Allahpundit wrote yesterday about Hillary Clinton’s startling lurch to the left on guns. The story dealt largely with her fascinating suggestion that the United States should look at a “buyback program” similar to Australia’s draconian laws which they instituted in 1996 following a mass shooting in Tasmania. (Barack Obama made the same reference last year, by the way, though it never went anywhere.) As AP noted, this wasn’t a gun buy back program such as many states and municipalities have offered. It was mandatory confiscation with a modest cash reimbursement to soften the blow.
Before moving on to the latest news on this story, it’s worth noting (particularly for Hillary Clinton’s campaign office) that the immediate results of the Australian gun grab were pretty much the opposite of what was advertised.
Gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results:
- Australia-wide, homicides went up 3.2 percent
- Australia-wide, assaults went up 8.6 percent
- Australia-wide, armed robberies went up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)
In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns.
This rather radical idea was expected to draw a quick response and it clearly did. Hillary made it very clear at multiple appearances that she planned on running to the left of Bernie Sanders on the gun issue and that she would pick out the most obvious demon to slay for the entertainment of her liberal base: the NRA. The problem with taking on such a massive and obvious target is that they tend to hit back. As the New York Times reports, the organization’s rapid response team was all over Hillary with a truth-storm before the news crews could pack up their cameras after her appearance.
On Friday, the powerful lobbying group gave her a fight.
It accused Mrs. Clinton of supporting “gun confiscation,” after she expressed interest in a gun buyback program that led to the elimination of the majority of Australia’s firearms…
In a statement, Chris Cox, the N.R.A.’s chief lobbyist, said that Mrs. Clinton’s comments validated the fears of gun owners and that her “extreme views are completely out of touch with the American people.”
“The real goal of gun control supporters is gun confiscation,” Mr. Cox said. “Hillary Clinton, echoing President Obama’s recent remarks on the same issue, made that very clear.”
NRA-ILA was out with a more forceful response within the hour.
No, the Australian and U.K. “buybacks” were merely an attempt to mollify firearm owners whose property had been declared contraband and subject to seizure. They were, to paraphrase Vito Corleone, an offer gun owners could not refuse. The owners had the “choice” to accept the money and turn the guns they had previously been forced to register (supposedly so they could keep them under grandfather provisions), or they could risk the government forcibly confiscating the guns and being sent to prison for possessing them (supposing, of course, that they survived the confiscation attempt itself).
If you own a gun now, take heed. President Obama and now Hillary Clinton finally made clear what they’re really after – national gun confiscation.
As AP already noted, this is a winning strategy for Clinton in the primary because her base has largely been sold on the idea of things like expanded background checks at the federal level and a national gun registry. (!) How they will react to actual gun confiscation from law abiding owners remains to be seen. But when it comes to the general election, Clinton has a serious storm brewing on the horizon. Regarding a ban on all semi-automatic weapons, including handguns, the public has been consistent in their response for decades. As of last year there was 73% opposition to such a ban, and 63% said that a home was safer if there was a gun in the house.
Those numbers don’t shift when there is a mass shooting. They never do in any significant way. So with all that in mind, I think we need to encourage Hillary to pick up this flag and run with it. In fact, I’m going to go on record as supporting Hillary to be the nominee for the Democrats next year. This is just what the Democrats need and I look forward to her explaining her gun confiscation plans to the public when she debates the eventual GOP nominee.
That ship is going to sink so fast it will make the Titanic look like a sure bet to make it to New York.