Beto's about-face on AR-15s: "I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone"

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Virtually every poll in the state of Texas shows Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke’s gubernatorial campaign is in serious trouble, but the biggest sign that the Democrat is failing to make inroads with Texas voters came on Tuesday, as O’Rourke was stumping for votes in Tyler.

Remember, it’s been less than three years since the Democrat declared during a presidential primary debate that “hell yes” he was going to come for our AR-15s and other modern sporting rifles if he was elected to the White House.

Here we are in 2022, and suddenly O’Rourke has a very different message for Texas voters.

Speaking to reporters, O’Rourke also took a question about his controversial stance on guns and remarks made in 2019 about taking away AR-15s and AK-47s.

“I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone. What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment,” he said. “I want to make sure that we protect our fellow Texans far better than we’re doing right now. And that we listen to law enforcement, which Greg Abbott refused to do. He turned his back on them when he signed that permitless carry bill that endangers the lives of law enforcement in a state that’s seen more cops and sheriff’s deputies gunned down than in any other.”

So the guy who said he was coming for our guns now claims he wants to defend the Second Amendment, yet in the same breath declares that protecting our right to keep and bear arms means criminalizing carrying a gun without a government permission slip? Does he actually think anyone is going to buy his supposed newfound respect for the Second Amendment when he keeps belittling it?

Honestly, O’Rourke’s response was so incoherent I’m really tempted to travel to Texas and cover his campaign for a few days, just to try to ask a few follow-ups like:

What made you supposedly change your mind about coming for our guns?

What makes you think anyone would trust you to defend the Second Amendment when you’ve never offered a pro-gun bill in Congress or spoken out in opposition to any gun control measure?

How stupid do you think the voters in Texas are?

After all, it wasn’t like O’Rourke reversed course on his support for gun confiscation after he dropped out of the Democratic presidential primaries in 2020. As recently as November of 2021 Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke was still defending his call to disarm. In fact, he stood by his 2019 comments when he announced his campaign to become the next governor of the Lone Star State.

So, on November 15th of last year O’Rourke said he wouldn’t be backing down from his call for gun confiscation. Less than four months later, he says he doesn’t want to take anything from anyone.

Call it a lie, call it a flip-flop, but however you label it, it’s plain to see that O’Rourke isn’t being honest with Texas voters. I just can’t figure out who he’s trying to win over here. Democrats aren’t going to be happy to see O’Rourke try to walk back his gun confiscation comments, and Republicans and independents aren’t going to believe him, especially when he trashes Constitutional Carry at the same time. How on earth have O’Rourke and/or his handlers deluded themselves into thinking this is actually going to help him?

My working theory is that they really do think that Texas voters are dumber than an armadillo on edibles, but it could be that they’re just so desperate to try to turn around O’Rourke’s flailing campaign that they’re willing to say anything that they think will be helpful to the candidate. Too bad for them that Beto’s bad take on our right to keep and bear arms is indelibly etched in the memories of most Texas gun owners. Once you’ve declared your coming for the guns, there’s really no walking it back. As unpopular as O’Rourke’s position is in Texas, he would have been better off sticking to it and at least being honest with voters instead of asking them to believe such a Texas-sized bunch of B.S.