Beto O’Rourke: We’ll Use Fines to ‘Compel’ Compliance with AR-15 Ban

The opinion of some pretty informed political analysts is that O’Rourke knows his campaign is going nowhere. So, for some future consideration, he’s been tasked with being the rabid radical nutjob spouting these grandiosely idiotic plans so that the real gun-grabber agenda can be pointed at as more ‘reasonable’. But that still doesn’t cut him any slack with me.

Robert “Beto” O’Rourke explained he plans to use fines to “compel” American gun owners to comply with his AR-15 ban, during a weekend exchange with reporters.

O’Rourke made his claim in a video posted by Fox4 DFW’s Teresa Riley.

Liberals Want to Grab Guns…but Who Will Do the Grabbing?

I don’t think I’m alone when I say it’s frustrating having the same conversation over and over and over again.  I’m frustrated trying to explain the difference between a semi-automatic and a “military-style assault” weapon, parrying asinine retorts of how our Founding Fathers “only had muskets,” and being told by strangers what weapons I “don’t need.”  I’m frustrated with citing statistical evidence showing that the vast majority of gun violence in America is the result of suicides and of criminals who have obtained their guns illegally.  I’m frustrated with trying to justify my personal choices to people who are completely ignorant about guns and who are completely unwilling to learn.

I’m frustrated because it’s an exercise in futility.  They return the very next day to push their very same debunked talking points that I’ve spent the last conversation refuting.  Deploying factual evidence works only when dealing with people for whom factual evidence is valued, acknowledged, and conceded.  When they simply ignore it and continue to talk over you, there is no benefit in trying to make them see reason.  It is like talking to a brick wall.

If reducing gun violence were an honest aim of the Left, leftists would follow the evidence where it leads.  But leftists oppose gun ownership not out of any heartfelt reaction to mass shootings (though they routinely go through the necessary public genuflections).  They don’t care about dead students, dead Walmart shoppers, dead worshipers, dead police, or dead black Americans.  They don’t care about getting help for the mentally ill.  They care about the consolidation of political power into a centralized totalitarian entity, which they arrogantly assume they possess the competence to administer.

Lawmakers such as state senator Julie Morrison (D-Ill.) have smugly threatened mass confiscation, and others such as Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have suggested prosecution and prison time for noncompliance with mandatory buyback programs.  During the September 12 debate, the floundering Robert Francis O’Rourke (D-Nowhere) gazed up from his water bong to yelp, “Hell, yes, we are going to take your AR-15!”

Scary words, to be sure.  But these threats raise the question of who exactly they plan on sending out to do the actual confiscating.  Do something! they scream from the podiums and across the Twittersphere, with no intention of ever actually doing that “something” themselves.  The bell-collared audience who noisily bleated their approval for O’Rourke’s rhetorical feed bucket?  They’re not going to “do something,” either, other than demand someone else do it.

That’s the job of the police, they say?  Good luck with that.  Out of the 250 million adults living in the United States, approximately one third of them own one or more guns.  That’s over 80 million doors for police to bust down in unconstitutional searches and seizures (these would be clear violations of the Fourth Amendment, but we wouldn’t even be having this discussion if the Bill of Rights were something the Left even pretended to respect).

Like combat soldiers, police can refuse orders they deem immoral or unconstitutional.  Polls continuously show (herehere, and here) that police overwhelmingly support the right of law-abiding citizens to own semi-automatic rifles, including AR-15s.  So how successful will be the efforts of the anti-police Left to convince the very same officers they hate to bust into American homes to steal guns the police think they have a right to own?  The growing trend of elected sheriffs and officials creating Second Amendment sanctuaries by publicly opting to not enforce unconstitutional gun laws should give pause to leftists who feel that America’s police will do their dirty work for them.

Even if a hypothetical Presidente O’Rourke were able to cajole every American police officer to act as his own personal Stasi, such a force would still be inadequate for the task of disarming millions of gun-owners.  This reality is amplified by the fact that about three quarters of gun-owners say gun ownership is essential to their freedom, giving a sense of just how much non-compliance such an effort would encounter.

Nor should they count on the members of a woke population to voluntarily disarm themselves.  The much touted New Zealand buyback program has confiscated under 10% of known banned weapons.  Mandatory registration laws in deep blue ConnecticutNew York, and California have garnered compliance rates of 15%, 4%, and 3%, respectively.  This is not even for confiscation, but for registration only.  How well do they think buyback programs will fare in Texas or Ohio?

