Gun Control

Will Democrats Really Grab Your Guns?

Debating "mandatory buy-backs," Afghanistan withdrawal, and back-to-school week on the Reason Podcast.


As has been the case with the Trump administration after a mass shooting event, the president and key legislative leaders are discussing in the wake of Saturday's Odessa, Texas, shoot-out a series of possible measures, including expediting the death penalty. As is also the case during a long presidential primary season, Democratic candidates are one-upping one another with gun-control proposals, with Texan Beto O'Rourke and Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) both suggesting "mandatory buy-backs" of "weapons of war." So what will and should actually be done?

So kicks off a lively discussion on the latest Editors Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, feauring Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman and Matt Welch. Other topics include: Reflections on back-to-school week and the state of education policy/politics, ideas from both the Trump administration and the Democratic presidential field about getting U.S. troops the hell out of Afghanistan, plus the latest social-commentary comedy from Dave Chappelle.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'Scapes' by Steve Combs is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Relevant links from the show:

"Should It Be Easier to Put Mass Shooters to Death? Trump's Justice Department Thinks So," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Texas Is Executing a Man Tonight for a Murder and Rape Experts Say He Didn't Commit," by Zuri Davis

"March For Our Lives Calls for Confiscating Guns, Investigating the NRA, and 'Reforming' the Supreme Court," by Christian Britschgi

"How to Create a Gun-Free America in 5 Easy Steps," by Austin Bragg

"New York's New 'Red Flag' Law Illustrates the Due Process Problems Posed by Gun Confiscation Orders," by Jacob Sullum

"Do These 21 Mass Shootings That Did Not Happen Show the Benefits of California's 'Red Flag' Law?" by Jacob Sullum

"James Alan Fox: There Is No Evidence of an 'Epidemic of Mass Shootings,'" by Nick Gillespie

"For Many Pro-Gun Republicans, Gun Ownership Is Skin Deep," by Zuri Davis

"Trump Caves to Lindsey Graham; U.S. Troops To Stay the Neverending Course in Afghanistan," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Trump Just Can't Quit Afghanistan," by Matt Welch

"Americans Voice Growing Support for School Choice," by J.D. Tuccille

"De Blasio Advisory Group Wants To Abolish Gifted Classes in NYC Public Schools," by Matt Welch

"Ten Years After Katrina, New Orleans Charter Schools Have Made Real Improvements," by Savannah Robinson

"Watch Dave Chappelle Eviscerate Cancel Culture," by Robby Soave

NEXT: Elizabeth Nolan Brown Talks About the Secret Backpage Memos and What They Mean for Free Speech Online

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  1. No Dems won’t grab your guns just like R’s won’t repeal obamacare and restore a free market. What are these questions?

    1. So San Francisco labeling the NRA a terrorist organization and calling for all businesses to not do business with the NRA or not be able to do business with San Francisco isn’t a path towards ending gun ownership?

  2. Will Democrats Really Grab Your Guns?

    Yes. No need to listen to reason staff debate stupid questions that have been answered by Lefty past behavior.

    1. They keep repeating that they want to take our guns.

      When will Reason believe them?

      1. I love how Reason assumes Republicans mean something darker than what they say (the notorious “dog whistles” and all) but ALSO assume that Democrats repeatedly saying “We intend to do THIS” doesn’t mean that they will ACTUALLY do it.

        1. Like most democrats, Gillespie, Welchie Boy, and the rest of the PFLs at Reason haven’t really decided yet if they love Biden, Sanders, Warren, or Pete Buttplug the most.

          1. It’ll be Warren. They claim otherwise, but they are horny for Stalin levels of tyranny.

            They’ll blame Trump for it should it happen.

  3. According to longtime libertarian activist Michael Hihn, “grabbing guns” is precisely what libertarians should be demanding. A ban on deadly military style assault weapons would be perfectly constitutional. In fact, this country had such a ban in the 1990s, and it was a great success.


    1. Hihn makes no distinction for “military style assault weapons”, as he instead believes we have no right to own weapons not in common use at the time the BOR was passed.


