Picture for a moment, a Democrat running for the White House. Asked about gun control, he talks about the need for common-sense legislation, but goes out of his way to assure gun owners.
He answers the question an length.
“I just want to be absolutely clear, alright. So I don’t want any misunderstanding. When ya’ll go home and you’re talking to your buddies, and they say, ‘Ah, he wants to take my gun away,’ you’ve heard it here — I’m on television so everybody knows it — I believe in the Second Amendment,” he says.
“I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away. … So, there are some common-sense gun safety laws that I believe in. But I am not going to take your guns away. So if you want to find an excuse not to vote for me, don’t use that one. Cause that just ain’t true,” he adds.
It might seem hard to believe, but that Democrat candidate was then U.S. Sen. Barack Obama — hardly anyone’s vision of a conservative.
Contrast his position with that of 2020 candidate Beto O’Rourke, who spoke in Virginia this week.
A reporter asked O’Rourke how he would address the fears of gun owners that “the government is going to take away those assault rifles if you’re talking about buybacks and banning them?”
He didn’t mince words.
“I want to be really clear, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Americans who own AR-15s, AK-47s, will have to sell them to the government,” he said. “We’re not going to allow them to stay on our streets and show up in our communities.”
O’Rourke is no outlier. From Democrat front runner Joe Biden down to Democrats running for the Senate and House of Delegates, confiscation has gone from the far-left position only whispered about in the fever dreams of the deepest parts of the Democratic Underground to mainstream policy position.
Democrat Governor Ralph Northam backed legislation during the recent special session that would have required owners of AR-15s and standard magazine to hand them over to the police or be charged with a felony — no ‘buyback,’ just a take.
Off-off year elections in Virginia are known for their low turnout, base-oriented strategy. It remains to be seen, however, if everyday Democrats have moved as far to the left on firearms as their candidates.
After all, if you’ve lost Barack Obama, you’ve lost main street.