Nope.  If they want guns confiscated, they’ll have to do it themselves.

 

Warren’s fix for government corruption is to turn all power over to government

Statists gotta state you know.

Chief Elizabeth Warren, who lies constantly, has a plan to end corruption.

Repeating her anti-government rhetoric, in a piece titled, END WASHINGTON CORRUPTION, Warren writes that big insurance companies and hospital conglomerates put profits ahead of the health and well-being of the American people, and dump piles of money into political campaigns and lobbying efforts to block any move toward Medicare for All.

This comes from a woman who has no problem with unions and Planned Parenthood sinking a fortune into Democratic campaigns, including hers. She has no problem with their lobbyists or those of far-left groups.

In order to get her unaffordable Medicare for All through, she must demonize hospitals, many of which are just trying to survive.

Railing against fossil fuels, she claims they are promoting false studies and preventing the Green New Deal from seeing the light of day. That’s the same Green New Deal that will take away our planes, our cars, and our hamburgers but provides incomes to people who don’t’ want to work.

Pharmaceuticals and their lobbyists are also on her hit list.

Her answer to all of it is to spend trillions of dollars we do not have and to take away our liberties.

Her last paragraph calls for Universal Childcare, criminal justice reform, and affordable housing [paid for by the redistribution of wealth]. Naturally, she wants gun reform. Somehow, turning over control of all sectors of society to the big corrupt government will fight corruption in the big government and its cronyism.

She won’t admit middle-class taxes will go up under Medicare for All.

Pelosi And Schumer Had A Call With Trump About Gun Control. This Is Their Non Negotiable.

About 2/3rd of the deaths in the U.S. that involve the use of a gun are suicides. No kind of a background check will in any way do one thing to decrease that number. Of course, SanFranNan & ChuckU are being their standard operational demoncrap selves.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday had a call with President Donald Trump about gun control legislation. According to a statement from Democratic leadership, universal background checks are a non negotiable that must be included in any proposal Trump moves forward with. Specifically, Democrats want Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to bring the legislation to a floor for a vote.

“200 days ago, the Democratic House took decisive action to end the gun violence epidemic in America by passing H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112: bipartisan, commonsense legislation to expand background checks, which is supported by more than 90 percent of the American people.  With the backing of the American people, we continue to call on Senator McConnell to ‘Give Us A Vote!’

“Yet, for 200 days, Senator McConnell has refused to give these bipartisan bills a vote on the Senate Floor, again and again putting his own political survival before the survival of our children.  Every day that Senator McConnell blocks our House-passed, life-saving bills, an average of 100 people – including 47 children and teenagers – die from senseless gun violence.  Some 20,000 have died since the House took action on February 27th.

“This morning, we made it clear to the President that any proposal he endorses that does not include the House-passed universal background checks legislation will not get the job done, as dangerous loopholes will still exist and people who shouldn’t have guns will still have access.  For instance, someone prohibited from possessing a gun under an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law could still obtain a firearm by exploiting the gun show and online loopholes that H.R. 8 would close. We know that to save as many lives as possible, the Senate must pass this bill and the President must sign it.  We even promised the President that if he endorses this legislation and gets Senator McConnell to act on what the House has passed, we would both join him for a historic signing ceremony at the Rose Garden.

“Congressional Democrats will continue to join with law enforcement, survivors, students and parents, health care providers, mayors and public health officials across the nation to accelerate a relentless drumbeat of action to force Senator McConnell to pass our background checks bills.  We will not stop until these bills are passed and our children’s lives are safe.  We call upon Senator McConnell to ‘Give Us a Vote!’

McConnell has made it clear that he wouldn’t bring any gun control proposals to the floor for a vote if President Trump has vowed to veto the bill.

“My members know the very simple fact that to make a law you have to have a presidential signature. They are working on coming up with a proposal that the president will sign,” McConnell said last week.

DEMOCRATS VS. THE CONSTITUTION

One of the more shocking aspects of last week’s Democratic debate was the cavalier manner in which the Constitution was treated. Beto O’Rourke said he intends to confiscate guns that were legally purchased by law-abiding Americans, and put out a t-shirt to that effect immediately after the debate. Kamala Harris said the same thing, and when Joe Biden pointed out that the government lacks power to do what she proposed, she laughed at him. Michael Ramirez sums it up this way; click to enlarge:

But why should we be surprised? Democrats regard the Constitution as an illegitimate product of white supremacy, written by a bunch of dead white males who were racists. Why should it command any respect? In their eyes, it doesn’t. Once they achieve power, it will be a dead letter.

