Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro opposed the mandatory gun buyback program proposed by rival Beto O’Rourke—but it’s not because he believes it violates the Second Amendment.
Instead, the former Obama administration official pointed to the recent killing of Atatiana Jefferson by a police officer in Fort Worth, Texas, to demonstrate that he wouldn’t want to create more scenarios in which police are going to people’s homes. And the only way for a “buyback” to be truly “mandatory” is if officers are going door-to-door to get the guns.
“There are two problems I have with mandatory buybacks,” Castro said during Tuesday night’s Democratic debate. “No. 1, folks can’t define it, and if you’re not going door-to-door then it’s not really mandatory. But also, in the places that I grew up in, we weren’t exactly looking for another reason for cops to come banging on the door.”
Castro went on to summarize the Jefferson story, explaining how she was fatally shot by a police officer who came to her home after a neighbor called the nonemergency line to have someone check on her.
“I am not going to give these police officers another reason to go door-to-door in certain communities,” Castro said. “Because police violence is also gun violence, and we need to address that.”
Castro was responding to O’Rourke’s advocacy of “mandatory buybacks,” which is the term of choice for Democrats instead of “confiscation.” O’Rourke said that people who don’t comply with the mandatory buybacks can expect to get a visit from the police. Meaning people who don’t want to sell their guns to the government will have them taken by force.
Although Castro is approaching it from a different perspective, his overall point is something that many on the right agree with: If you send police officers to people’s homes to take their guns, there are likely to be some violent consequences.