Beto's Plan for Texas: Turn Lone Star State into National Gun Control Icon


Given my 30-odd years on God’s green earth, there are three things I’ve learned about Democrats.

First: Don’t trust a Kennedy to drive. Like, ever. That’s not just a Chappaquiddick thing.

Second: Whenever Bill Clinton does that weird gesture when he balls up his fist and points his thumb at you, he’s probably lying. (I mean, the percentage of time he’s lying to you when he’s not aiming that digit at you isn’t insignificant, either, but the thumb is a giveaway.)

Third: Whenever Democrats say they want to have a “national conversation” about something, what they mean is they want to have government control it to the furthest extent the American people and/or the Constitution will allow them to.

I’m not saying that the first two are insignificant, particularly given that Joe Kennedy III is now in Congress and (presumably) has a driver’s license. However, if you’re in Texas or you believe in the Second Amendment, you should probably be wary about that third one. That’s because Beto O’Rourke, the Democrat who is challenging Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, wants to sit all 300-odd million of us down and have that dreaded talk about how much Second Amendment you really ought to have. (Or rather, why you should have a lot less of it.)

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And bizarrely, he thinks Texas should lead the nation in that discussion. You know, the state with the Alamo and “come and take it.”

The remarks came at a CNN town hall Thursday. In response to a question, O’Rourke said that he “strongly support(s) the Second Amendment” and then laid out why we should dismantle it.

“I want to make sure that we, the people of Texas, who have this extraordinary, proud, long tradition of responsible and safe gun ownership, for hunting, for sport, for collection, for self-defense, that we use this pride of place — and our knowledge and experience — to lead the national conversation that this country has been waiting for,” O’Rourke said.

“We need someone who could not care less about what the NRA or the gun lobby, or any another political action committee thinks,” he said. “We need somebody, who will stand up for human beings, for people.”

This is just shy of “What about the children?!”-style empurplement, but that’s probably not what should draw your attention. Nor should the fact that he uses dodgy statistics (he earnestly states how “we lose 30,000 of our fellow Americans every year to gun violence” despite the fact that, as Breitbart pointed out, that number is roughly three times more than the actual figure).

Rather, the takeaway from this ought to be regarding what he feels the “national conversation” ought to consist of. He can name only one issue: universal background checks. That’s about as uncontroversial as you get, and Democrats still haven’t figured out a particularly good way to protect due process once someone is blacklisted on a federally mandated system. Nor, in fact, did they seem all that interested in niceties like that the last time the issue came up.

However, if that’s the “conversation,” it would be an awfully short talk. That’s why it’s not really what he’s discussing here.

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The “conversation,” such as he wants it to be, will go on much longer than that. It’ll likely mean that “red flag” laws that take away all due process from gun owners — due process that would only take a matter of hours if authorities were sufficiently alarmed at an individual’s behavior — are part of our discussion. So too would be the banning of so-called assault weapons, despite the fact they provide no appreciable advantage in most mass shooting situations. This “conversation” would continue, one presumes, until there was nothing left to talk about since the Second Amendment was hollowed out by legislation and by judicial nominees.

That day would be a long time in coming, mind you, but perhaps not as long as you might think. Commentators have noted that our friend “Beto” probably isn’t going to take Ted Cruz’s Senate seat anytime soon; Cruz has moved decisively ahead in the polls, and all the super PAC and crowdfunding money in the world isn’t likely to change that.

Nevertheless, that might not be the plan at this point. O’Rourke has raised his profile on the national stage considerably by sticking with Cruz in the polls until the very end. Unless he undergoes a Wendy Davis-like collapse in the final few weeks of the campaign, he can claim one of those “moral victories” that the Democrats haven’t seemed to lack for these past two years. That’s led many people to believe his goal at this point is (sigh) a 2020 presidential run.

That’s not as unlikely as it should sound, particularly given the fact that even a stinkard porn lawyer is being considered a nominally credible challenger by the media. And if there’s one thing that the media loves more than Michael Avenatti, it’s red-state Democrats who seem like they can finally break through on a national level. If O’Rourke doesn’t believe he can defeat Cruz, the logical step, therefore, is to maneuver himself into a position where he can take the Democrat nomination.

And that, dear reader, is why you ought to be worried. The idea of Texas leading the national conversation on chipping away at the Second Amendment might seem farcical to you or me. It might seem farcical to most of Texas. It’s vegetarian red meat, however, to those who nod along to “The Daily Show” night after night, refusing to believe the rest of the nation doesn’t believe in the untruths they hold to be self-evident. They think gun owners are using up too much Constitution — and if you give the Democrats Congress or the White House, you can bet they’re going to have a nice, long “national conversation” with all of us until we’re forced to stop.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture