Americans are wise enough and good enough people to govern themselves wisely. Guns may well be the key to population control that will remove enough of the loons from the gene pool to get us back to manageable population levels. Laissez les bon temps rouller!

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  36. wr says:

    @mattbernius: “I’m a little biased in my sample due to the fact I’m involved with martial arts and people in the community tend to either be very gun or very anti-gun”

    I’m glad you added this. Far too many commenters on every platform start out with “The American people want/believe this…” when what it means is “My circle of acquaintances and I believe this…”

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  37. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “Gun manufacturers are the moral equals of Purdue Pharma.”

    Yes, and you’ve long talked of a campaign much like the anti-tobacco one — to start to change American opinions on the product BEFORE any legislation moves forward. I’ve been surprised that no such campaign has taken hold — all the anti-gun groups seem to focus on passing bills rather than changing minds.

    But I’m wondering if minds aren’t beginning to change anyway. It ain’t the anti-gun groups doing it — it’s a combination of a plague of mass shootings followed the obvious moral bankruptcy of the Republicans in congress and the NRA’s odious bullshit.

    Beto’s gamble is that enough minds have changed. I don’t know if he’s right, but I’m glad someone is checking to see whether the people who have been answering the polls over the last few months meant what they said…

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  38. mattbernius says:

    @wr:

    Far too many commenters on every platform start out with “The American people want/believe this…” when what it means is “My circle of acquaintances and I believe this…”

    To that point who is *your* circle of acquaintances/interactions that you’re building your perspective on.

    Also I should be clear, I also work in an area related to criminal justice reform, so I also have a had a lot of conversations about this particular topic with people both in and impacted by the criminal justice system.

    And I also know and interact with people who literally subsistence hunt in part to feed their families. So that’s another perspective that needs to be understood within this discussion as well.

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  39. Bill says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I am not a fan of suicide missions. I don’t admire Pickett’s Charge or Balaklava.

    That’s interesting but what about 2019 Miami Dolphins football?

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  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “We are close to the tipping point…”

    There is no tipping point. If 2o dead white suburban 6 and 7 year olds didn’t move the needle…

    We simply prefer maintaining the right to kill others easily and need to acknowledge it and move on. Maybe the next generation won’t want to be like us if we ever let them start to lead.

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  41. Fortunato says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I grew up in Hicksylvania, Nebraska, literally surrounded by guns. My father was a fanatic and a collector. I’m too embarrassed to reveal how many guns we had in our tiny house. I was still too young yet to hunt when I sat in our basement, next to my father, weighing out powder, re-sizing brass, reloading custom rifle loads and pouring molten lead into wadcutter (bullet) molds. This is when I wasn’t cranking out countless thousands (literally) of newly crimped shotgun shells. I hunted, shot trap, shot recreationally (gun club/prizes) reloaded and amateur smithed.. for decades. I was an NRA member before I was old enough to drive.

    Never once were the words “hunting platform” uttered within my family or the selective few with whom we chose to hunt.

    The semi-automatic sporting rifle has been around since the mid 50’s (Remington Woodsmaster Model 740). Few purchased it because the semi-auto action was 1) more expensive and 2) widely acknowledged to be inherently less accurate (especially back then) than a bolt action.
    AND.. the 740 looked very similar to a standard rifle – hence, unlike today’s Militia wannabe’s, no one bought them for their Rambo (tiny dick enhancer) Effect as they do today’s modded-out ARs.

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  42. mattbernius says:

    Complete side question:

    I don’t spend much time reading the comments on right-leaning sites any more — do they get into these type of epic intra-commentor scraps? I feel like there were some at the launch of the never-Trump movement… but are there any other issues that are this contentious among otherwise aligned people?

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  43. mattbernius says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    But I think that in long run gun owners and the people of the NRA that should be worried.

    I guess… in the same way that theoretically, if nothing changes, in the long run Republicans should be worried. We heard that a lot in 2016 before the election and all of us rediscovered the Electoral College.

    The more I’ve read and thought about what Steven Taylor has written here, them more I’m looking at institutions first and foremost. And ours are structured and weighted towards preserving existing power structures.

