Beto and friends elevate the culture war to literal war – Washington Examiner

A party that opened its debate promising to unite the country took less than an hour to show its true colors.

“Hell yes, we’re gonna take your AR-15,” Beto O’Rourke declared to great applause during Thursday night’s Democratic debate. While every other policy sparked robust debate and legitimate disagreement among Democrats, he got not a word of blowback for his plan to steal about 5 to 10 million guns from millions of Americans.

Amy Klobuchar offered the closest thing to disagreement when she said she would “begin with” voluntary gun buybacks. But even that implies a threatened second step that goes beyond “voluntary.” When you offer voluntary buybacks followed by mandatory buybacks, the “voluntary” part is a bit less voluntary. So the gun “buybacks” at play here are simply compensated confiscation. This is a terrifying premise.

Millions and millions of Americans own AR-15s and other rifles to which Democrats arbitrarily apply the nontechnical term “assault weapons.” AR-15s are the most popular firearm in America. Rifles of all kinds are used in a mere handful of killings each year according to FBI statistics: 300 to 400, depending on the year. But these rifles are a powerful culture war totem for Democrats, who see gun owners as toothless rural barbarians whom it is fun to poke.

“Some of the southern areas have cultures that we have to overcome,” former Democratic congressman Charlie Rangel said a few years back. President Barack Obama told his wealthy donors in 2008 that folks in Middle America “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them … “

For Democrats, gun control is just one more front in the culture war.

But O’Rourke, with the tacit approval of all the Democratic candidates, would shift this fight from culture war to literal war.

Government is, at bottom, force. It operates through the threat of force. When the federal government says it will seize weapons from armed Americans, who are guaranteed by the Constitution the right to keep and bear those weapons, the threat of force becomes more acute.

Yes, the federal government could obviously overpower any given AR-15 owner. But is this something we want to test on a door-to-door basis?

We don’t think an O’Rourke administration would actually follow through and wage war on its citizens as he implies. Still, we’re perturbed that this seems like a winning message, even with a small part of the Democratic base.

There is a palpable bloodthirst, a desire to punish political opponents, on the American Left these days. Kamala Harris has had the most success when she has been most explicit about her prosecutorial career. Pete Buttigieg, amid his cute nerdiness and calls for reconciliation, is largely running on a platform of establishing elite supremacy over the backwards Religious Right — just watch his lip snarl whenever he mentions Mike Pence.

It’s not the majority of Democrats. Harris and O’Rourke have small combined followings. Yet it’s still unnerving to see that a sizable minority of the Democratic Party is ready for civil war.

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