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Beware the Beto-and-Switch

Turns Out The Tall Texan Who Thought He Could, Couldn’t

Shelby Murdoc

We all can remember back when Democrats, Liberals, and Leftists pretended that “no one wants to take your guns,” but that has been slowly shifting over the past couple of years. Now, in late 2019, Beto O’Rourke blew up that under-the-radar approach and told us all “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47” to wild applause. Other politicians raced to back him up and congratulate him on his statement, but we all knew that any air that may have been left in the Beto blimp was rapidly petering out and his chances at taking the Oval Office and our ARs were just about zip.

However, the real risk with gun control, as we’ve seen over the past 80+ years, isn’t usually the home run. It isn’t usually the sweeping reform that changes the landscape overnight. It isn’t the sudden reversal where one side runs the other out of town. It isn’t the police knocking on our doors to confiscate our guns. (I mean, this isn’t Australia, for crying out loud.)

The real risk—the real strategy we’ve been facing—is the death of a thousand cuts. Machine guns here. Short barrels there. Bump stocks, if you get super lucky. Keep trying on 30-round magazines until you get a win. Then go after 10-round magazines. If you can get that, of course, you may as well shoot for eliminating all detachable magazines entirely. Once enough places have banned detachable magazines and you have momentum on your side, go after guns that hold more than one round.

The chances of President Beto taking our ARs and AKs is basically zero, and everyone knows it. The chances of Hillary’s admiration for the Australia-style gun grabbing coming to pass is also basically zero. These balls cannot be hit out of the park. The chances of the American public and the American courts of permitting those home runs is basically zero.

So what does a baseball team who can’t hit home runs do? It manufactures runs. It hits singles. It bunts. It sacrifices and it steals. It bans bump stocks.

Beto as a presidential candidate was toast long before he made it clear that hell, yes, he was going to violate the Constitution of the United States. His threat did nothing except maybe pump up gun sales a bit for a few weeks. But, despite all the good that his public proclamation has done for the gun control “conversation” by illustrating how pointless it is to “converse” with these people, we need to be ever watchful of the next little cut.

What will that next cut be? Will it be that increased controls on ammunition are needed to keep certain kinds of extra-dangerous ammo off the streets? Will it be that more types of protection orders should be able to infringe upon someone’s right to own or buy a gun? Will it be that more forms of “mental illness” can be used to ban someone’s legal firearms? Will it be that the number of guns someone can buy needs to be capped for everyone’s safety?

All of these next cuts have already been made in places. “Cop killer” bullets. Red flag laws. Senior citizens who need help with their finances barred from owning guns due to “mental illness.” Waiting periods and other restrictions in many cities and states.

But the cuts will keep coming. First is the ongoing and continuous effort to expand the jurisdiction of existing gun controls (Example: This county’s restrictions should apply to the entire state). Next is toughening existing gun controls (Example: The 10-round magazine limit should be reduced to 4 rounds because no one needs more than four bullets.) Finally, it’s the new stuff they are always trying to sneak in (Example: We should restrict AR upper receivers the same way we restrict lower receivers.)

It’s like your local tax increases. They try to get it passed, and it gets voted down. They try again, and it fails again. They sneak it into a school board election in hopes that not enough people will vote and their base can pass it, but it falls short. Finally, one election, it passes. Boom. New tax forever and ever. Done deal. Just try and get that thing repealed.

When someone complaints about tightening the magazine limits or that storage and transport restrictions are being increased, when someone points out that all of these new little laws are adding up to unconstitutional infringements, they’re just going to hope enough of us say, “At least they aren’t taking our ARs, our AKs.”

Don’t fall for the Beto-and-Switch. Don’t be so glad that they’re not knocking on your door demanding you turn over your guns that you let them sell another cut or two in the thousand cut gun control plan.

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