Kamala Harris Does Not Understand Why the Constitution Should Get in the Way of Her Gun Control Agenda
The presidential contender conspicuously fails to explain the legal basis for her plan to impose new restrictions by executive fiat.

She fantasizes about being the tyrant in chief, that’s why she can’t explain the legal basis, because there isn’t one.
It’s the old “We could have a utopia on Earth if only we could get some of these pesky laws, and people, out of the way.”
No matter which end of the political spectrum you’re on, this is the exact reason the 2nd amendment was demanded to be included in a Bill of Rights.

During last night’s Democratic presidential debate, former Vice President Joe Biden admonished Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) for promising to impose new gun controls by executive fiat if Congress fails to pass the laws she thinks it should. That gave Harris a perfect opportunity to explain how her 100-day plan for gun control can be reconciled with constitutional restrictions on presidential power. The former prosecutor not only conspicuously failed to do so but literally laughed at the question.

The senator’s campaign website promises that “if Congress fails to send comprehensive gun safety legislation to Harris’ desk within her first 100 days as president—including universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and the repeal of the NRA’s corporate gun manufacturer and dealer immunity bill—she will take executive action to keep our kids and communities safe.” Biden interprets that pledge as a promise to ban “assault weapons” without new legislation, something the president clearly does not have the authority to do.

Harris’ plan for unilateral action on “assault weapons” is actually more modest than Biden implies. She says she would “ban AR-15-style assault weapons from being imported into the United States,” noting that the Gun Control Act “empowers the executive branch to prohibit the importation of guns not ‘suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.'” As Harris points out, “both Democratic and Republican presidents,” including George H.W. Bush in 1989, have used that provision to block importation of “assault weapons.” But two other parts of Harris’ gun control plan do not seem to have any statutory basis.

Harris says she would “close the ‘boyfriend loophole’ to prevent dating partners convicted of domestic violence from purchasing guns.” Under current law, people convicted of misdemeanors involving “domestic violence” are barred from possessing firearms. But crimes against dating partners count as “domestic violence” only if the perpetrator has lived with the victim or produced a child with him or her. Harris seems to think she can eliminate those requirements without new congressional action, but it’s hard to see how. Congress has defined “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” and only Congress can change the definition.

Harris also thinks the president can “mandate near-universal background checks by requiring anyone who sells five or more guns per year to run a background check on all gun sales.” Since only federally licensed dealers are legally required to run background checks, such a rule would require dramatically expanding that category.

The problem is that federal law defines a gun dealer as someone who is “engaged in the business of selling firearms,” which in turn is defined as “devot[ing] time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms.” The statutory definition explicitly excludes “a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms.” Under Harris’ plan, a hobbyist or collector who sold more than four guns in a single year would be required to obtain a federal license and conduct background checks, which is plainly inconsistent with current law.

Instead of explaining the legal basis for the “executive action” she has in mind, Harris made a weak joke: “Hey, Joe, instead of saying, ‘No, we can’t,’ let’s say, ‘Yes, we can.'” Then she launched into a description of the casualties from mass shootings, adding, “The idea that we would wait for this Congress, which has just done nothing, to act, is just—it is overlooking the fact that every day in America, our babies are going to school to have drills, elementary, middle and high school students, where they are learning about how they have to hide in a closet or crouch in a corner if there is a mass shooter roaming the hallways of their school.”

That is not an argument in favor of any particular gun control policy, let alone an argument for the president’s authority to impose it unilaterally. “Let’s be constitutional,” Biden said. “We’ve got a Constitution.” To which Harris replied, in effect, “Constitution, schmonstitution. Why should that get in the way of my agenda?” Even voters who tend to agree with Harris about gun control should be troubled by her blithe dismissal of the legal limits on the powers she would exercise as president.

Beto O’Rourke hands GOP, NRA golden ticket.

Thanks, Beto.

“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he said, on television, on the Democratic Party debate stage, for all to hear and see. “We’re not going to allow them to be used against fellow Americans anymore.”

And with that, all the Democrats who’ve tried for years to deny the gun confiscation motives behind their gun control pushes went — nooooooo.

It doesn’t get any clearer than that, does it?

“Hell yes,” we’re going to take your guns.

“Hell yes,” we’re going to confiscate your firearms.

