Beto On Guns: 'You’ll Have to Sell Them to the Government'

P. Gardner Goldsmith | September 3, 2019
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If there’s one consistent trait Beto O’Rourke displays, it’s class. From his shameless use of a distraught El Paso Wal Mart employee as a camera prop to show how much he “cares”, to his “of the people” polyglot adoption of an Hispanic nickname -- even though he’s not Hispanic and his real name is Robert -- it’s been nothing but an integrity show anytime one tunes in.

But this time, Beto might be taking his act a bit too far, smacking face-first into the Second Amendment and the right it’s supposed to protect. On August 31, Buzzfeed’s Molly Hensley-Clancy Tweeted:

A reporter asked Beto in Charlottesville how he’d reassure people afraid the gov’t would take their assault weapons away. ‘I want to be really clear that that’s exactly what we are going to do,’ he said. If you own an AK-47 or AR-15, ‘you’ll have to sell them to the government.’

And, lest anyone accuse a Buzzfeed reporter of playing loose with the facts, Mr. O’Rourke confirmed the gist of her Tweet with his own quotation of it and a reply:

We need to buy back every single assault weapon.

Which is impossible for two big reasons. First, the guns never belonged to the government, so a “buy-back”, a-la New Zealand’s “mandatory-voluntary” buy-back a few weeks ago, is a falsehood. It’s just dangerous make-believe, hidden in a rhetorical cloud of fantastical groupthink, and it would be nice if a pop media “journo” like Ms. Hensley-Clancy bothered to mention it. Just once. Second, as has been shown in New Zealand, and in Australia over a decade ago (where violent crime, including gun-crime, increased for three years following the “buy-back”), Beto’s vaunted belief that the government will “buy back every single assault weapon” is a numerical impossibility that will never all “assault weapons” turned in.

Statutes aren’t magic, and prohibition does not kill demand. Supply will always cater to that demand any time there is a profit to be found. And it doesn’t matter how many Harry Potter wands Beto waves at what he numbly defines as “assault weapons”, people with criminal intent have incentives to get firearms and they don’t care about the statutes.

If he thinks prohibition stops guns in America, Beto might want to look at the results of the obnoxiously unconstitutional FDR-pushed-and-passed 1934 “National Firearms Act”, which made it illegal for anyone in the US to buy a new fully-automatic firearm without obtaining a “special permit” from the government and paying a big fee to Uncle Sam. A 1986 amendment to the act made it illegal to manufacture a fully automatic firearm for private purposes. We all know how much that conforms to the Constitution – which is zero -- and how it’s made fully automatic weapons disappear from the hands of criminals – it hasn’t.

And who is this “we” to whom O’Rourke refers when he writes, “We need to buy back every single assault weapon”?

I didn’t sign on to that, did you?

What Beto means is that his alchemical recipe for legislation will force us to pay for the armed agents of the state who will also use our tax cash to “buy back” the guns the government never owned. And he’s using the typical collective pronoun “we” to wrap it in a rhetorical veil of “community”.

Let’s get something straight for Beto. The term “we” in political parlance is derivative of what is known in political science as “The Royal We”. Its origins can be found in monarchs claiming they “were the state”, hence they would refer to themselves not as individuals making decrees, but in the fictional, fanciful, plural “we”. So we had kings and queens saying things such as “We decree that…” because they supposedly represented all the people living in their kingdom.

As so-called “representative republics” and “democracies” replaced monarchies, the monarchs were lost, but the fiction remained. The “Royal We” was merely transferred to the state and its politicians, who now claim that peculiar plural pronoun as if they represent the people, when that’s a literal impossibility. So when a politician or a supporter of a particular policy says, “We should…” or “We need…” they are forcibly including you in their plans.

Precisely what Beto wants to do. Keep it in mind next time you hear a politician say, “We need to educate kids,” or “We need to care for the elderly,” etc. They're not speaking for themselves. They're forcibly including you. It’s linguistic collectivism through a single pronoun, something about which dissident Soviet novelist Yevgeny Zamyatin warned in his 1921 dystopian novel, “We”.

If Beto’s ludicrous idea ever becomes some form of law or another unconstitutional ATF mandate, “we” will be forced to pay for the destruction of even more or our rights. The Second Amendment will be overlooked and insulted even more, and the government will further use threats of gun violence against innocent people merely because those people own something politicians like Beto don’t like or they fear.

Perhaps that’s why he keeps jumping on top of tables in public… Perhaps he’s not only afraid of firearms, he’s afraid of basic human rights…

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