News and Commentary

Beto Claims Warnings Against His Anti-Gun Platform Are ‘Not Helpful’ Because They’re ‘Self-Fulfilling’
Beto O'Rourke speaks during the AARP 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum in Sioux City.
Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke criticized opponents of his recent proposal for the federal government to seize firearms from American citizens, arguing that the warning that it could lead to violence is unhelpful.

“I just, I think that kind of language and rhetoric is not helpful,” O’Rourke told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. “It becomes self-fulfilling — you have people on TV, who are almost giving you permission to be violent and saying ‘you know, this is, this is going to happen.'”

After facing mounting pressure for him to drop out of the presidential race, O’Rourke instead re-launched his campaign in August with a primary focus on his anti-Second Amendment platform. Days later, the former Texas congressman revealed his support for a nationwide government-run gun confiscation program for all so-called “assault weapons.”

In the wake of a deadly mass shooting outside of Odessa, Texas that left seven people dead and injured nearly two dozen others, O’Rourke repeated his calls to confiscate certain firearms such as the most popular rifle in the United States, the AR-15.

While co-hosting “The View,” McCain expressed concern that a federal gun-grab could lead to violent clashes across the nation as law-abiding gun owners fear they would be losing their ability to defend themselves and their families.

“The AR-15 is by far the most popular gun in America,” McCain said at the time. “If you’re talking about going and taking people’s guns away from them, there’s going to be a lot of violence.”

O’Rourke specifically pointed to McCain’s remarks while responding to The Daily Beast.

“When someone says ‘if you do this, then this will happen,’ [it’s] almost as though that’s a natural response,” O’Rourke said. “Or maybe even something that should happen or deserves to happen.”

“When I think the response should be: ‘We’re doing nothing now and we’re seeing people slaughtered in their schools, at work, at a Walmart, in a synagogue, in a church, at a concert,’ he continued. “There is violence right now and it is horrifying and it is terrifying and it is terrorizing. … We should be worried about that kind of violence right now.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful has long advocated for strict gun control measures, such as requiring universal background checks, banning magazines over the standard capacity, opposing conceal carry reciprocity, and banning “assault weapons,” or what he refers to as “weapons of war.”

O’Rourke notably received backlash during his failed run to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) after he contended that the AR-15 should no longer be sold in the country. However, he later clarified that he believed that Americans who owned AR-15s should be able to keep it in their possession, but the firearm should no longer be manufactured. The position seemingly angered both sides of the gun debate.

The former congressman also claimed at the time that the semi-automatic rifle “will blow a hole through your back the size of an orange.” Left-leaning fact check site Snopes was unable to verify O’Rourke’s claim.

“Beto is the only man in all of Texas who would revise ‘Come and Take It’ to ‘Please, Come and Take It,'” McCain responded on Thursday, adding the hashtag #borntorun.

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Beto Claims Warnings Against His Anti-Gun Platform Are ‘Not Helpful’ Because They’re ‘Self-Fulfilling’