With Time Running Out, Beto Has To Go Big Or Go Home


AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Dear Beto O’Rourke,

I’ve been telling you now for months that you needed to think bigger when it came to gun control. Forget the idea of banning the most commonly sold firearms in the country and demanding that people hand over millions of legally acquired firearms, while also claiming that you support the 2nd Amendment in any way. Quit fooling around and just adopt the logical position based on your gun control proposals: full repeal of the 2nd Amendment.

He could say something like “it’s time to quit pussyfooting around this issue. We need to save lives and we need to do it fast. Just as the 13th Amendment repealed the institution of slavery that inflicted misery on millions of Americans held in bondage, we need a 28th Amendment that would repeal another institution inflicting misery on untold millions today: civilian gun ownership.”

You didn’t take my advice back then, Beto, and it may be too late now. You haven’t released your fundraising figures for the third quarter, and so far you haven’t qualified to take part in the November 20th debate. Clearly your call for banning semi-automatic firearms and instituting a compensated confiscation scheme didn’t bring the surge of dollars and support to your campaign that you were hoping it would. Instead, you ticked off some of your fellow Democrats for getting in the way of progress on a gun control bill in Congress, you energized gun owners with your “Hell yes I’m taking your guns” comment, and your polling went nowhere.

Do you know why that is, Beto? It’s may be because Americans really aren’t as eager to try to institute or abide by a gun confiscation as you think they are, in which case you’re hosed. You backed the wrong horse. And honestly, I think that’s probably the case. But there’s a chance I’m wrong, in which case there’s a slight chance your campaign can be saved. In order to do that, though, you’re going to have to own up to the obvious: you think we’d be better off without the 2nd Amendment. And if we’d be better off without it, in your opinion, you need to campaign on changing the Constitution. No more right to keep and bear arms. 86 the 2nd.

On October 15th, you need to stand on that debate stage and proclaim that you will immediately begin work on ratification of the 28th Amendment, which would declare that “a well-regulated militia no longer being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is hereafter deemed a privilege.” There are no more pesky Constitutional arguments if it’s no longer a constitutional right.

You literally have nothing left to lose, Beto. In some recent polls you’re at zero percent. You told a reporter that you hadn’t released your campaign fundraising numbers because you didn’t “just don’t want to”, for crying out loud.

Former Congressman @BetoORourke hasn’t released fundraising numbers for 3rd quarter, but tells me it’s more than last quarter ($3.6 million). I asked why he hasn’t released numbers yet…

“I just don’t want to,” he said. pic.twitter.com/PlV6OX4b68

— Leyla Santiago (@leylasantiago) October 5, 2019

Just being blunt here, but your campaign is flailing. Your campaign is without a real purpose. Oh, I know it supposed to be “commonsense gun laws”, but what you’re proposing has nothing to do with common sense. Even if I thought that banning guns was the way to reduce crime (and I don’t), that would make me want to ban handguns, not rifles. After all, they’re used in far more violent crimes. And since the Supreme Court says handgun bans are unconstitutional, I’d work to change the Constitution. Instead, you want to ensure civil disobedience and a massive intrusion of individual rights to try and take guns that are used in handful of crimes every year.

Again, I suspect that most Americans just aren’t as eager to experiment with gun confiscation as you think they are, but if I’m wrong and you’re right, you’re still not connecting with them the way you need to. Your only hope is to offer them something new. Right now you’re giving them a re-warmed rehash of Eric Swalwell’s gun ban and “buyback” idea. Since you took Swalwell’s idea, you might as well take his advice and “be bold.. (awkward head pivot) no bull.” Just say what you really think; you shouldn’t have a right to keep and bear arms, and you’re going to change the Constitution so that only a privileged and favored few will be able to legally own a gun.

It’s your best chance, but again, I think your campaign is probably toast regardless.

Best wishes,