Op-Ed: Someone should tell Beto who did the killing at Kent State
Of all the places to argue that only the government should be trusted with guns, Beto O'Rourke picked…Kent State University.
Kent State is, of course, the location of the infamous 1970 shooting that left four students dead and nine others injured. The shots were fired not by private citizens but by members of the Ohio National Guard, who shot at a crowd protesting America's involvement in the Vietnam War.
Invoking armed agents of the state gunning down unarmed civilians is an interesting way to argue that Americans would be better off if the government forcefully disarmed private citizens. But hey, I guess that's why we keep being told Beto's an "unconventional" candidate.
Since the mass shooting at a Walmart in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, former congressman O'Rourke has tried to jump-start his flailing presidential campaign by being the candidate who is most gung-ho about gun control. He made headlines at the most recent Democratic debate by promising, "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15." More specifically, he is proposing a ban on "the manufacturing, sale, and possession of military-style assault weapons"—that is, semiautomatic rifles with certain cosmetic characteristics.
"Americans who own AR-15s [or] AK-47s will have to sell them to the government," O'Rourke has explained. "We're not going to allow them to stay on our streets, to show up in our communities, to be used against us in our synagogues, our churches, our mosques, our Walmarts, our public places."
O'Rourke's plan to take guns out of private citizens' hands would not have prevented the Kent State massacre. But it would create lots of new opportunities for agents of the state to point guns at Americans who aren't a threat to anyone.
Click here to read the entire op-ed at Reason.com.