“Hell yes,” we’re going to one day, make it so the Second Amendment is a Second Amendment In Name Only — and that whole God-given right to self-defend is a thing of the past.

Democrats have been trying for years to convince Americans that registrations and limits on assault weapons and universal background checks and other so-called common sense gun control proposals were harmless steps to curb gun-related violence that even hard-core Second Amendment activists should embrace. That the evil National Rifle Association and all those evil gun rights groups were trying to drum up fears of confiscations that just weren’t true.

That Democrats had no intention of taking away firearms from the legal gun owners. That if you like your gun, you can keep your gun.

And for some, the left’s talking points have been convincing. Particularly, as school shootings and tragic, heartbreaking stories of gun-related violence dominate far too many media cycles.

Then comes Beto, charging to clarify.

“Hell yes,” we’re going to confiscate.

It doesn’t get more honest than that.

There’s the golden ticket the NRA, the Republican Party, the patriotic Second Amendment supporters of this country needed to prove their argument, to prove their points, to showcase the truths about the Democrats’ ultimate gun controlling end game.

Democrats want to confiscate guns, pure and simple. Beto O’Rourke himself admitted it.

Gun Rights Debate Fuels Historic Donations In Virginia Elections

Yep. Look at those numbers again. The gun grabbers spending 15 Times more, and you have to figure that’s coming from the pockets of Soros & Bloomberg.

The National Rifle Association gave a historic contribution to Virginia’s statewide elections this week, donating just over $200,000 to House of Delegates Majority Leader Todd Gilbert.

The donation is far less than the $2.5 million given by gun control advocates. But both sums show how the issue could be decisive in the November elections for the General Assembly.

“They may outspend the NRA, but they will never outwork us,” said NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen.

The NRA is “fully engaged,” in the election “to protect the self defense rights of every law-abiding Virginian,” she said, adding that “big-city financiers” have flooded Virginia.

One of the “big-city” bankrollers she referenced is Everytown for Gun Safety, a New York based group funded largely by Michael Bloomberg.

Everytown has committed $2.5 million to Virginia elections, including $125,000 to the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus and $100,000 to the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. This week, the group endorsed 25 candidates running for office in Virginia, and pledged to “unleash its grassroots army” to support their campaigns.

Andrew Zucker, a spokesperson for Everytown, says they’ve spent millions in other states, including during Nevada’s statewide races, but Everytown has never contributed so heavily in Virginia.

He pointed to a poll the group conducted that found some 82 percent of voters in Northern Virginia said candidates’ views on gun rights would be important in their choice.

“What happens in Virginia I think is going to reverberate for the next year plus,” Zucker says. “It’s both an opportunity to change the makeup of the legislature and pass proactive gun-safety policy in Virginia, but it’s also a harbinger of what is to come in 2020 as well.”

The NRA’s $201,500 contribution, reported by the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), dwarfs every previous donation from the group since 1996, the first year VPAP has listed.

Tom Davis, who served 14 years as a Republican state delegate, says the NRA’s base has changed since then.

“Traditionally, the NRA gave to both parties,” Davis says. “Basically to rural members who were supporting their constituents and supporting gun rights. But as the Republican base migrated from the country club to the country, and became a more rural-based party, the NRA has more or less become an appendage of those rural-based Republicans.”

In 2001 the NRA gave $133,000 in political contributions, and $25,000 of that total to Democrats. The group gave no money to Democrats this year. Davis says he never accepted NRA contributions for his campaign.

Gun rights have become a flashpoint in the Commonwealth after a shooter killed 12 people in a Virginia Beach municipal building in late May.

In the aftermath, Gov. Ralph Northam convened a special session on gun safety; however, Republicans controlling the General Assembly ended the July discussion after 90 minutes. They voted to take up the issue again on Nov. 18.

Call ugliness and violence what it is.

Large scale intimidation and thuggery was on display on the streets of Boston this weekend as antifa and other extreme leftists bullied and harassed anyone they deemed divergent from their groupthink. They spit and punched and yelled hateful things at law enforcement and by Saturday night there were 36 arrests and 4 injured officers, according to Boston police. Nine people face charges of assault and battery on police officers.

Our elected leaders need to call out antifa for what they are: a hate group.

They target anyone they’ve determined to be an existential threat — and that is most everyone except their fellow anarchists, socialists and communists. Any Trump supporter in their minds would most definitely be considered a fascist, and would necessarily need to be stopped one way or another from appearing in the public square.

