Alternate headline: Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke confirms he has no interest in running for the Senate. Earlier this week, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had dishonestly dismissed O’Rourke’s calls for massive firearms confiscation by claiming he knew of no other Democrat who agreed with the idea. Last night, Beto fired back at Schumer by denigrating his leadership and suggesting that Schumer lacks the testicular fortitude to fight:

Beto O’Rourke lit into Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on gun control on Thursday, accusing him of doing “absolutely nothing” on the issue.

“Ask Chuck Schumer what he’s been able to get done,” the Democratic presidential candidate told reporters after a town hall here, responding to Schumer’s recent dismissal of O’Rourke’s call for a mandatory buyback of assault weapons. “We still don’t have background checks. Didn’t have them when he was in the majority, either. So the game that he’s played, the politics that he’s pursued have given us absolutely nothing and have produced a situation where we lose nearly 40,000 of our fellow Americans every year.” …

Of Schumer and mandatory buybacks, O’Rourke said, “What he may not know, but what I hear loud and clear— because I’m traveling the country listening to my fellow Americans — is that the people are there.”

If Schumer fibbed a bit in his response, Beto managed to double up on Schumer at least. First off, we do have background checks and have had them for decades. Try buying a firearm at a licensed gun dealer without one and see how far you get. (One journalist tried at a Walmart, and hilarity ensued.) What we don’t have is background checks on private-to-private sales and transfers, which is a very small portion of all legal firearms transactions. Congress and the White House are looking to close that gap, but very few if any of the mass shootings that prompted this conversation would have been prevented by it. At least a few of the shooters would have been prevented from buying firearms had they been prosecuted properly for earlier offenses, however, because those would have showed up on their background checks.

Furthermore, the 40K figure is all deaths from firearms including suicides, not the number of deaths each year from the weapons Beto wants confiscated — so-called “assault weapons.” As noted ad nauseam, long-barrel firearms (of which “assault weapons” is a subset) represent a minute percentage of overall firearms homicides — fewer than 4% in 2017. The actual number in 2017 was 403 homicides by rifles of all kinds, roughly 1% of the figure Beto’s tossing around. (Needless to say, assault weapons get used in few if any suicides, either.)

Still, it is in this reflexive state of ignorance and dishonesty that the Democrats will conduct their internecine war on gun-control purity. If Chuck Schumer is the main apostate obstacle to True Progressive Utopia, God help the rest of us who rely on reality and liberty. Praise the Lord and pass the … popcorn.