Beto O'Rourke

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks at the Iowa Federation of Labor convention, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Altoona, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Failed Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke has taken plenty of flak from Republicans and even some Democrats in the aftermath of announcing his so-called “gun buyback” program, but he recently received criticism from an unlikely source: Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spent millions of dollars promoting gun control policies and gun control candidates all across the country.

Bloomberg appeared on the PBS program “The Firing Line” with host Margaret Hoover this week. During the program, he was shown the video clip featuring the “Hell yes” comments O’Rourke made at the Democratic presidential debate earlier this month when asked by ABC News moderator David Muir about his gun confiscation plan.

“That’s why I won’t be a candidate of the Democratic Party. Because it’s so impractical,” Bloomberg responded after watching the clip. “I don’t know how you’d even do it. It would be such a rallying cry for people that say they’re overstepping their bounds.”

When Hoover interjected to ask if he was saying that Beto’s plan was “not the way to win this issue”, Bloomberg agreed.

“That is not the way to win this issue. First thing, AK-47s should not be in the hands of individuals. They are guns built – not for hunting – they’re guns built to kill the maximum number of people as quickly as you can, and we shouldn’t have them,” he stated.

So if Beto’s solution is “impractical” per Bloomberg only because he doesn’t know how it could be accomplished, what’s his suggested alternative? One way he gave is to take action against gun manufacturers.

“So you can go after the gun manufacturers and get them to stop it,” he opined. “But how you would go and get those back out [from private citizens]? You might have an incentive program and maybe people would turn them in. But I don’t even think that would happen.”

His answer to combating gun violence is more background checks and red flag laws. Gun confiscation programs like Beto’s are also not practical, Bloomberg told Hoover, because gun owner “tend to have lots of guns.”

Watch the interview clip below:

Bloomberg’s comments about O’Rourke’s radical plan mostly in line with what pro-gun control organizations like the Giffords group stressed when asked about what he said at the debate:

Several gun control groups stressed Friday that they were not advocating confiscation, but they also didn’t follow Coons’ lead in condemning O’Rourke’s declaration.

“I think it is very understandable that he is taking a policy position that the larger gun safety community hasn’t taken and he’s trying to push the envelope,” said Robin Lloyd, managing director of Giffords, the gun control group named after Gabby Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman who survived a gunshot wound to the head in 2011. “If the American voter does not think this is an appropriate solution, they’ll let us know.”

I think they already are.

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— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –