Get ready for Democrats to adopt this mantra in 2020: Take him seriously, not literally. In reacting to the mass shooting in Texas over the weekend, Joe Biden told reporters that he knows more about the Second Amendment and the gun-control issue than Texas governor Greg Abbott. And he proved it by complaining about a lack of prohibition on “magazines that hold multiple bullets,” apparently unaware that magazines exist for precisely that purpose:

On dealing with firearms, it is irrational with — all due respect for the governor of Texas — on the very day you see a mass shooting and we’re talking about loosening access to have guns being able to take them places of worship, store it in school, and it’s absolutely irrational. It’s all about special interests and it has to stop.

The idea that we don’t have elimination of assault type weapons, magazines that can hold multiple bullets in them, it’s absolutely mindless. It’s no violation of the Second Amendment. It’s just a bow of special interests of the gun manufactures and the NRA.

At least he didn’t say “clip”! That’s one small step ahead of some others who lecture gun owners without a clue about the subject matter. This, however, is even more ignorant than usual, since the reason magazines (and clips) exist at all is to allow multiple rounds to be accessed. Anyone with even a passing acquaintance with guns since the front-loading musket would know that. And if you don’t know that, it makes your humble-brag about being an expert in the Second Amendment look even more idiotic.

Come on, Biden’s supporters will cry, take him seriously, not literally. They will argue that we know what Biden meant — that he was referring to “high-capacity” magazines, not just magazines in general.  Perhaps, but even that seems a bit suspect. First off, has anyone established that this shooting involved so-called high-capacity magazines, or did Biden just jump on a convenient hobby horse without any information? (I know which way I’m betting.) And given the astonishingly small percentage of firearms homicides committed by long-barrel guns, what impact would banning large magazines have, even if we could define what “high-capacity” means?

After all, if it means “multiple bullets,” then even revolvers would have to be banned, as well as many of the shotguns that Biden recommended for home use. In fact, in light of the seriously-not-literally argument, don’t forget that every piece of self-defense advice that Biden offered in 2013 would get people arrested under current law. With that kind of track record, it’s tougher to take Biden seriously at all — and to believe that he didn’t mean it literally, too.

Still, it’s difficult to complain in 2019 about seriously-not-literally reverse engineering by leading presidential candidates these days, isn’t it?