Texas gubernatorial hopeful Beto O’Rourke (D) has flipped again, saying on Tuesday that he did not believe Americans who already owned AR-15s and AK-47s should “be able to keep them.”
This marks the second time O’Rourke has flipped on the issue recently, as he announced several months ago that he had abandoned one issue that had been the centerpiece of his failed 2020 presidential bid: gun confiscation, at least when it came to the AR-15.
“I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone. What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment. I want to make sure that we protect our fellow Texans far better than we’re doing right now,” he said in November of 2021 as he campaigned for governor in the state of Texas.
According to a report from Fox News, O’Rourke’s second one-eighty came prior to the deadly shooting that took place last Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas — and he brought it up at two separate town halls in Texas the week before.
“I think we are fools to believe anything other than that these weapons of war will continued to be used with greater frequency against our fellow Americans,” O’Rourke said at an Abilene town hall on May 21. “It’s why I’ve taken the position that I don’t think we should have AR-15s and AK-47s in civilian life. They belong on a battlefield.”
O’Rourke mentioned confiscation while speaking to veterans during another town hall the same day in San Angelo, saying that he didn’t even believe that people who legally owned AR-15s and AK-47s “should be able to keep them.”
“My kids are my conscience. And I may win or lose this race, but I’m always going to have to face them and answer for what I’ve done or failed to do when I had the chance to do something,” he said of his own children. “And I just took the position that may not be politically popular or maybe too honest that not only should no one be able to purchase an AR-15 or an AK-47, because they’re designed to kill humans and that high-impact, high-velocity round will just tear up everything inside you. You’ll bleed out before we can get you back to life.”
“But I don’t think that the people who have them right now in civilian use should be able to keep them,” he added.
O’Rourke’s current position — apparently once again in favor of confiscation — matches the position he took on the campaign trail in 2019 when he told crowds, “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47!”