At this point Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke would probably be better off taking a vow of silence, because every time he opens his mouth and starts spouting off about guns and his newfound appreciation for the Second Amendment, he only highlights the ridiculous flip-flopping he’s done on the right to keep and bear arms over the past few years.
The New York Times does its best to provide some cover for O’Rourke in its latest story on the Democrat’s long-shot campaign to become the next governor of Texas, but even they can’t ignore the fact that O’Rourke’s rallying cry of “Hell yes we’re coming for your AR-15”, unleashed during his short-lived presidential campaign in 2019, is having an impact on Texas voters in 2022.
he Texas primary is fast approaching on March 1 — early voting began on Monday — but his real challenge is the general election in November, when he is expected to face the Republican incumbent, Gov. Greg Abbott. Some of Mr. O’Rourke’s comments aimed at wooing national Democratic voters in the 2020 presidential primary — such as “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15” — may have already weakened if not doomed his chances in November.
“The comment about guns is going to be his biggest problem,” said Holly Gage, 40, who arrived at the Tyler park early with her family. “My husband is on the fence. It’s due to the gun thing.”
“Texas,” added her mother, Sheila Thrash, 63, “believes in its guns.”
On the other hand, I don’t know how many Texans believe O’Rourke’s sudden flip, especially when the candidate himsel denies that his position has shifted at all.
“I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone,” Mr. O’Rourke said during a news conference in Tyler, in response to questions from The New York Times. “What I want to make sure we do is defend the Second Amendment.”
Later in a telephone interview, he said he did not regret any policy positions he took while running for president and denied that he was walking back his comments about assault weapons. He said that as governor, he would push for universal background checks and requirements for the safe storage of firearms.
“I don’t think that we should have AR-15s and AK-47s on the streets of this state — I have seen what they do to my fellow Texans in El Paso in 2019,” he said, referring to a gunman who killed 23 people at a Walmart in the deadliest anti-Latino attack in modern American history. “I haven’t changed a thing about that. I’m just telling you I’m going to focus on what I can actually do as governor and where the common ground is.”
So, if I understand Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke here, he still wants to take our AR-15s, but not if he’s elected governor. Instead, he’s going to “defend” the Second Amendment by making it a crime to sell or loan your gun to a neighbor without putting them through a background check first, and mandating storage requirements that make it difficult if not impossible to actually use your gun in self-defense inside your home.
See what I mean about being better off just shutting up? Who on earth is going to believe that nonsense, much less be persuaded to vote for O’Rourke because of it?
As a conservative Second Amendment supporter, I’m happy to hear Beto keep babbling about his position on guns. I only wish that he’d agree to sit down with a reporter who’ll ask him some real questions instead of talking to friendlies who offer no pushback no matter how profoundly silly his answers might be. O’Rouke has an open invite to join me on Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co to delve a little deeper into his supposed support for the Second Amendment and his ideas on gun control, but I’d say the odds of him taking me up on that offer are about as good as him winning the general election in November: slim to none.