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 (here, here, 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 Connecticut, New 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.