    Its telling that we’re 4 years past the Supreme Court Gay Marriage decision and it’s polling better than ever as a topic, and yet — if we are honest — there’s ZERO chance that any sort of federal legislative protection for Gay Marriage could make it through congress now (and most likely for years to come).

    Maybe I’m just cynical, but I don’t see that changing any time soon (and I think that’s an easier issue than gun control).

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  44. Lounsbury says:

    Well he right buggered himself in terms of presidential outlook.

    But perhaps a useful foil for a Biden to repudiate.

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  45. Lounsbury says:

    @mattbernius: Quite right although the kneejerkers are thumbs-downing you.

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  46. Lounsbury says:

    @wr: Warren is climbing in internal Dem polls, and the observations about her being wounded re the Indian heritage with respect to the General Election, not with respect to the Lefty Dem base which of course will ignore

    In short, navel gazing as a path to success is a great way for you all to repeat your great 2016 performance by own-goal and foisting on the world another four years of the orange cretin.

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  47. Mikey says:

    @wr:

    Either way, other Democrats can say “See, I’m not a crazy radical. I don’t want to take your guns. All I want is the following sensible measures.” And magically, those sensible measures every sane person — and 75% of the country — agrees on are no longer the left fringe… they’re the compromise.

    Indeed. I’m a bit surprised nobody else has commented on how O’Rourke is moving the Overton window on this issue in the direction it has needed to go for decades.

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  48. Matt says:

    @SKI:

    Please explain how the GOP attacks will be any different than the ones they launched against Obama (and Clinton) on the same issue?

    Well the difference is that prior it was only the GOP making the claim. Now a contender in the Democratic presidential primary is the one saying it. The only one who believed the GOP were already voting GOP. Hearing it from a Democrat on the other hand is an entirely different threat.

    @Modulo Myself:

    Like, if you have a 30-06 and you like to hunt because it’s a more ethical way to eat meat than factory farming, you should be appalled at what guns have become in this country.

    The 30-06 is way too powerful for the vast majority of game animals in the northern USA. That’s why the AR is so popular because .223/5.56 is effective against the majority of game animals and the ones that require larger or smaller rounds can also be hunted with just a quick change of the upper to a more appropriate round size. The 30-30 round used to be the most popular hunting round in NA but I’m not sure if that’s true anymore. The 7.62×39 round of the AK platform performs like a 30-30 round out to about 200 yards and then it drops rapidly. I prefer the Ak platform to my old 30-30 because I know the bullet will be in the dirt by 200 yards when hog hunting while the 30-30’s flatter trajectory will reach out much further.

    Considering right up until 1986 you could by REAL military assault rifles and machine guns without a license of any dealer I would say that gun control isn’t going anywhere near the direction you’re trying to claim with that bit about “you should be appalled at what guns have become in this country”…. Personally I’m appalled at the amount of ignorance being displayed by the anti-gun rights people.

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  49. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Mikey:

    O’Rourke is moving the Overton window

    He’s moving it in a way that’s not productive.
    Most people are on board with sensible measures.
    He has given the NRA puppets a talking point against sensible measures.
    And likely eliminated the chance of anything sensible happening.

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  50. wr says:

    @mattbernius: “To that point who is *your* circle of acquaintances/interactions that you’re building your perspective on.”

    Trust me, I have never started a sentence with “The American people feel…” And I believe every point I’ve made in this thread has started from an opposition to the certainty that there is only one allowable approach to gun issues. I don’t know what the answers are, but I’m not claiming I do — just expressing happiness that someone is testing the waters.

    Opinions do change based on facts. It takes a long time sometimes; in other cases, like gay marriage acceptance, it happens shockingly fast. And no one ever sees the tipping point until it’s past.

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  51. wr says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: “Most people are on board with sensible measures.”

    If you start with “sensible measures” then every single compromise takes you further away from reasonable measures until you have nothing. And then the Republicans call you gun grabbers anyway.

    By the way, you’ll notice that when Republicans ignore public opinion and issue outrageously extreme abortion restrictions, no one ever says “oh, noes, you’ll alienate the people who say you’re trying to turn the country into Gilead.” They just push forward and dare anyone to stop them, knowing that every play takes them a little further towards their goal.

