On Guns, Dissension In the Ranks

The Democrats have charged up the gun control hill several times, always to their regret. But hope springs eternal, and this time, they are convinced, it will be different. Maybe so. But more likely, Democratic politicians are mistaking hysteria within their activist base (a small percentage of the population, concentrated in a handful of urban areas) and in their loyalist press, for broader public opinion.

It is easy to generate superficially supportive poll results behind a wistful desire to do *something* about gun homicides–which represent, for obvious reasons, a substantial majority of all murders. But from there it gets tougher, and when Democrats openly advocate violating the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens by confiscating their guns, they are once again charging up the wrong hill. According to a recent Gallup poll, 43% of Americans live in gun-owning households, and the proportion of those amenable to having their firearms confiscated is vanishingly small.

Which is why Republicans are playing up Beto O’Rourke’s pledge to confiscate America’s most popular rifle from millions of American homes. And it explains this tweet from West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, one of the last truly moderate Democrats left in Washington:

What’s the difference between Joe Manchin and Beto O’Rourke? There are many, but the most pertinent here is that Manchin got himself elected to the Senate from a red state, while O’Rourke didn’t–even though he swore up and down, falsely, that he had no intention of confiscating firearms. The Democrats would be well advised to listen to Manchin but, happily, they won’t.

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