In response to the shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas last week, an opinion piece in The Boston Globe has called for the mass confiscation of millions of legally purchased firearms, arguing it is “far and away the most effective approach” to stop mass shootings.
In a piece aptly titled “Hand over your weapons,” the Globe’s David Scharfenberg criticized congressional Democrats for their gun control proposals–namely universal background checks and a so-called assault weapons ban–declaring the proposals as “not just difficult to enact in the current political climate; their practical effects would also be quite limited.”
“In other words, the proposals aren’t just difficult to enact in the current political climate; their practical effects would also be quite limited,” he continued. “On occasion, though, leading Democrats will make oblique reference to a more sweeping policy change: seizing a huge number of weapons from law-abiding citizens.”
Scharfenberg noted comments made by Hillary Clinton at a campaign event in New Hampshire back in 2015 where she praised a forced gun buyback (ie. confiscation) program enacted in Australia following a mass shooting in Port Arthur, Tasmania that left 35 people dead. Former President Barack Obama made similar comments praising the program earlier that year.
“The logic of gun control lies, at bottom, in substantially reducing the number of deadly weapons on the street — and confiscation is far and away the most effective approach,” he said, validating fears from many gun owners who believe gun control measures are simply part of a plan to ultimately ban private firearm ownership and confiscate all legally purchased firearms.
Another gun control proposal long considered a backdoor means of total gun confiscation–namely prohibiting those deemed mentally unstable by a judge or doctor–received praise from Scharfenberg.
Unlike Australia, the United States has a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to own a firearm, a fact that Scharfenberg acknowledged.
He also warned of the risk of civil insurrection in the event an involuntary gun confiscation program is enacted, declaring “gun culture runs especially deep in a country born of violent rebellion.”
“Many of those hard-core gun owners see their weapons as a guard against government overreach. And sending government agents to claim them could end very, very badly,” he said. “Ultimately, if gun-control advocates really want to stanch the blood, there’s no way around it: They’ll have to persuade more people of the need to confiscate millions of those firearms, as radical as that idea may now seem.”