Beto O'Rourke: 'I'm Open' to Australian-Style Mandatory Confiscation of Guns


“Nobody wants to take your guns” is a line liberal politicians have repeatedly used to assure the American people that their Second Amendment rights are safe.

But when push comes to shove, taking your guns appears to be exactly the plan.

It sure looks that way for Beto O’Rourke, at least. The Democratic presidential contender just admitted that forcing citizens to hand over their legally purchased firearms was “absolutely” in the cards if he makes it to the White House.

On Monday, O’Rourke was interviewed on the liberal podcast “Pod Save America,” which was co-founded by Barack Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau. Considering the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend that have dominated the news, it’s only natural that gun control questions came up.

Favreau brought up Australia’s mandatory gun buy-back program, which was implemented in the 1990s after a mass shooting in the tourist town of Port Arthur.

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Let’s not sugar coat it: This was confiscation, with firearms being collected for destruction by the government and criminal penalties imposed for any citizen who refused to comply.

“Yes, and I’m open to them right now as a candidate,” O’Rourke said, according to TheBlaze.

“It absolutely has to be part of the conversation.”

That answer should be a giant red flag to anyone who still holds any illusions that Democrats respect the private ownership of firearms as enshrined in the Second Amendment.

Not only did Australia’s gun control measure endorsed by O’Rourke seize semi-automatic rifles, it also required citizens to turn in common shotguns used for hunting and self-defense.

“O’Rourke was referring to the National Firearms Agreement, passed in Australia in 1996. The law banned the possession of shotguns and semi-automatic rifles in all but ‘exceptional circumstances,'” TheBlaze explained.

“Under that law, ‘self-defense’ was not a valid legal reason to own a gun, and all gun owners had to obtain government licenses,” the outlet noted.

“The buyback program in Australia resulted in more than 700,000 weapons being surrendered in 1996 and 1997.”

There’s also much debate about whether that country’s gun confiscation had much of an impact on crime.

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“[T]he gun‐homicide rate was already extraordinarily low and falling for 15 years prior to the massacre that initiated the gun control policy,” Alyssa Ahlgren of Turning Point USA noted in a commentary piece published by The Western Journal earlier this year.

“Due to the numbers being so small in the first place, the ’59 percent decline in gun‐homicides’ is within the margin of error and therefore statistically irrelevant. The Australian example doesn’t hold statistical merit to be a valid argument.”

Would you surrender your firearms in a "buyback" program?

Indeed, data compiled by gun violence researcher and author John R. Lott show that Australia’s homicide rate stayed more or less the same for years after the “buyback” program, while armed robberies actually increased significantly.

But despite the mixed evidence on whether such a program was even remotely effective for Australia, O’Rourke seemed to just accept as a given that it would magically lower crime here in the United States.

“If at the end of the day it’s going to save lives, if it’s going to prevent the kind of tragedies that we saw in El Paso or Gilroy or Dayton or this weekend in Chicago or all over this country on a daily basis, then let’s move forward and do it,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke’s reference to Chicago came from another bloody weekend in the Windy City, where 59 people were shot — seven of them fatally — according to USA Today.

Democrat-run Chicago, it’s worth noting, has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, yet is consistently one of the most deadly cities in America. If liberal gun control measures are so great, why don’t they ever seem to work?

And if they don’t work, why are Democrats so obsessed with them?

The answer is that politicians are pushing a one-sided agenda, and don’t really care about what actually lowers crime. And figures like O’Rourke always seem to ignore the fact that violent crime has been steadily decreasing in the United States, even as gun ownership is up.

The events over the past weekend were tragedies, but rushing to tear up the Bill of Rights as yet another virtue-signal that solves nothing is not the answer.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.