“We’re covered in black so when we attack these guys we can’t be prosecuted,” said Jon Crowley, an antifa member who told the Herald that he felt violence was the only way to deal with the people marching in the parade, which went from Copley Square to City Hall Plaza. “They are fascists, 100%. How else are you going to get them to shut up?”

In an August 2017 rally on Boston Common, antifa and other radical leftists hunted down attendees of a controversial “free speech” rally. There were 33 arrests for disruptive behavior. The mob descended upon a man wearing an Israeli flag. Bottles of urine and rocks were thrown at police.

Last November, antifa converged on Tucker Carlson’s house, vandalizing the dwelling, chanting threats, banging on the door, and spray painting an anarchy symbol on the driveway according to Associated Press reports.

Ted Cruz and his wife got similar treatment when the same group converged upon them in a restaurant.

In June, journalist Andy Ngo who has covered antifa’s violence in Portland, Ore., critically for years was brutally attacked by the group, suffering a “traumatic brain injury,” according to his then-employer Quillette. Ngo is a gay, Asian-American journalist. It is easy to imagine what the coverage would be like if he was pummeled by a conservative mob.

In the months since, antifa and various far-right groups have continuously clashed on the streets of Portland, with escalating violence that the city and law enforcement seem powerless to stop. Boston must do everything possible to prevent similar repeated confrontations from erupting here and turning the city into a massive street fight every time someone wants to exercise the right to free speech.

These groups have a right to lawfully assemble, however, as do counter-protestors. It is unacceptable that peaceful speech from either side should be allowed to escalate into physical altercations by violent mobs. This must be widely condemned by elected leaders regardless of their political leanings.

Congressman Ayanna Pressley, for example, should reconsider her choice to call for donations on Twitter to help bail out the arrested counter-protestors, thanking them and calling them “allies” in a tweet Saturday. Violent and disruptive behavior cannot be normalized by our politicians.

Thuggery must be punished harshly by the justice system and those who attack police must pay a high price for their actions.

CAN AMERICANS STILL CO-EXIST?

That the yawning chasm between blue and red America continues to widen is obvious. It has gotten to the point, frankly, where one wonders what we still have in common as Americans. Today’s instance is a resolution by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors labeling the National Rifle Association, America’s largest and most successful civil rights group, a “domestic terrorism organization.”

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution on Tuesday declaring the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorism organization” due to its opposition to more stringent gun-control legislation.

I am so old, I can remember when a typical second grader knew the difference between someone you disagree with and a terrorist. But today’s liberals don’t function at that level.

The resolution accuses the NRA of not only resisting legislative reforms that its drafters believe would help curtail the country’s “epidemic of gun violence,” but also of “incit[ing] gun owners to acts of violence.”

This is insane. The NRA obviously has not incited anyone to violence. On the contrary, it has trained many thousands of Americans in gun safety and has saved countless lives by doing so.

“All countries have violent and hateful people, but only in America do we give them ready access to assault weapons and large-capacity magazines thanks, in large part, to the National Rifle Association’s influence,” the resolution says.

The “assault weapon” and “large-capacity magazine” dodges are too familiar to require comment. One remarkable fact about the left’s obsession with banning “assault weapons,” a category without a meaningful definition, is that it has already been tried. The ban was allowed to expire after a decade because it did zero good.

One might ask, what on God’s green Earth does the San Francisco Board of Supervisors have to do with the National Rifle Association?

The resolution also declares the Board’s intent to “limit those entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco from doing business with this domestic terrorist organization.”

It is hard to know what this means, but the idea, obviously, is to use the Left’s boycott strategy. Whether this is actually implemented, and what effects it may have on banks; hotel, restaurant and retail store chains; and who knows what other businesses, remains to be seen. What we do know is that this action by San Francisco typifies the kind of hateful, irrational conduct that has made any civil political discourse in this country impossible.

Democrats Continue To Turn On The Constitution
Sorry you’re offended, but we don’t live in a ‘democracy’

The state isn’t here to give you everything you want—not even if what you want is extraordinarily popular with your fellow Americans.

This is, no doubt, disorientating for voters who grew up believing they live in a “democracy.” In reality, our un-democratic constitutional bulwarks temper the vagaries of the majority. “Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates,” James Madison quipped, “every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.”

Of course, there’s nothing “weird” about diffused democratic institutions. There is nothing weird about arguing for federalism. These should be the foundation for every policy debate. Every governing institution in the country, to some degree, is counter-majoritarian. Quite often, the counter-majoritarianism is the entire point. Hayes is under the impression that “one man, one vote” means every ballot needs to be plugged into a direct democracy, which is absurd.

