News

Politics & Policy

Booker: ‘Demagogues’ Are ‘Fear-Mongering’ about Police Confiscating Assault Weapons

Sen. Cory Booker speaks at the Democratic presidential debate in Houston, Texas, September 12, 2019. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker on Friday criticized what he called “fear-mongering” about police showing up to confiscate legally owned assault-style weapons such as the AR-15 rifle.

“I hate when Democrats use the language that Republicans try to use to scare people away as opposed to the sort of pragmatism and practicality of this,” the New Jersey senator said during an interview with CNN. “We’ve seen around this world, countries that have said enough of these assault rifles. They dealt with the problem that got them off of their streets. These weapons should not be in this country.”

Booker said he supports the policy proposed by fellow presidential contender Beto O’Rouke, who made headlines during Thursday evening’s Democratic debate for pledging, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”

The former El Paso congressman supports a so-called “mandatory-buyback program” for AR-15 and AK-47 rifles, a move that goes further than the voluntary-buyback program other Democratic 2020 contenders, including former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, have endorsed.

“You have to set up a system. Yeah, that is mandatory,” Booker said, explaining that he would ban assault-style weapons using the 1986 National Firearms Act as a model. “You have to set up a system to pull them off. But this idea, this imagery that the fear-mongers and demagogues try to say of somehow armed police officers showing up and confiscating weapons, that’s the fear-mongering.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

O’Rourke’s America

With apologies to Margaret Atwood and a thousand other dystopian novelists, we do not have to theorize about what an American police state would look like, because we know what it looks like: the airport, that familiar totalitarian environment where Americans are disarmed, stripped of their privacy, divested of ... Read More
World

Kurdish, Syrian, and Turkish Ironies

Outrage met Donald Trump’s supposedly rash decision to pull back U.S. troops from possible confrontational zones between our Kurdish friends in Syria and Recep Erdogan’s expeditionary forces. Turkey claims that it will punish the Syrian Kurds for a variety of supposed provocations, including aiding and ... Read More
Sports

LeBron James Looks Like a Fraud

So, LeBron James claimed that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey was simply “misinformed or not really educated on the situation” when he tweeted his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. “I don’t want to get into a feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Hey, Good for You, Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton declares on The View that she’s not considering running for Congress. Throughout the run-up to the 2016 election, I was a pretty dyspeptic critic of Chelsea Clinton -- from her $1,083-per-minute speaking gig at a university, to her selection to give the keynote address at SXSW, to her awards ... Read More