      1. Hihn shouldn’t have any right to any version of speech that wasn’t available in 1788.

    2. Why exactly should we be demanding that?

    3. Law enforcement in the Old West frontier also made gun holders check their guns before entering the town.
      * tobacco spit*

      1. Only if the people agreed. A lot of those marshals got shot.

  4. There is not a type of firearm ever developed which has not been used by soldiers in war. And most designs, are still used in warfare. Therefore, they are, each and every one, “weapons of war.” And no, they will not be “buying back” mine. They are not for “sale.”

    1. Look, other than shotguns, bolt-action rifles, repeater rifles, semi-automatic and automatic rifles, revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, what kind of guns do soldiers use?

      Yeah, it isn’t such a long list that needs banning.

      You clingers! Sheesh……

      1. Glad you asked, Cyto! Missed the following:

        Hand Cannon
        Rolling Block
        Finger Gun
        Percusion Cap
        Recoilless Rifle
        Pop-Tart Gun
        Naval Artillery
        Potato Gun
        Paintball Gun
        Tim Gunn


    LOL, sure, buddy. You’ll get the same level of care under Medicaid for all (let’s be honest, that’s what it’ll be). And it’ll always only be 4% of your gross income. That number will never change.

    1. That number will never change.

      And for sure that number is a real number and totally wasn’t just pulled out of someone’s ass.

  6. Democrats don’t want to grab guns, they want to grab Power. Guns are the last line between Freedom and their Socialistic hellhole.

    The nice thing of being in the bay area is I know people who are so radical left they have no filter like normal Democrats. I’ve straight up been told they want to disarm the population to stop any resistance to them, I’ve been straight up told they want more immigrants because white people are a problem and need to be replaced, etc.

    You’d think this is from alt-righters or whatnot, but no it’s people who love reminding you at every turn of how far left they are.

    1. I have a friend who thinks total gun confiscation is not going far enough – she wants guns banned from the military as well.

      You may think I’m joking, but I am not.

      1. She better be hot because she ain’t too bright.

        1. She’s smarter than you would think with that being the only thing you know about her, but she’s never been someone I would describe as a “clear thinker.”

          1. Got it. A couple people I know came to mind.

      2. I don’t think you’re joking. I know these people, they are insane.

        It’s the same with healthcare. They don’t give a damn about the problems of medicare for all or whatever their slogan is now, they want it because it will give them power over you. That’s all they want.

        I’m so over the gaslighting. At least be honest like these lefties of what you want. Don’t tell us we just want to ban this one itty bitty thing, we’re not going to take your guns we swear.

        1. And that is something I do genuinely admire about her even though the conclusions she comes to are often questionable.

          Her husband, in contrast, thinks she’s crazy but favors “common sense” gun control. I actually respect his views less.

          1. He married crazy, so that kept her out of my hair.

          2. I love how gun rights advocates can never legitimately provide “common sense” gun laws (you know, like enforcing the ones already on the books). Only gun control nuts.

  7. Yes. Yes they will.

    1. “If confiscation results in armed conflicts between the Federal Government and gun owners, that reflects very badly on gun owners”.
      Suderman should take a long walk off a short pier. Sure, you can say “oh I’m just representing the progressive liberal side of the discussion” all you want, you sure sounded like you believed this to me. Fuck off, statist.

      1. Did Suderman really say that?

        I’m Canadian and this pisses the shit out of me. Imagine American gun owners.

        Come on Peter. Spare us with this crap.

      2. “reflects very badly on gun owners”

        lol. Oh Noes! The left might look down on us! Well then here, just take what you want.

        1. Weird that a writer for a libertarian magazine would say this.

          I must misunderstand libertarianism.

          1. You have Libertarianism down just fine.

            It’s reason being driven into the ground by current staff.

          2. “Weird that a writer for a libertarian magazine would say this.”

            Read anything by Shikha D lately? I guess she’s here to lend herself to the diversity quotient.

