If you are one of those rarified Americans who still believe that natural rights are bequeathed to us by our creator, rather than granted to us by government masters, you will perhaps appreciate the gift of Robert Francis O’Rourke.

During the last presidential debate, O’Rourke did us all a great favor by pulling back the curtain on progressive thought, exposing their willingness to seize by force the legally held and protected property of law-abiding American citizens.

Beto was the dodo who actually admitted what many of us have suspected for years: Modern progressives are camouflaging an agenda that is inherently confiscatory, punitive, and authoritarian. Moreover, it is clear that resistance to this agenda will be met with endless character assassination, smear campaigns, violence, and threats of violence, which the DNC, ANTIFA — and now Beto — have demonstrated repeatedly.

And isn’t it bizarre to see an audience of aging hippies, decades after Vietnam and the Civil Rights era, openly applauding Beto’s call for government-sanctioned violence against innocent people? How quickly that generation flipped.

Beto came out in favor of outright gun confiscation, but it would be foolish to doubt, even for a second, that every candidate on the debate stage supports it. The likely nominee, Elizabeth Warren, was strategically intelligent enough to keep her mouth shut, but if her redistributive agenda for your 401k serves as any indication you can rest assured she’d be perfectly happy to kick down your door and seize your property, too.

Which is weird coming from a self-declared Native American, her apologies for that deception notwithstanding.

One would presume that Warren is aware of Wounded Knee, which is where the 7th Cavalry attempted to disarm the already impoverished Lakota and murdered 300 men, women, and children with a Hotchkiss gun. One would also hope that the senior senator from Massachusetts is at least tangentially aware of Lexington and Concord, where British soldiers attempted to disarm American colonists — mostly farmers — by brute force.

America’s flirtations with prohibition and outright confiscation have never ended well because something in the American character despises that kind of despotism. Or at least it did, once. And even a cursory glance at history shows that there can be no public-safety reasoning behind these tyrannical ideations that isn’t rooted firmly in the pursuit of absolute power.

We shouldn’t be surprised. The Democrat Party, after all, is the home of American slavery. Democrats fought tirelessly for slavery, which resulted in a catastrophic Civil War. After losing the war they created Jim Crow laws to enforce segregation. Every democrat in Congress voted AGAINST the 15th Amendment, and every Southern democrat voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Beto’s progressive utopia requires that every runaway be dragged back to the plantation — disarmed and muted, to suffer reeducation by government bullwhip. Beto — and this both thrilled and horrified his colleagues on the dais — revealed that progressives are feeling bold enough to enforce their dystopian fantasies by chaining innocent Americans to a post and whipping them into obedience.

While the Democrat Party is the birthplace of burning crosses, the contemporary shift to radical leftism is ominous. It’s ominous because millions of Americans have come to believe that sheep somehow make good citizens, and because the historical evidence points to the known result.

One need only look at Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador, the permanent economic stagnation of the EU, the entire continent of Africa, or the former Soviet Republics, which remain impoverished authoritarian backwaters.

The economic, physical, and spiritual bankruptcy of the slave cabin remains the operating prescription for Americans who flee the plantation, and Beto has now admitted they would enforce that vision with stormtroopers. All to uniform applause and while making emotional appeals to a “public-safety crisis.”

Progressives are unable to see the problem, naturally, yet every public proposal meant to curtail gun violence will fall exclusively on law-abiding citizens. Not one of them deals with criminals in possession of guns, or who use a firearm in the commission of a crime. Not one. This is the single most revealing irony of progressive “gun-control” ideology.

The progressive obsession with gun-control, which is a euphemism for people-control, is yet another legacy of Deep South racism, where the first measures curtailing firearm ownership were passed in Florida to prevent black Americans from defending themselves against the Ku Klux Klan. Disarmed by law, and in the name of public safety, many hundreds were murdered across the South in sanctioned raids on their persons and their property.

Only deliberate ignorance could believe such a thing will never happen again.

Oregon is likely, in the near future, to pass a raft of gun-control measures. Not one of them will prevent future gun crimes, and tens of thousands of conscientious and otherwise law-abiding citizens will then be forced into acts of subterranean civil disobedience. If outlaws you will make them, then outlaws they will surely become, but as students of history they are unlikely to ever surrender their natural right to be properly armed against violent criminals, or Beto’s frothing slave-hunters.

Not that there ever was, historically speaking, a discernable difference.