“I frankly think that that [Beto] clip will be played for years at Second Amendment rallies,” Coons (D) said Friday.
While he’s been the loudest voice of all the candidates on the issue of pursuing what is actually a mandatory gun confiscation program, he is far from the only one.
There are other Democratic candidates who either have a much better shot of winning the nomination or who have been floated as possible vice presidential nominees who have also signaled they are on board with plans similar to O’Rourke’s.
The Associated Press reports:
Indeed, O’Rourke isn’t alone. None of the other nine candidates on the debate stage contradicted him on his proposal to require owners of the two popular styles of assault rifles to sell them to the government. Two candidates — New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and California Sen. Kamala Harris — have also called for mandatory buybacks of assault weapons. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, asked if she agreed with O’Rourke Thursday night, allowed only that she preferred a voluntary buyback to a mandatory one.
Earlier this month when Harris and Booker were in New Hampshire campaigning, both confirmed they supported a mandatory buyback program:
In New Hampshire on Friday, Senator Kamala Harris of California told reporters that requiring owners of assault weapons to sell them to the government is “a good idea” because “we have to take those guns off the streets.”
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker said he supports the proposal. He noted that other countries have been able to take military-style semiautomatic weapons “off the streets” and that the U.S. can’t let the National Rifle Association “tell us what’s possible.”
Like Beto, Booker is in the lower tier of candidates in terms of polling. Harris is in the second tier, but her numbers are steadily dropping. At this stage it seems unlikely that any of the three will capture any presidential momentum going into the primaries, but Booker and Harris both have been floated as vice presidential contenders.
Frontrunner Joe Biden and top tier candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have also stated their support for some sort of buyback program, though no candidate outside of O’Rourke was asked specifically about it during the third Democratic debate last Thursday. From a Fox News report last month:
In a recent television interview, former Vice President Joe Biden called for a “national buyback program” to get firearms “off the street.” Asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper to respond to criticism he would be taking away people’s guns, Biden responded, “Bingo! You’re right, if you have an assault weapon.”
Former Obama administration official Julián Castro, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock are among those who have expressed support for some sort of buyback program.
While Biden and Sanders have both indicated their “buybacks” would be voluntary, a strong nudge from a vice presidential candidate who supports mandatory programs could change the ballgame entirely over a period of time.
Even expanded background checks alone are part of a “step-by-step process” for Democrats to ultimately take your guns, says Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI):
“When you really understand what the endgame of the left is, it’s literally mandatory buybacks or as I call it: confiscation. This is a step-by-step process for them,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told The Hill Thursday when asked about the debate over expanded background checks for firearms sales.
Sen. Chris Coons (DE), who is a gun owner, warned his fellow Democrats Friday that they are playing into the hands of Republicans who have warned gun owners for years that Democrats were coming for their guns:
“I frankly think that that clip will be played for years at Second Amendment rallies with organizations that try to scare people by saying Democrats are coming for your guns,” Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on “Newsroom” Friday morning.
Asked if he’s supportive of O’Rourke’s pledge, Coons responded, “I am not.”
“I don’t think a majority of the Senate or the country is going to embrace mandatory buybacks. We need to focus on what we can get done,” Coons added.
Watch Coons speak on this issue below:
Sen. @ChrisCoons on Beto O’Rourke’s “Hell yes” line about taking away semi-automatic guns: “I frankly think that that clip will be played for years at second amendment rallies with organizations that try to scare people by saying Democrats are coming for your guns.” pic.twitter.com/YRNZctMx8a
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) September 13, 2019
Failed Senate candidate O’Rourke responded by accusing Sen. Coons of only wanting to maintain the “status quo”:
Much respect to Sen. Coons for leading the fight on background checks. But the time for letting status quo politics determine how far we can go is over. If we agree that having millions of weapons of war on the streets is a bad idea, we have to do something about it. https://t.co/xf8tdKrMBJ
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 13, 2019
If Democratic candidates were smart, they’d stop virtue signaling when it comes to gun confiscation and start getting real. But their base demands a high degree of “wokeness” on this issue, so here we are.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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