  8. Of course Democrats won’t be grabbing my guns. They may not understand much, but they understand “molon labe, motherfucker” just fine. Which is not to say they won’t try, just that’s enough gun owners that understand the whole damn reason you need guns is because there’s people who think you don’t. And of course, it doesn’t mean they won’t claim that they’re not going to grab your guns, heavens, no, they just want some “reasonable, common sense” gun laws, that’s all. Except that when you ask them what their definition of “reasonable, common sense” gun laws are, it’s always “more”.

  9. Ban guns. Ha! Let those motherfuckers try! It would be akin to banning drugs. That worked well.

    1. It would be akin to banning drugs. That worked well.

      Sure destroyed a lot of lives in the attempt.

      1. As it was designed to do.

    2. Drugs dont shoot back.

      Government agents trying to steal my guns will find out the difference really quick.

    3. Mexico is an interesting example. The country has extremely strict gun laws for private citizens, but the drug cartels and criminals seem to have no problem getting whatever they want. So, we have pretty solid evidence “reasonable gun laws” will fail to disarm criminals, and it’s right next door.

      1. So you are saying Obama will continue to sell us guns after they are banned?

        1. The cartels will just start selling them back to us. They know where the profits are.

  10. “both suggesting “mandatory buy-backs” of “weapons of war.” ”

    Will it apply to ALL U.S. citizens including those in the police and military ?
    Or will it violate equity under the law ?

    The 2nd of course.

    1. “Will it apply to ALL U.S. citizens including those in the police and military ?”
      Yes, but not to the bodyguards of the political class and the glitterati.
      They actually need them. They’re doing important work.

  11. It was really genius when you think about it. Raise a generation of entitled, self-absorbed twits who are prone to violent outbursts the instant they’re faced with any kind of adversity– ranging from rejection from hot chicks to not getting a job you “deserve” and that’s the excuse to disarm America. The Democrats are definitely playing the long game here.

    1. Duh.

      Like all progressives. They have a good long game.

      It will be very interesting but the trend seems to suggest they’ll eventually get their way. Notice how they’ve mangled the meaning of the 2A to the point of chaotic confusion. Exhaust people until they comply.

      Sociopaths have a lot more stamina than normies.

      1. “They” will eventually get their way because “we” cannot force people to be free individuals, but “they” can force people to become slaves. Just as soon as “they” kill “us” for resisting the gun confiscation.

        1. We can force people to be free individuals. It just takes a majority of us to do it. And nowhere near a majority of people want to be free individuals. All we can do is hope that the progressives overreach and that the tide turns against them. It happens all the time. The next generation will be better, even if it is just to spite their Millennial parents. Just like the Gen-Xers tend to be more liberty-loving than their parents.

    2. Lefties are not smart. Lefties freak out over Trump tweets.

      The goal was to dumb down and make future generations subservient to government authority. That has all sorts side effects that might seems like they are intentional.

      Even if I am 100% wrong, Lefties are getting more desperate which tells me that any plans that they do have are falling apart. Why risk a Civil War 2.0 if you can get every American to peacefully turn in their guns and cooperate with Socialism?

      1. “Lefties are not smart. Lefties freak out over Trump tweets.”
        They know those tweets are harmless. They’re freaking out in order to move the Overton window.
        It’s calculating and manipulative, not stupid.

        1. Oh you’re correct. It’s why I don’t call them “stupid” as in idiotic. I know some Lefties are calculated and manipulated in their actions and some Lefties are Sheeple who follow the Narrative.

          They’re not smart because overall their current strategy is not working like incrementalism has for them over the last 100+ years. Lefties are pushing people to pick sides and they don’t have many on their side.

    3. The Democrats Soviet sympathizers are definitely playing the long game here.


      Are we going to pretend this is a different game? It was never going to work quickly like it did in Yugoslavia, but trust me, it is exactly the same plan: infiltrate a party, sublimate communism for its social policies, compromise or remove moderate voices in party individually, place sympathetic actors in national office, implement policies that frustrate resistance, escalate.

