Issues & Insights
Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons

Memo to Beto: Don’t Forget To Ban Cars, Knives, Stairs And Bathtubs

I&I Editorial

Beto O’Rourke has been trying to gain some traction for his presidential campaign by making increasingly aggressive statements about gun control. From “nobody wants to take your guns away” to “Hell yes, we will take your AR-15.”

In a disastrous “Ask Me Anything” event on Reddit, O’Rourke got pummeled with questions about his new position. 

One questioner asked O’Rourke how he’d go about confiscating the roughly 10 million AR-15s currently in people’s homes. O’Rourke’s reply — “Americans will comply with the law” — was downvoted by more than 13,000 Reddit users. Two questions later, Beto had dropped off the Reddit program. 

Even if Beto could overcome the fierce public opposition to gun repossession, to say nothing of the Second Amendment, there’s the question he hasn’t yet been asked or answered.

What’s next on his prohibition list?

If “assault rifles” are so dangerous that no law-abiding citizen may own one, what else should the government take away to protect citizens? 

Despite the relentless focus on “assault rifles,” and their use by deranged mass shooters, these weapons are responsible for a tiny fraction of murders each year. Data from the FBI show that, of 15,129 murders in 2017, 10,982 involved a firearm. Of those, rifles of any kind were responsible for 403 deaths. Regular old handguns, however, were used in 7,032 homicides.

So if Beto wants to ban a weapon that is, as he put it in his Reddit answer, “so often used to kill and terrorize people throughout this country,” why ignore the one that kills and terrorizes the most? 

And why stop at guns?

Why not ban knives, which were used in three times as many murders in 2017 as rifles?

Or hands and feet, since more people are killed by being punched and kicked to death — 696.

The fixation on one type of rifle makes even less sense when you expand the field of vision to look at other ways in which innocent lives are lost. 

The same year that rifles took 403 lives, cars and trucks killed almost 6,000 pedestrians, and killed another 783 on bicycles. Drunken drivers were responsible for almost 11,000 deaths that year.

By Beto’s logic, to the extent that he has any, he should be calling either for a ban on alcohol or cars, or both.

Meanwhile, stairs are responsible for roughly 1,300 deaths a year, according to the National Safety Council. How about a ban on second stories, Beto?

More than 500 people drown in pools each year. Almost as many drown in bathtubs annually (around 350) as are killed by rifles. Why do we allow these dangerous products?

Cold is deadlier than rifles. Roughly 700 people die from exposure to cold, which is more than twice the number who die from exposure to heat. (An argument for global warming, isn’t it, Beto?)

If any of this seems far-fetched, consider the fact that Democrats already have a long and growing list of things they promise to ban if elected. 

During the CNN town hall on global warming, for example, Democrats promised to ban plastic straws, incandescent light bulbs, internal-combustion engines, nuclear power, factory farming, as well as off-shore drilling, fracking, oil exports, and coal mining. 

“We have to take combustion engine vehicles off the road as rapidly as we can,” said leading Democrat Joe Biden, the supposed centrist in the group.

Democrats used to be called the party of “tax and spend.” These days, they’re coming across as the party of “tax, spend and ban.”

— Written by John Merline

Note to Readers: Issues & Insights is a new site launched by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to use our decades of experience to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we think our approach to commentary is sorely lacking both in today’s mainstream media and on the internet. If you like what you see, feel free to click the Tip Jar over on the right sidebar. And be sure to tell your friends!

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.


I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

1 comment

  • For Mr. O’Rourke, it isn’t about stopping mass murder or saving innocent lives. It’s all about how he can keep his name and face in the news for another day. Mr. O’Rourke is completely comfortable with the late mass murderer Ulrich Klopfer stashing the remains of over 2,000 babies that he had murdered in his home, but he showers F-bombs all over the airwaves for little children to hear in his phony righteous wrath over the least often used weapons to commit murder, either individual or mass. If Mr. O’Rourke was sincere, he would be looking at the real issues, not throwing up a smokescreen of disinformation.

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

We Could Use Your Help

Help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left. Issues & Insights is published by the editors of what once was Investor's Business Daily's award-winning opinion pages. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on donate button above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!
%d bloggers like this: