At a Beto O’Rourke campaign event Wednesday in Newtown, Connecticut — home of the tragic 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting — a “third generation” resident of the city stood up and unloaded on the Democratic presidential candidate for trying to “hijack this town” and “getting guns out of good people’s hands.”
After the El Paso shooting in early August, O’Rourke has largely focused his struggling campaign on pushing for radical gun control policies, including a “gun buyback” program which, he has proudly proclaimed, would result in the confiscation of “assault-style” rifles from law-abiding Americans.
O’Rourke, whose campaign has failed to gain any traction in the polls, chose Newtown in part because of the horrific 2012 mass shooting by a mentally ill man, a motive he made clear in his comments Wednesday. As reported by Fox 61, O’Rourke partnered with gun violence prevention groups, including the Newtown Action Alliance and Moms Demand Action.
“I know that the people of this community understand this better than perhaps any other community in this country and not just the devastation, the grief and the lost, but what those solutions are,” O’Rourke told the crowd gathered at the Newtown Community Center Wednesday.
But, as video footage posted by Fox 61 shows, at least one of those in attendance didn’t appreciate O’Rourke’s exploitation of her city’s grief and loss.
“You’re here to hijack this town and try and make an issue out of getting guns out of good people’s hands that can make a difference. And you know that, Beto,” said Rebecca Carnes, a self-described third generation Newtown resident.
When the moderator attempted to cut her off, Carnes refused to cede the floor.
“No, this is bullish**,” she said. “It’s about mental health and it’s about this war on boys and masculinity. You’re bullish** by being here! Shame on you, Beto!”
“Why don’t you debate me?” she continued. “Why don’t you debate me? Go ahead, answer my question. Answer my question, Beto. Come on, Beto, let me hear it.”
“What do you have to say about mental health? What do you have to say about urban violence?” she asked. “You don’t care. The Democrats have been in charge of urban communities and cities for decades. The Democrats have failed.”
Carnes then pointed at one of her fellow town hall attendees and said, “They don’t care about you, sir. That’s why he’s at Sandy Hook. He doesn’t care,” she said in apparent reference to urban violence.
As the attendants began to try to usher her out, Carnes said, “I grew up in Newtown. No, you’re going to kick out a mother in this community. I grew up here. … I’m a third generation Newtown, so all you can go scr*w.”
WATCH (warning: language):
In a Democratic presidential primary debate in September, O’Rourke came right out and said that, “hell yes,” he is going to take Americans’ guns.
Asked by ABC News host David Muir if he is really serious about confiscating Americans’ AR-15s and AK-47s, O’Rourke famously said emphatically, “Hell yes.” He says:
“I am, if it is a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield,” said the Texas Democrat. “If the high impact high velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body because it was designed to do that so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers. When we see that being used against children and in Odessa. I met the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was shot by an AR-15. And that mother watched her bleed to death over the course of an hour because so many other people were shot by that AR-15 in Odessa and Midland [that] there weren’t enough ambulances to get to them in time.”