In an op-ed for New Hampshire’s Concord Monitor, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker continued to push gun control to the top of his campaign platform. The New Jersey senator, who has vowed to ban semi-automatic rifles and create a national gun registry as part of his war on the Second Amendment, promised readers of the paper that he would give the NRA a fight they’d never seen before.
“I refuse to wait for more thoughts and prayers – empty words that do nothing to make our children and communities safer,” Booker wrote. “That’s why I’ve just released a plan that introduces aggressive gun-safety measures – the most comprehensive gun violence prevention plan in decades – and brings the fight to the NRA like never before.
“Beginning on Day One of my presidency, I’ll take action to close dangerous loopholes in gun sales, crack down on unscrupulous dealers and gun manufacturers, and invest in communities impacted by gun violence,” Booker continued. “And I am immediately calling on the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the NRA’s tax status to determine whether the self-dealing and other activities recently reported in the press should lead to revocation of its tax-exempt status.”
Booker may have focused on the legal woes of the NRA in his column, but the bulk of his campaign platform is not aimed at the lobbying group – it’s aimed at everyday, law-abiding Americans. It includes extreme policies like the aforementioned registry. As part of that initiative, Booker would require that every gun owner in America be licensed – a process that would include an interview and a firearms safety class. To soften the blow, he’s indicated there would be a grace period for existing gun owners to give them time to come into compliance. After that? Well, he said just last weekend that he had no trouble levying fines and even putting people in prison if they did not comply with his proposed laws.
At this point, Booker looks to pose little threat in terms of winning the Democratic nomination. That could obviously change. But even if he remains mired in the single-digits of poll support, his war against the Second Amendment is hardly outside the Democratic Party mainstream. While you don’t yet hear Joe Biden calling for a national gun registry or threatening to put gun owners in prison, he was standing side by side with Obama when the president tried to pass an “assault weapons” ban in 2013. You can bet he will be more than willing to adopt some of Booker’s more extreme solutions if the activist groups get in his ear.
It’s times like these that we are grateful for what President Trump has been able to do to the Supreme Court. Still, with this kind of political rhetoric floating out there, we can’t afford a moment’s complacency.