Hillary: Australia's "buyback" program for guns is worth considering

Via the Free Beacon, here’s the money line.

In the Australian example, as I recall, that was a buyback program. The Australian government, as part of trying to clamp down on the availability of automatic weapons, offered a good price for buying hundreds of thousands of guns.

I don’t know what she means there by “offered,” and I doubt she has any idea whether the price was good. (Frankly, I don’t know what she means by “buyback.” A buyback is when you purchase something that was originally yours, no? But I digress.) Erick Erickson is correct: Australia’s “buyback” was mandatory. There was no “offer.” She’s making it sound like the government there put out the word that anyone looking to make some easy cash could come on down to the local PD with old guns they had no use for anymore and get paid. Not so. The law required them to hand in their guns and in return, in order to make the abrogation of their rights more palatable, they were compensated for the money they’d spent on their weapons. The “buyback” program, in other words, was really just a form of eminent domain for a particular type of personal property. It was a government taking, nothing more or less. (Admittedly, government takings don’t draw quite the same upset on the right anymore in our new golden age of Trump-flavored conservatism.) I can’t tell if Hillary genuinely doesn’t know that Australia’s program was simply confiscation plus compensation or if she knows but doesn’t want to get into the controversial details. I wonder how many other rights she’d be cool with curtailing provided a cash exchange is involved, for the victim’s trouble.

What you’re really seeing here is a reflection of how far left the left has moved on guns. Once upon a time not terribly long ago, centrist Democrats like Bill Clinton used to think carefully when they made a move on guns for fear of how rural white blue-collar voters, who might prefer Democrats on economic policy, might react. White voters have been moving right over the last few decades, though, and have been replaced in the Democratic coalition by a growing population of minority voters, who tend to be more open to gun control. Which means, increasingly, Democratic pols don’t have to worry about flirting publicly with confiscation this way.


YouGov didn’t ask respondents about total confiscation but I’d be curious to see those numbers, not just because the left’s usual dopey policy prescriptions obviously won’t do much to stop shootings (not even Barack Obama can seriously believe that a new assault-weapons ban would make a dent) but because guns may now be a litmus test on the left in the same way that abortion is. So sanctified is the right to choose these days among progressives that not only can’t you find a top Democrat who’s pro-life, you can’t find a top Democrat who’d support any limits whatsoever on abortion. We’re headed there on guns if we’re not there already. Total confiscation is the obvious goal and increasingly, thanks to their demographics, they’ll be willing to say so. No limits. You simply can’t go too far left on this.