  12. I’m pretty sure the technology exists to quickly and easily transcribe these podcasts. But what do I know?

    1. Remember when Reason writers would interact with Reasonoids?


      1. Virginia Postrel claimed that commentators were ‘short-dick Midwest hayseeds’ AND THAT’S HER EXACT QUOTE.

        1. “Weird that a writer for a libertarian magazine would say this.”

          Read anything by Shikha D lately? I guess she’s here to lend herself to the diversity quotient.

        2. Regarding Postrel, I found this: Unfortunately, such ladylike responses aren’t typical of Reason commenters, who often sound like drunk teenage boys trying to one-up each other. They tend to forget that their online pals aren’t the only ones reading what they say. In his post, White described Reason as a “leading libertarian website whose clever writing is eclipsed only by the blowhard stupidity of its commenting peanut gallery.” Puerile they undoubtedly are, but Reason commenters are also harmless (unless you care about reasoned political discourse or the image of libertarians).

          I’d love to see the one about Midwest Hayseeds, to add to my collection of appellations including deplorable, irredeemable, and bitter clinging.

          1. Well yeah, that’s generally how people describe other people that call them on their bullshit.

          2. Honestly I’d say Reason commentators are better than the mass majority of sites out there. I don’t know where Postrel usually looks, but comment sections usually look the visual version of an Xbox 360 lobby complete with reeeee-ing

      2. I figured Reason were propagandists when they started using State Department fictions for foreign regime change operations in South America. It’s disgusting. So often the use LIbertarian ideas to promote the “Washington Consensus” which is just soft-power imperialism. It’s not free trade. It’s fake trade.

      3. Ron Bailey still slogs into the muck and I love him for it.

    2. The Founding Fathers couldn’t possibly have envisioned such military-style assault transcriptions!

  13. If they are so scared of being shot they should carry guns as is their right.

    1. If you carry a gun, or even just own one, it’s prima facie evidence that you’re accepting some sort of responsibility for defending yourself. Leftists don’t do personal responsibility. Everything bad that happens to you is society’s fault, everything good that happens to someone else is an undeserved reward in which you’re entitled to share.

      1. That’s an important point. People who accept responsibility for their own safety rather than blindly trusting Big Government have, in the eyes of lefties, an “attitude problem”. The Left is more concerned by that than they are about guns or violent crime.

      2. It’s not like you have a choice to accept responsibility for defending yourself. The police aren’t and can’t be everywhere. You can shirk that responsibility and accept the consequences if you want, but it’s still yours. Personally, I see no need to arm because my neighborhood is safe enough that I think the cost and risk of owning a weapon outweigh the benefit. That is a calculus I revisit often, though.

  14. One must realize this latest “mass shooting” took the same number of lives lost by shootings in Chicago the same weekend. Both are largely local stories.

    When this confiscation chatter ensues I recall the looks on the faces of the federal agents at the Bundy episode when their gaze met the 20 or so armed ranchers and cowboys on that overpass. Priceless

    1. See the Mayor of Chicago hollering at Ted Cruz for pointing out said fact?

      1. Cruz eviscerated Mayor Lightweight in his response. too.

    2. Photos of a standoff: Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to protest a cattle roundup from public land.

      Its a whole different ballgame when Americans have guns and government agents try to bully them.

  15. Oh, please, nobody is coming to seize your precious penis-substitute death-dispensers, and the paranoia you’re exhibiting is a real red flag.

    1. Sarcasm or stupidity?

        1. Hard to tell! I run into a fair number of lefties who say more or less exactly what you said.

        2. it’s more fun if you don’t tell – – – –

  16. When the government buys back guns, it just goes to show you: the government should never have sold the guns in the first place.

    1. The government used to be a major player in gun purchases. Little known fact, semi-automatic rifles outsold bolt action rifles prior to the first world war in the civilian market. After WWI the military had huge surpluses of Springfields and Enfield rifles chambered for .30 Government (.30-06 Springfield). They sold these for around $25 a piece. These cheap rifles led the American sportsman to adopt the bolt action rifle as the common hunting rifle. It also led to the .30-06, a military cartridge up to that point, to become the most commonly used and adapted civilian cartridge. In 2006 American Rifleman did a tribute to the .30-06, at that time over 300 commercially available calibers had been adapted from the .30-06. Ironically, the so called bolt action hunting rifles only are popular in America because of military surplus.

