ABC's Focus: How 2020 Dem's Forcible Gun Grabbing ‘Will Work?’

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ABC Democratic debate co-moderator David Muir on Thursday offered seven questions on guns and skirted around the main one: Will your plans violate the Second Amendment rights of Americans? For the most part, Muir simply wondered how forcible gun confiscation “will work.” 

Talking to Beto O’Rourke, the journalist noted, “You have gone further. You said, ‘Americans who own AR-15s and AK-47s will have to sell them to the government, all of them.’ You know that critics call this confiscation. Are you proposing taking away their guns and how would this work?” 

 

 

O’Rourke replied, “I am.” He added, “Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47! We're not going to allow it to be used against a fellow American any more.” 

Instead of asking whether or not these 2020 Democrats respect the Second Amendment, Muir managed this:  

I want to bring in Senator Klobuchar on this, because you are talked about your uncle and the proud hunters back home in Minnesota. I wanted to get your response to Congressman O'Rourke tonight. Where do you stand on mandatory gun buy-backs? 

Regarding Senator Cory Booker’s stance, Muir only wanted to know how he could accomplish it: “If Democrats can't get universal background checks, how would you get this done and can you name one republic colleague in the senate right now that would be on-board with this idea?” 

For fellow Senator Elizabeth Warren, it was more of the same from Muir: “Senator Warren, I want to come to you next. Because you have actually said in recent days that there are things you can get done with Republicans in the Senate. What can you get done on gun control?” 

To Joe Biden, the question was, again, how do you get this done? 

But four months after Sandy Hook, a measure to require expanded background checks died on the Senate floor. If you couldn't get it done after Sandy Hook, why should voters give you another chance?

Here's the best Muir could manage, finally talking about the Constitution:  

Senator Harris, you have said that you would take executive action on guns within your first 100 days, including banning imports of AR-15 assault weapons. President Obama, after Sandy Hook, more than 23 executive actions and here we are today. Vice President Biden said about executive orders some really talented people are seeking the nomination.” They said, "I'm going to issue an executive order. Biden saying, “There's no constitutional authority to issue that executive order when they say "I'm going to eliminate assault weapons," saying, "You can't do it by executive order anymore than Trump can do things when he says he can do it by executive order.” Does the Vice President have a point there? 

Transcripts of the gun control questions from September 12's debate are below: 

ABC Democratic Debate
09/12/19

8:54 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR:  I want to turn to the deadly mass shootings in this country and we are mindful of where we stand. We are in Texas tonight, where 29 people have lost their lives in just the last month alone. El Paso, which we've discussed, Odessa. And I know there are survivors from El Paso right here in the hall tonight. Vice President Biden, I do want to direct this to you, because we all remember Sandy Hook, 26 people died in that school, 20 of them children. Those first graders would be in eighth grade today. At the time, there was a ground swell in this country to get something done. President Obama asked you to lead the push for gun control. You have pointed to your ability to reach across the aisle to get things done. But four months after Sandy Hook, a measure to require expanded background checks died on the Senate floor. If you couldn't get it done after Sandy Hook, why should voters give you another chance? 

...

8:56 p.m. Eastern

MUIR: Senator Harris, you have said that you would take executive action on guns within your first 100 days, including banning imports of AR-15 assault weapons. President Obama, after Sandy Hook, more than 23 executive actions and here we are today. Vice President Biden said about executive orders some really talented people are seeking the nomination.” They said, "I'm going to issue an executive order. Biden saying, “There's no constitutional authority to issue that executive order when they say "I'm going to eliminate assault weapons," saying, "You can't do it by executive order anymore than Trump can do things when he says he can do it by executive order.” Does the Vice President have a point there? 


9:00 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: I'm going to work down the row here, I want to come to Congressman O'Rourke, because I know this is personal to you. El Paso is your hometown. Some of the stage have suggested a voluntary buy-back for guns in this country. You have gone further. You said, quote, “Americans who own AR-15s and AK-47s will have to sell them to the government, all of them. You know that critics call this confiscation. Are you proposing taking away their guns and how would this work? 

BETO O’ROURKE: I am, if it's a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield. If the high impact, high velocity, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body because it was designed to do that so you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers. When we see that being used against children and in Odessa, I met the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was shot by an AR-15 and that mother watched her bleed to death over the course of an hour because so many other people were shot by that AR-15 in Odessa, there weren't enough ambulances to get to them in time. Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We're not going to allow it to be used against a fellow American anymore. 

MUIR: Congressman, thank you. 

O’ROURKE: And, I want to say this -- I'm listening to the people of this country, the day after I proposed doing that, I went to a gun show in Conway, Arkansas. To meet with those who were selling AR-15s and those who were buying those weapons and you might be surprised, there was some common ground there. Folks who said, “I would give that up, cut it to pieces, I don't need this weapon to hunt, to defend myself. It is a weapon of war.” So, let's do the right thing, but let's bring everyone in America into the conversation. Republicans, Democrats, gun owners and non-gun owners alike. 

(....)

9:01 p.m. Eastern

MUIR: I want to bring in Senator Klobuchar on this, because you are talked about your uncle and the proud hunters back home in Minnesota. I wanted to get your response to Congressman O'Rourke tonight. Where do you stand on mandatory gun buy-backs? 

(....)

9:03 p.m. Eastern

MUIR: I want to turn to Senator Booker, because you said just this week about guns and about the candidates on this stage, that the differences do matter. Those were your words. You have argued, if you need a license to drive a car in this country, you should have a license to buy a gun. Gun owners would have to pass a background check, they would have to obtain a federal license to buy a gun. This would require, as you know, congress to pass legislation. If Democrats can't get universal background checks, how would you get this done and can you name one republic colleague in the senate right now that would be on-board with this idea? 

(....)

9:05 p.m. Eastern

MUIR: Senator Booker, thank you. A quick followup. Americans watching tonight know the reality of Congress in Washington. I asked, do you have a Republican colleague in the Senate that would be on-board with this idea to get this done? 

(....)

MUIR: Senator Warren, I want to come to you next. Because you have actually said in recent days that there are things you can get done with Republicans in the Senate. What can you get done on gun control?

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Debates Guns ABC Video David Muir Cory Booker Elizabeth Warren Amy Klobuchar Beto O'Rourke
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