by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The media should stop using absurdly lazy phrases like “mandatory gun buybacks.” Unless the politician they’re talking about is in the business of selling firearms, it’s impossible for him to “buy back” anything. No government official—not Joe Biden, not Beto O’Rourke, not any of the candidates who now support “buyback” programs—has ever sold firearms.
What Democrats propose can be more accurately described as “the first American gun confiscation effort since Lexington and Concord,” or some variation on that theme. Although tax dollars will be meted out in an effort to incentivize volunteers, the policy is to confiscate AR-15s, the vast majority of which have been legally purchased by Americans who have undergone background checks and never used a gun for a criminal purpose.
The “mandatory gun buyback” exemplifies the impracticality and absurdity of do-somethingism (although Biden’s proposal to ban “magazines that hold bullets”—so most guns—is also a contender!). Democrats are ready to instantaneously turn millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals overnight for refusing to adhere to a law that retroactively transformed the exercise of a constitutional right into criminality.
And they do it without any evidence that it would curtail rare mass shootings or save lives.