Dan Gilmore / Oct. 19, 2015

Clinton Mulls Australia-Style Gun Confiscation

For the sake of the nation, hopefully Clinton flip-flops on this.

During a town hall event in Keene, New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton said that she’d be willing to consider gun control for the United States of the caliber of Australia and UK’s gun bans. “Several communities have done gun buyback programs,” Clinton said. “I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level, if that could be arranged. … I don’t know enough details to know how we would do it or how it would work, but certainly the Australian example is worth looking at.” This is not the “common sense” gun control Clinton hawked in the past — this is an extreme stance, and a few, ahem, details get in the way of her plans. Sure, after a mass murder in 1996 that left 35 people dead, Australia banned some guns it deemed politically incorrect and implemented a buyback program that netted a million firearms. As Varad Mehta writes for The Federalist, Democrats talk nostalgically about a peaceful buyback program, but the reality would be that the buyback would be accompanied with the iron fist of the government making the program mandatory. How would you take millions of guns from millions of Americans? “Armed men would be dispatched to confiscate guns,” Mehta writes, “they would be met by armed men, and blood would be shed. Australia is a valid example for America only if you are willing for that blood to be spilled in torrents and rivers. To choose Australia is to choose civil war.” For the sake of the nation, hopefully Clinton flip-flops on this — for the right to self-defense, codified in the Second Amendment, is also intertwined into the very culture of the United States.

Still, we know her campaign has its eyes on the polls, and while most everyone wants a better background check system, banning or confiscating guns is deeply unpopular. So it’s little wonder that her spokeswoman, Jennifer Palmieri, tried to walk back Clinton’s remarks and claim that all Clinton wanted was “a very common sense proposal” about background checks and gun manufacturer liability. Wrong. Clinton was pretty clear about buybacks and confiscation. But go ahead — run on gun confiscation in the general election.

(Updated.)

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