Hayes doubled down on “democracy” by arguing that “conservatism is a movement deeply paranoid and pessimistic about its own appeal, increasingly retreating behind counter-majoritarian institutions: the senate, the courts, the electoral college” and that it was “*deeply* revealing that the entire conservative movement gets #triggered if you say the simple truth about the electoral college.”

It’s not a simple truth, is it? For one thing, progressives increasingly view voting as the most sacred and determinative act of a citizen and see any counter-majoritarianism as unnatural and unfair.

Sadly, few will properly argue that people are increasingly “retreating” into majoritarianism—although, in a constitutional republic, that would be a proper political insult.

Of course, it’s also true many of these political grievances are situational. Liberals had no problems with anti-majoritarianism when courts concocted a right to an abortion. It is only a problem for them when courts protect free speech or gun rights or stop partisans from coercing Americans to join their groups.

It’s only when Democrats lose presidential elections that “fixing” the Electoral College becomes imperative. It’s only when the Supreme Court skews towards originalism that we have to figure out a better way to appropriate Senate seats or pack the courts…………

It’s no surprise, then, that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will openly grouse that “Republicans are now arguing that the US isn’t (& shouldn’t be) a democracy.” Ocasio-Cortez surely understands basic civics. She must know that a national “democracy” is far more likely to corrode the civil rights of individuals than are republican institutions. She must have learned that direct democracy encourages a mob mentality. Surely she understands that counter-majoritarian institutions, featured in every free nation, help restrain the worst impulses of partisanship and protect the nation from the whims of the electorate.

These are the reasons Ocasio-Cortez, and other progressives, supports majoritarianism. Without it, national socialistic projects like the Green New Deal can ever exist. They need a one-party system. Nothing relies more on emotionalism, scaremongering, and the “common impulse of passion” more than socialism.

One wishes Ocasio-Cortez took a more honest approach, like left-wing commentator Matthew Dowd, who recently came out against the Constitution (and Christianity, I guess?), arguing that “texts written 2000 years ago or 200 years ago should not control our ability to advance the human race and do what needs to be done in the 21st century to create a more enlightened community based in justice and compassion for all.”

Beto’s Impossible Gun Ban Dreams
A growing number of prominent Democrats want owners of “assault weapons” to surrender them to the government. History says most people will ignore any such law.

Maybe Beto O’Rourke, the long-shot presidential hopeful (polling in the low single digits), didn’t get the memo about soft-pedaling gun control advocacy as “common sense” proposals, or maybe he’s making a desperate move to revive his faltering bid for the Democratic nomination. Either way, he announced over the weekend that under a hypothetical O’Rourke administration, “Americans who own AR-15s, AK-47s, will have to sell them to the government.”

Like prohibitionists of the past, O’Rourke has yet to come up with a credible scheme for getting people who oppose restrictive laws to obey them. But in his open call for confiscation of so-called “assault weapons”—semiautomatic rifles classified largely according to cosmetic characteristics—O’Rourke isn’t alone.

“The newest purity test for Democrats is whether to mandate assault weapons buybacks,” The Washington Post reported recently—with “buybacks” a popular euphemism for compensated confiscation. Donkey party potentates including Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) share Beto’s taste for imposing a new form of prohibition.

Maybe that’s a winning formula for harvesting votes, but it’s terrible as policies go, unless they really want to make the government look thoroughly impotent. Similar bans, restrictions, and confiscations have been tried before, with minimal success.

“More than a year after New Jersey imposed the toughest assault-weapons law in the country, the law is proving difficult if not impossible to enforce,” reported The New York Times in 1991. “Only four military-style weapons have been turned in to the State Police and another 14 were confiscated.” Police also knew “the whereabouts of fewer than 2,000 other guns”—out of an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 privately owned weapons in the state.

Note that New Jersey officials threatened resisters with felony prosecutions and got mass defiance in return. By contrast, O’Rourke says that “individuals who fail to participate in the mandatory buyback of assault weapons will be fined.” Where stiff prison sentences failed, fines seem unlikely to overcome opposition.

Honestly, New Jersey’s gun confiscation was easy to defy because the state had no gun registration requirement—officials had no idea as to who owned what. Compliance, then, was on the honor system.

Registration also does not exist in most of the U.S., and it’s far too late to bring it in.