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EDITORIAL: The left gets bolder in efforts to seize firearms

Some gun-control advocates are finally starting to acknowledge that gun control is just a stepping-stone to their real goal — gun confiscation.

There have been hints over the years. In 2015, both then-president Barack Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talked wistfully about Australia’s mandatory gun buyback program. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said “confiscation could be an option” back in 2012.

But in the weeks following the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, liberals have become more direct. Dan Pfeiffer, a former Obama advisor, wrote on Crooked.com that Democrats should propose “bold, meaningful solutions” to gun violence. He advocates for a “national gun buyback program similar to the one Australia instituted after a mass shooting.”

David Scharfenberg, writing in the Boston Globe, said it’s time to “hand over your weapons.” Gun-control advocates, Mr. Scharfenberg says, “have to persuade more people of the need to confiscate millions of those firearms, as radical as that idea may now seem.”

Yes, some people on the left really do want to take your guns.

Second Amendment supporters should welcome moving that debate front and center. For one, it’s easier to have a conversation when your opponents are willing to acknowledge their true aim.

There’s also plenty of evidence that gun confiscation wouldn’t noticeably reduce America’s 33,000 gun deaths. To start with, the public’s perception of those killed by guns is often wrong. The Center for Disease Control finds that almost two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides. The majority of firearm-related homicide victims are young men. Those deaths usually come from gang violence. They rarely come from mass shootings.

Next, the number of privately owned firearms in the United States has doubled since 1993. Gun-related homicides, however, fell by 50 percent.

Writing in The Washington Post, statistician and former FiveThirtyEight writer Leah Libresco summed it up well, “I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.”

Of course, none of those calling for an outright ban on the private ownership of guns has articulated how they hope to square that agenda with the Second Amendment. But now that prominent national Democrats are openly calling for gun confiscation, it’s time for Nevada politicians to put themselves on the record and tell voters which guns they want to seize.

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