Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke is pretty much betting that gun control will be the defining issue of the 2020 presidential campaign.
It’s not as though he has many options left; his poll numbers are dismal and he seems to have no other policy prescriptions to offer. But heck yes, he’s going to take your AR-15.
His plan to confiscate certain types of rifles seems legally iffy at best, even if he were ever in a position to enforce it.
Speaking Sept. 15 on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” O’Rourke invoked the Commerce Clause of the Constitution as trumping the Second Amendment in regard to the proposed ban and seizure, something that the courts might not fight terribly convincing.
O’Rourke has continued undeterred and is now invoking a new legal scholar to defend his plan: Antonin Scalia. Yes, just in case you thought you might be mistaken, that Antonin Scalia.
“You listen to a justice like Antonin Scalia, not the most liberal justice who’d served on the Supreme Court, and even he found that there is no absolute guarantee under the Second Amendment and that the government does have a power to regulate those kinds of weapons that are extraordinarily unusual or deadly,” O’Rourke said Wednesday on CNN.
O’Rourke was likely referring to the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller ruling, in which Scalia wrote the majority opinion.
In that case, the late Supreme Court justice implied that bans on “dangerous and unusual weapons” are not necessarily unconstitutional.
.@ChrisCuomo: “Are you in fact in favor of gun confiscation?”
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) September 19, 2019
However, he forgot a critical part of that decision — something that pundit and former NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch was more than willing to remind him of during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
In terms of Scalia, Loesch mentioned the part of District of Columbia v. Heller that Beto decided not to mention — the part where Scalia talked about weapons “in common use at the time” being covered under the Second Amendment. (Scalia’s decision declared weapons that fell under this definition were protected under the Constitution and couldn’t be banned by local governments.)
She also took exception to O’Rourke’s characterization of certain rifles as “weapons of war.”
“He doesn’t quite understand what the founders’ intention was,” Loesch said.
“Our founders owned weapons of war, muskets were weapons of war, cannons were weapons of war. Our founders and the people who made up the average, everyday colonists that formed Washington’s army owned weapons of war.”
“He keeps trying to find and justify this state-sanctioned theft of lawfully owned property, but the bottom line is that he’s going to have to repeal the Second Amendment in order to achieve his objective and that’s not going to be something voters are going to go for,” Loesch added.
“You’re talking about fundamentally altering the fabric of the United States.”
Anyone dunking on Beto is always appreciated, but when it comes to his AR-15 confiscation plan, it’s clear Beto is the kind of guy who can bend the laws of physics and dunk on himself.
It’s become painfully clear that this mass gun seizure wasn’t actually a plan Beto came up with.
He probably spent some time prepping that line — “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. And we’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore” — and working out the inevitable T-shirt design.
When it came to working out how this will survive court challenges or whether or not there’ll be people going door-to-door demanding that Mr. and Mrs. America turn them all in, well, that part kind of got pushed back.
How do I know that? It wasn’t the Commerce Clause thing. I think that’s a weak argument constitutionally, but a totally different assault weapons ban which didn’t involve seizure managed to survive scrutiny on that account.
However, it’s obvious when Beto’s invoking Justice Scalia’s Heller ruling to support his claim when that ruling was very specific about guns in common use being protected — and when the AR-15 has been the best-selling rifle in America — that this is a man who is wildly misinformed about how his proposal would go forward.
There’s some good news in that, though: The only thing Beto O’Rourke is going to be taking is more of our network airtime to expound upon his very specious theories of gun control.
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