In the Democratic debate this week, candidate Beto O’Rourke said, “We’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.” And that notion, that the Democrats are “going to come for your guns” is exactly what Republicans have warned about.
Unlike the other candidates, who have advocated banning the further sale of assault weapons, O’Rourke’s plan involves confiscating such weapons under a forced buyback program. Government confiscation of firearms has long been a bogeyman for many gun rights advocates—eliciting comparisons to Nazi Germany and other authoritarian regimes.
O’Rourke’s Twitter account backed up his message during the debate, sending out tweets calling for assault weapon buybacks. The account tweeted an image of an assault weapon with a grenade launcher—something that’s illegal for civilians to own—with the phrase “Beto has a ban for that“—a riff on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “I have a plan for that.”