Founder Benjamin Franklin famously told a woman who asked him what kind of government it was he and the others had created, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
But they likely could not have imagined a time when politicians running for the presidency would actually advocate policies that are blatant violations of our founding document, the Constitution.
Welcome to 2019, where all Democrat presidential contenders are running on a platform of banning and/or confiscating legally owned firearms.
And some of them — like Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, are doing so as major hypocrites.
In 2018 when he was running to unseat incumbent GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, O’Rourke was Mr. Second Amendment, so to speak. Asked specifically by a talk show host about semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s, O’Rourke said he had no problem with private citizens owning them. (Related: Of course! Bernie, O’Rourke blame El Paso shooting on ‘racist’ POTUS Trump.)
During an interview on “The Chad Hasty Show,” whose host asked: “I own an AR-15. A lot of our listeners out there own AR-15s. Why should they not have one?” O’Rourke responded, “To be clear, they should have them,” Fox News reported.. “If you purchased that AR-15, if you own it, keep it. Continue to use it responsibly.”
He added: “If you own a gun, keep that gun. Nobody wants to take it away from you — at least I don’t want to do that.”
During the most recent Democratic presidential debate last week, O’Rourke had not only changed his position, but enthusiastically so.
The former Texas congressman made headlines when he promised to confiscate AR-15 and AK-47-style rifles that were legally purchased by Americans who also haven’t used them to harm anyone.
“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he said to a cheering crowd, Breitbart News reported.. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”
The news site noted further:
To support that position, O’Rourke told the story of a woman whose daughter died in the El Paso mass shooting, claiming that the teen girl bled to death “over the course of an hour because… there weren’t enough ambulances to get to them in time.” However, his version of the story exaggerated or falsified many details, according to local news affiliate KOSA.
If that’s not enough, the O’Rourke campaign is also selling T-shirts with his statement, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15,” printed on it…in red, white, and blue — as though gun control and depriving people of their property is ‘American.’
Weeks earlier, the campaign was selling another anti-gun T-shirt that said, “This is F*cked up,” in reference to an interview he gave after a shooting in El Paso, a city he once represented in Congress.
While any shooting is tragic, there are some truths that can’t be said enough — and that O’Rourke isn’t going to tell any of his supporters.
For one, the style of firearms he wants to ban are involved in just a small fraction of homicides. Mass shootings generate a lot of headlines and thus, emotions, but similar shootings with similar numbers of casualties happen every weekend in free-fire zones like portions of Chicago.
Also, the Constitution’s Second Amendment states clearly that the “right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” — period. There is no caveat there. No qualifiers. No confusion. Simply put, government can’t limit the right when we’re talking about regular firearms.
And yet, we get politicians like O’Rourke who dare us to stop them from stealing our rights.