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  52. wr says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: “There is no tipping point. If 2o dead white suburban 6 and 7 year olds didn’t move the needle…”

    There’s no tipping point until there is, and then it was obvious all along.

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  53. Mikey says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I can’t agree. ANY movement of the window in the direction O’Rourke is moving it is productive.

    We can’t keep doing the same things that got us NOTHING done after Newtown and NOTHING done after Pulse and NOTHING done after Parkland and…and…and… No more of this garbage tinkering around the edges. SOMEBODY HAS TO SAY THIS STUFF. Somebody has to say “yeah, this IS on the table.”

    Nobody on the right for whom guns are a defining issue is going to vote for any Democrat anyway. So why not push that Overton window to the left as hard and as far as it’ll go?

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  54. wr says:

    @Lounsbury: Um, Warren is running in the Democratic primary. That’s why those are the polls she’s rising in. No one is polling the general — oh, except for those polls that show Warren and four or five other Democrats beating Trump head to head.

    It may be possible that every single non-Democrat in the country is a moron who prefers a year-old juvenile taunt to actually listening to a candidate, and in that case I suppose you’re right and she’s doomed. But in that case there is simply no point in having an election. In that case we can do it like Britain and simply annoint the single worst person in the entire country to lead.

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  55. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @mattbernius:

    I guess… in the same way that theoretically, if nothing changes, in the long run Republicans should be worried. We heard that a lot in 2016 before the election and all of us rediscovered the Electoral College.

    Maybe. Rural states, where there are more gun owners, are over-represented in the American political system. But we are not in 1988: the number of people that own guns is getting smaller and gun owners require people that does not own guns to deal with a lot of annoyances.

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  56. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @mattbernius: @Matt:

    As a former meat hunter I would not employ high velocity ammunition (such as AR15 type) to gather meat for consumption. The impact on tissue renders the meat in the region of entry and subsequent path of the slug unless. OTOH, if I were hunting with the singular objective to kill ( as in hunting predators ) the AR15 is appropriate weaponry.

    So while I’d accept the “but the hunters” argument, it is only persuasive to a fraction of hunters.

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  57. An Interested Party says:

    By the way, you’ll notice that when Republicans ignore public opinion and issue outrageously extreme abortion restrictions, no one ever says “oh, noes, you’ll alienate the people who say you’re trying to turn the country into Gilead.” They just push forward and dare anyone to stop them, knowing that every play takes them a little further towards their goal.

    You noticed this too, eh? It’s funny how some people are just falling apart over Beto saying this and, at the same time, Republicans say all manner of crazy shit and rarely seem to get penalized for that, indeed, they’re painted as being “authentic” and standing up for what they believe in…it would be nice if more Democrats displayed more conviction for what they believe and less of the mealy-mouthed “yes, but, maybe, sorry” shit…

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  58. Modulo Myself says:

    @Matt:

    Again: fantasy. Hunting is a dying sport. In 2016, there were 11.5 million hunters in America. Somewhere between 30 to 40% of Americans owns guns. Meaning that 90 million maybe Americans own guns but few of them are using them to hunt game or anything. Guys like you can bore people to death talking about exit velocity but that’s all you know about the toys you love so much.

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  59. Modulo Myself says:

    I think a good strategy for Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsyvlania would be to hammer on the distinction between hunting and just buying guns because they’re toys. Trump is the president for adults who love dumb toys. I’ve never had an urge to shoot a deer, but I can get behind at least the ideal of going into nature. (Obviously, the reality is that many hunters go out with a case of Rolling Rock and pass out in a shelter twelve feet from the cabin with the big-screen television where they can watch Steelers highlights.)

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  60. Guarneri says:

    @mattbernius:

    Yes. Spending, for example. So you can cut the self congratulations.

    But you guys miss the elephant in the room. Gun owners don’t believe for a second you will stop with AK-47s, or “reasonable” measures. Ultimately you will want all guns, and your politicians will lie about intent all the way to the end, and reserve the right to own for themselves.

    The income tax was originally to be small and limited to a small fraction of the population. Abortion was not initially intended to be available up until hours of delivery. Immigration for asylum seekers; how about free health care for illegals? The GreenNew Deal went from a soft pedaled “aspiration” to real policy goal in a matter of months. Look at the unfunded public sector pension mess. Incrementalism is real.

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  61. Nickel Front says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    There is no tipping point. If 2o dead white suburban 6 and 7 year olds didn’t move the needle…

    Why is always a handful of dead white kids that always gets you going on gun control?
    It’s never a typical weekend in Baltimore or Chicago. Hmmm.

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  62. Nickel Front says:

    It’s funny how you call for basically stacking the House to get your way, then wonder why people in rural areas don’t trust you and want to keep their guns.

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  63. Raoul says:

    What kind of a person insists in owning an assault weapon despite the carnage it brings? The kind of person who does not give a care to anyone else. One can hunt, target shoot, protect their home and even have a nice collection without assault weapons. The creation and purpose of these guns is mass slaughter, so to demand the right to own one despite their risk describes a person with borderline sociopathic behavior: the kind of person who really should not have these type of armament.

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  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: Thank you. I’m not a hunter and silently give thanks every time that a courageous gun sacrifices its life so that we can have another storm drain grate, but I’ve been wondering about how high velocity slugs that tear apart human flesh so that a person bleeds out before an ambulance can arrive would be good for hunting. It didn’t seem logical to me. Glad to know that I’m not completely ignint.

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  65. wr says:

    @Guarneri: “Gun owners don’t believe for a second you will stop with AK-47s, or “reasonable” measures. Ultimately you will want all guns, ”

    And right on schedule, Trump-boy and pretend-businessman Drew stops by to show that he already believes that Democrats want to seize all guns and in fact has always believed that. Whatever Beto says makes no difference to him — just as freeing the slaves led down the slippery slope to some black guy dating his sister, any attempt to regulate firearms will inevitably bring armed gummint goons kicking in his door to grab his precious. And with Drew here, the only way to stop progress is to keep it from ever beginning — which means a big no to any gun laws and probably to freeing the slaves.

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  66. Nickel Front says:

    @wr:

    just as freeing the slaves led down the slippery slope to some black guy dating his sister

    Do you have an argument besides Everything I Don’t Agree With Is Racist?

    Because honestly, I don’t see a need to continue to read your comments anymore if everything you say comes down to that. You pretty much just invalidated everything else you said.

    Can we make “Just Like Slavery” the new Godwin’s Law or something?

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  67. Lounsbury says:

    @wr:

    Um, Warren is running in the Democratic primary.

    Yes which renders your silly posturing meaningless as the people you were ostensibly rebutting were focusing on Warren relative to the general election. But be an idiot ideologue posturer all you want.

    That’s why those are the polls she’s rising in. No one is polling the general — oh, except for those polls that show Warren and four or five other Democrats beating Trump head to head.

    Which are as useful as the ones showing Madame Clinton doing the same early on.

    Counting your chickens before they hatch.

    It may be possible that every single non-Democrat in the country is a moron who prefers a year-old juvenile taunt to actually listening to a candidate, and in that case I suppose you’re right and she’s doomed.

    You are really truly incapable of reading for comrpehension, it seems. I am not “right” re doomed as I made no such claim at all.

    I merely pointed out your posturing was 100% mischaracterising and misframing what others had said in the past. Will her faux pas re Indian Heritage doom her in general election? I don’t have a particular opinion, but one can reasonably say that her clumsy handling of the same do not encourage relative to having the skill to endure the orange cretin’s onslaught. She may prove otherwise now but the critique you entirely mischaracterized for some idiot point scoring is relative to the general election.

    And for the 10-15% of population voting in play for you, that population is almost certainly rather more sensitive to these attacks than you Lefty base.

    But voila, if you wish to follow Labour down the path of navel gazing…

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  68. Mister Bluster says:

    @Nickel Front:..stacking the House.

    Like the Republicans have “stacked” the Senate.

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  69. mattbernius says:

    @Nickel Front:

    It’s funny how you call for basically stacking the House to get your way

    Funny how you misspelled “returning the House to something closer to the Founder’s intent of it growing with the population to ensure a more representational Democracy, rather than pinning it’s size to the size of the US from over a century ago” (the 1911 reappropriation — btw, our population has essentially tripled since then).

    Not to mention returning the House to the model that it operated under for the first century plus of the Republic (rather than a decision made in 1929).

    This isn’t about “getting my way” — it’s about actually having it better represent the needs of the population. Which also means that some rural states, like Wyoming, would get more representatives (rather than 1 rep for approximately 1 million people).

    But hey, keep on standing up for an unfair distribution of congressional power relative to population… because… Democracy!

    (it’s also a great illustration of everyone clings to the founding fathers and original intent until they feel like those results are going against them)

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  70. mattbernius says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:
    I honestly don’t know enough about hunting to comment on this one way or the other. All I can say is I know people who use the platform (with modifications) for hunting deer to harvest meat.

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  71. wr says:

    @Nickel Front: “Because honestly, I don’t see a need to continue to read your comments anymore if everything you say comes down to that”

    Somehow I will find a way to live even with this crushing disappointment.

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  72. wr says:

    @Lounsbury: Your message reads much better if one pictures you delivering it sprawled across a couch like Rees-Mogg in Parliament.

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  73. Teve says:

    @wr: the great thing about the handful of trolls we have here is that they show you in their first one or two comments that you can safely ignore them forever. They’re very efficient that way. 🙂

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  74. GHW says:

    Contrasting these lines I am reminded of the changing the narrative fallacy.

    “a nicely wrapped gift with his claim that he would seize guns from otherwise law-abiding Americans”
    &
    ” Hell yes we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”

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  75. Nickel Front says:

    @mattbernius:

    (it’s also a great illustration of everyone clings to the founding fathers and original intent until they feel like those results are going against them)

    Like the left and the Electoral College?

    But I digress.

    You might have a better chance of getting meaningful, effective gun control measures passed if:
    A. You didn’t constantly refer to people opposed to you as ignorant racists with small members (content filter?).
    B. You wouldn’t keep trying to change the makeup of Congress by explicitly saying that you want to concentrate power in the hands of urban areas, taking out away from everyone that mostly because Those People are preventing you from getting your way.
    C. You’d stop calling everyone opposed to gun control insane, racist, unhinged, etc. while at the same time calling for red flag laws. (You do see the problem here, right?)
    D. You could explicitly define Assault Weapon. Then describe how banned weapon a functionally differs from unbanned weapon b.
    E. You could explain how you will deal with the people who don’t sell their guns to the govt under a purely voluntary program.

    No one really believes you want anything reasonable. And Robert O’Rourke just proved that. (Joe, just say “yes we can!”)

    Besides, how am I supposed to Resist the Actual Dictator in the WH when he sends his jack booted thugs to round up gays, blacks, etc. and throw them in Literal Concentration Camps any day now if I don’t have a gun?

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  76. mattbernius says:

    @Nickel Front:

    Like the left and the Electoral College?

    Yup. This is definitely a “both sides do it…” Though, if you read the federalist papers, you’d also appreciate that the Electoral College isn’t working as intended either.

    B. You wouldn’t keep trying to change the makeup of Congress by explicitly saying that you want to concentrate power in the hands of urban areas, taking out away from everyone that mostly because Those People are preventing you from getting your way.

    You keep mispelling “advocating for proportionate representation more in line with the distribution of our population.”

    I think it’s particularly telling that you seem to identify that with *taking power away* from people (or is it feeling like power is being taken away from me) when its more equally distributing power (which was one of our founding values). Which seems to indicate that you are implicitly saying that you prefer the current system where rural areas to have disproportionate power to their population. Care to spell out why its a virtue to perpetuate that system?

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  77. Chip Daniels says:

    Republican responses on guns:
    1. “Lets have background checks.”
    THEY’RE COMING FER YER GUNZ!
    2. We should have red flag laws.”
    THEY’RE COMING FER YER GUNZ!
    3. “We need to ban bump stocks”
    THEY’RE COMING FER YER GUNZ!
    4. “we should…”
    THEY’RE COMING FER YER GUNZ!

    I just don’t see any downside to saying, y’know, maybe we should go fer their gunz.

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  78. Teve says:

    @mattbernius: the moment Texas goes blue and it becomes mathematically impossible for Republicans to win a presidential election they’ll suddenly discover just how grossly unAmerican the electoral college is.