      1. You can still purchase, through CMP, military surplus weapons.

        1. Yeah, and it is a real easy and inexpensive process.

      2. “Ironically, the so called bolt action hunting rifles only are popular in America because of military surplus.”

        No kidding: I’ve got a bolt action rifled “shotgun”, (What can I say, hunting laws in Michigan are bonkers.) and you have to be very careful indeed to not cut your knuckles on the scope when using it. Semi-automatic would make much more sense.

  17. They will, because of all these phony mass shootings. It’s psychological warfare. They’re having mass shooter drills in preschools – the idea is to impress on the next generation a fear of firearms. Also, the NRA as a single issue organization is a threat to political Zionism because it can get candidates elected who won’t kowtow the line on Israel’s human rights violations or regime change wars. That’s why they’re being taken on by the propaganda state.

    Here’s my petition to expose the fake Thousand Oaks shooting:

    1. That’s actually hilarious to anyone who’s aware of how the issues of policy relative to Israel and gun control tend to correlate. If somebody is into BDS, you can be almost certain they’re a gun controller.

    2. I’ve never been into guns. I know enough to be safe around one, but don’t really need or want to use one. I will be teaching my kids hands-on gun safety and respect, though. Mainly I want to make sure they don’t fear guns and the best way to do that is to educate.

    3. “Also, the NRA as a single issue organization is a threat to political Zionism because it can get candidates elected who won’t kowtow the line on Israel’s human rights violations or regime change wars.”

      Man, I’ve got to meet your drug dealer.
      He’s selling you some really great shit.

  18. Will Democrats Really Grab Your Guns?’
    Not unless they want an armed rebellion. They know that, and it is why they want to chip away at the 2nd amendment. Also remember the NRA is powerful, because a lot of people support it with their money. The Dems like to talk like it is some disconnect entity of it’s own, no, it has great support of US citizens.

    1. We know that when the gun grabbing starts, it will start in predominantly black neighborhoods.

      How many would be willing to rebel for black people?

  19. I expect a push for “universal” background checks for most private transactions is coming, since the latest shooter (who should have been on the NICS database) got his firearm from a private sale.

  20. What a strange way to frame the question about the Democrats increasingly authoritarian and hysterical gun control rhetoric.

  21. There are laws on the books that would allow Democrats to “grab” guns, namely illegal guns. You can easily find thousands of illegal guns in the possession of felons in cities run by progressive Democrats. How about they show us their proficiency in grabbing those guns with existing laws?

  22. Of course Dems will grab your guns!

    Just like they did in 2012, 2008, 1996, 1992, etc. and so-on.

    What kind of stupid question is this?

  23. How would a mandatory buy-back even work? They don’t know who has guns and who doesn’t. Even if they have paperwork from someone showing they have a gun it doesn’t mean they still have it.

  24. The democrats will grab your guns and your money.
    How’s that for a two-for-one deal?

  25. If they can’t be confiscated Democrats will try to legislate, regulate, license, and tax them out of existence. You will have a Second Amendment right but no way to exercise it. Maybe a NICS check for ammo purchases, which must be done locally, and with a limit on the number of rounds per month. Or, you must qualify on each weapon you own yearly, for a nominal fee which will continually rise, at locations which over time will be fewer and further away. Or, you can own a weapon but it must be stored at a police station for a nominal but ever-rising fee. You have to sign out your weapon if you want to use it, stating your purpose, and the sign out will include a firm return date and time. Miss it and you lose the weapon and get a fine. For Democrats, these would all be reasonable precautions short of confiscation.

  26. It is so important and urgent issue to solve, every day more than thousands of people are in danger to be victims, and it obviously has an influence on state of education policy/politics. I am study politics now and a few days ago I was looking for case-study examples. I have found it on this resource, ant the assignments was about the advantages and disadvantages of access to guns, I think everyone should know this information and to read a few statistics before taking a place.

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