During a Democratic primary debate in September 2019, former Texas Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke made an astonishing, yet unsurprising, promise.
“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15,” O’Rourke touted, eventually printing the quote on t-shirts.
The statement sank his chances of becoming the Democratic nominee and gave him no chance to win over the rest of the country for the presidency. After all, the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America. It isn’t an “assault weapon” and is owned by tens of millions of law-abiding citizens. O’Rourke eventually dropped out of the race and threw his support behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCoons beats back progressive Senate primary challenger in Delaware Biden courts veterans amid fallout from Trump military controversies Biden campaign manager touts ‘multiple pathways’ to victory MORE. His views on the issue haven’t changed.
But while Biden claims to be running for president as a moderate, he quickly endorsed O’Rourke’s extreme and unconstitutional gun control platform. “I want to make something clear: I’m going to guarantee you this is not the last you’ve seen of him. You’re going to take care of the gun problem with me. You’re going to be the one who leads this effort,” Biden said during a March campaign stop in Dallas, flanked by O’Rourke on stage. “I’m counting on you. I’m counting on you.”
Biden’s endorsement of O’Rourke’s position on the issue was out of touch six months ago and it’s especially out of touch now.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), 2020 is on pace to be the record breaking year for gun sales. Coronavirus combined with civil unrest in large and small cities across the country has fueled sales to new buyers. In fact, according to the data, nearly half of gun purchases were made by first-time buyers this year. In addition, the number of new buyers is record-breaking, with 5 million Americans choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
“NSSF, the trade association for the firearm industry, updated retail survey-based estimates and concluded that nearly 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the very first time in 2020. NSSF surveyed firearm retailers which reported that 40 percent of sales were conducted to purchasers who have never previously owned a firearm,” NSSF published at the end of August. “NSSF tracks the background checks associated with the sale of a firearm based on the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System (NICS). NSSF-adjusted NICS checks for January through July 2020 is a record 12.1 million, which is up 71.7 percent from the 7.1 million NSSF-adjusted NICS January through July 2019. This equates to nearly 5 million first-time gun owners in the first seven months of 2020.”
Further, the demographic groups purchasing firearms are diverse.
“NSSF surveys revealed that 58 percent of firearm purchases were among African American men and women, the largest increase of any demographic group. Women comprised 40 percent of first-time gun purchasers. Retailers noted that they are seeing a 95 percent increase in firearm sales and a 139 percent increase in ammunition sales over the same period in 2019,” NSSF details.
While new gun buyers flock to their nearest retailer for a first-time purchase, public safety has climbed to the top of issues for likely voters. While Democrats continue threats to defund police, Americans are ensuring they can protect themselves and their families. They accept the reality there may be nobody to call when the criminals show up at their door.
And yet, Biden continues to appease the far left of his party with a heavy push for gun control.
“Weapons of war have no place in our communities. We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” Biden tweeted recently.
This is not an issue that plays well with the voters Biden needs to win in swing states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and even Minnesota. In March, just ahead of the nationwide shutdown, Biden was confronted by a Detroit autoworker during a campaign stop about his plans for gun control. The exchange did not go well.
“You are actively trying to end our Second Amendment right and take away our guns,” Jerry Wayne said.
“You’re full of shit. I did not. No, no, shush. Shush. I support the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment,” Biden responded, incorrectly calling the AR-15 as an AR-14. “Gimme a break man. Don’t be such a horse’s ass.”
Endorsing confiscation of lawfully purchased firearms, including the AR-15, is not support of the Second Amendment. With record numbers of new gun owners, continuing civil unrest and failure by Democrats to defend good police while remaining tepid on increased criminality, gun control is a losing issue for the “moderate” Biden campaign.
Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.