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  79. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yep! My 12-gauge Remington semiautomatic shotgun provides all the firepower I need.

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  80. GWH says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    RWNJ – it took me a few moments to figure out the abbreviation. 😀 😀

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  81. GHW says:

    @SC_Birdflyte:

    Yep! My 12-gauge Remington semiautomatic shotgun provides all the firepower I need.

    Exactly – And that is why no one needs or should have an AK47 or AR 15.

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  82. Matt says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    As a former meat hunter I would not employ high velocity ammunition (such as AR15 type) to gather meat for consumption. The impact on tissue renders the meat in the region of entry and subsequent path of the slug

    First off a slug is fired from a shot gun not a rifle. If you’re referring to a bullet fired from a rifle the traditional definition is “round”. I’m not sure if you’re trying to reference the fact that there are shot gun uppers for AR-15s or if you’re just trying to be dramatic. If you’re interested in shotgun uppers for the AR platform then I would suggest you look at the AR-10s out there as the beefier design allows for the usage of larger/heavier ammo such as .50 cal or large shotgun shells. There are shotgun uppers for AR-15s but there’s more of a limit on possible designs compared to the AR-10.

    A 30-06 round has just as high velocity (possibly more depending on load) and far more mass than a typical ar-15 round. 30-30 rounds are of similar velocity too but with less mass than a 30-06 round. You’re missing the point of the ar-15. You can run anything from subsonic rounds smaller than a .22lr all the way up to subsonic .458 SOCOM rounds. The ability of the AR platform to be tailored to your hunt is what makes them so popular in hunting. A quick swap of the upper is all that is usually required. To pretend that aR-15s can only shoot high velocity high powered god destroying ammo is to ignore reality. AR-15s don’t magically change the ammo fed into them…

    if I were hunting with the singular objective to kill

    So you hunt to wound? What kind of sadistic nutcase are you??

    @Modulo Myself:

    Again: fantasy. Hunting is a dying sport. In 2016, there were 11.5 million hunters in America.

    Okay so it’s a fantasy that people use guns to hunt in the USA and then you link to proof that at least 11.5 million people hunt in the USA alone.. Are you even bothering to read what you type before hitting post? I do appreciate you proving yourself wrong though as that’s less work for me.

    @Raoul:

    What kind of a person insists in owning an assault weapon despite the carnage it brings?

    Assault weapon is a term that was made up in the 90s by anti-second adement people in an attempt to conflate assault rifle with semi-automatic hunting rifles. Any gun is capable of what you speak of. Hell a whole lot of things from cars all teh way down to your hands and feet are capable of that. That’s why more people are killed every year by punches and kicks than rifles. That’s ALL rifles of which roughly 1% would be considered “assault weapons”. You know semi-automatic black and “scary’ looking….

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  83. Matt says:

    @GHW: Indeed one trigger pull of that shotgun is roughly equal to 9-10 trigger pulls on a FMJ using 7.62×39 ak/sks/ar/etc…

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  84. Nickel Front says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: semi auto shotgun??

    No… Wait… That’s not possible… Shotguns are cute, quaint little safe guns!

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  85. wr says:

    @Matt: “You’re missing the point of the ar-15. You can run anything from subsonic rounds smaller than a .22lr all the way up to subsonic .458 SOCOM rounds. The ability of the AR platform to be tailored to your hunt is what makes them so popular in hunting.”

    I do hope you continue to post this kind of message next time a dozen children are murdered by some asshole with an assault weapon. There’s nothing that makes a stronger case for completely unregulated gun ownership than this kind of pedantry in the face of mass slaughter. I’m sure grieving mothers everywhere will be comforted by your words.

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  86. Incognito says:

    @Modulo Myself:
    The British did not march on Concord and Lexington in 1775 to confiscate the Colonists hunting weapons. The Second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. Also, most gun deaths are suicides- and most often, not involving rifles (it’s kind ow awkward to try to shoot yourself with a rifle)- if someone wants to kill themselves, they will figure out a way. Of homicides, the vast majority are carried out with ‘hot’ handguns, mostly in cities where they are banned. the percentage of crimes committed with legally purchased guns is very small.

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  87. Matt says:

    @wr: More people are killed each year via punches and kicks than “assault weapons”….

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