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Buyback Blowback

This former Texas Congressman just knew he’d hit pay dirt…until he missed

Shelby Murdoc

Now that Beto O’Rourke has dropped out and taken his 2% with him, we can all, hopefully, forget his name soon enough. It remains to be seen which Democrat/Liberal/Leftist will pick up the banner of “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15,” but there are plenty of options to choose from. Most of them seem to rely on the buyback model of gun confiscation, since virtually no one in America seems terribly keen on the confiscation model of gun confiscation.

“If it’s a voluntary buyback program, it’s not confiscation,” I was told a few years back by someone that I—at least formerly—respected. “If you bring your guns in and get compensated for them, they obviously aren’t taking them away from you.”

“What happens if I choose not to volunteer to surrender my arms?” was my obvious question.

The obvious answer was, of course, “Well, the police would have to come and force you to comply.” When I pointed out to my friend that perhaps he misunderstood what the word “voluntary” meant, things went predictably downhill from there.

The forced-voluntary participation in a buyback program is a key to all buyback programs. At least those in places where the citizens are not used to being treated like subjects. The program is totally voluntary unless you don’t volunteer, in which case you are encouraged to play along with the threat of force. My son’s Boy Scout troop had a term for this sort of thing: “If you don’t volun-TEER, you’re going to be volun-TOLD.”

When challenged on his “Hell, yes” remarks, Beto initially pretended to be shocked by the suggestion that Americans might not be willing to voluntarily turn over their AR-15s. He went on and on about how America was a law-abiding nation and that its citizens would surely comply. When it was pointed out that murder was against the law, and that if Americans complied with the law against murder there would be no gun violence problem to address, he finally admitted that those who didn’t comply would be criminals and would be forced.

If you don’t volunteer, you’ll be voluntold.

Americans, particularly, don’t seem to be interested in letting others tell them what to do. For instance, in 2018, New Jersey made magazines holding more than ten rounds illegal to possess. There was a lot of debate about whether gun owners would turn in their newly-forbidden mags, and it turns out that—out of an estimated ten million banned magazines—ZERO had been turned in by the end of the first three months. I’m not a math expert, but my back-of-the-napkin calculations put the compliance rate at approximately ZERO percent. Give or take.

This was just for magazines. Illegal magazines. In a non-voluntary program. Where owners of the illegal magazines likely owned many, meaning that they could turn in one or two and still retain plenty. ZERO. In New Jersey.

God, I love America.

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