So much for the Second Amendment.  Presidential candidate Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke showed every bit of his true colors in Thursday night's debate 8/12/19.

In a moment of onstage outrage, O'Rourke admitted, that if elected, he was going to come after privately owned AR-15's and AK-47's.

That's what gun owners have feared all along.  If semi-automatic rifles can be taken - what's next?

An article in McClatchy News from last year - "The gun industry’s argument against a registry that tracks the sale of guns goes like this, according to former ATF agent Mark Jones: If the government kept a database on firearms sold, it would have a de facto registry of gun owners, and if that existed, then the government would be just a step away from being able to confiscate people’s guns.  “The gun industry says they’re afraid that the government will come and take their guns away,” Jones said.

First of all, if O'Rourke comes for guns he'll need to bring his lunch because that's going to be one big job . The NRA estimates that between 8.5 million and 15 million assault rifles are in circulation based on manufacturer data.  Former 20 year ATF agent Mark Jones: when asked how data could be obtained for each type of rifle, his answer. "we have absolutely no idea.”

The McClatchy article continues - The only figures available that give even a hint of how many assault rifles may exist in the U.S. is manufacturer data. ATF publishes annual reports on the number of pistols, rifles, revolvers and shotguns manufactured and distributed in the U.S., but none of those categories are broken down more specifically, and there’s no way of knowing how many were actually sold to individuals.

Still, while limited, that data would seem to indicate the popularity of rifles and pistols has exploded in the past decade — manufacturing of guns in both categories has more than doubled. In 2007, 1.6 million rifles were made and distributed in the U.S., while by 2016 the number was up to 4.2 million. That doesn’t count rifles made overseas and imported into the U.S., or those manufactured in the U.S. and exported to other countries.

 

Even knowing the number of guns doesn't tell where they are.  Jones says, “Even if that’s right, is it 10 people with a million guns, or 10 million people with one gun?

So first of all Beto, the number of guns is huge.  Second, what also is huge is the disparity between the gun's prevalence in society and its actual limited use in crime.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41488081

Believe it or not,  between 2007 and 2017, nearly 1,700 people were murdered with a knife or sharp object per year. That’s almost four times the number of people murdered by an assailant with any sort of rifle.

In an article from last year in the Mercury News called  "Guns and Death In America" The FBI’s annual Crime in the United States report breaks down types of weapons used in murders (not all homicides are murders). The report showed a total of 13,455 murders in 2015, of which 9,616 involved firearms. Handguns were the firearm of choice, involved in 6,447 murders that year compared with 252 by rifles and 269 by shotguns.

Look, nobody wants to defend the AR-15's use in mass murder but what is important is that going after legal rifles won't stop the bad guys with guns.  It sends a false message to America.  If we just stop rifles, we'll be safe.  Virtue signaling is not the answer.

Mr. O'Rourke needs to spend his 15 minutes in the spotlight pursuing a strategy that might actually accomplish something of lasting impact.