Two-time electoral loser and persistent candidate Beto O'Rourke (D) has been a controversial political figure since he came on the Texas and national scene – first, in his race against incumbent U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R) in 2018, and again in his failed attempt to win the Democrat nomination for president in 2019. It was during the latter contest that, he made the famous statement likely still remembered by most gun owners and Second Amendment proponents: “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.”
After he dropped from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination just a month later, O’Rourke returned to being a problem only to those in Texas, where he’s currently running for governor against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott (R). Of course, in his quest to head the Lone Star State, O’Rourke was forced to roll back some of his confiscatory ambitions—sort of.
“I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone,” O’Rourke said in February at a campaign stop in Tyler, Texas. “What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment.”
In the same campaign speech, the flip-flopping O’Rourke derided Texas’ recently passed constitutional-carry measure and Gov. Abbott, who had signed it into law.
“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,” O’Rourke said. “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.”
Recently, however, O’Rourke seemed to imply, if not openly admit, that confiscation of all AR-15-style rifles would be his “perfect” solution to America’s gun violence dilemma, even though Texans would never accept it.
“The important thing (is) to get something done and not to allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good,” O’Rourke said on Sept. 24 at a political symposium hosted by the Texas Tribune.
Of course, O’Rourke is likely talking about his “perfect” solution of banning and confiscating guns, compared to the alternative “good” solution of continuing to whittle away at the Second Amendment a little at a time, as can be seen by his following statement.
“There are many things that we'll argue, but on this issue of prioritizing the lives of our children, I have sought out and found that common ground Republicans, non-gun owners, Democrats, gun owners alike can agree on raising the age of purchase on a red flag law so we can intervene before it's too late.”
That statement doesn’t make much sense, although it’s possible he’s referring to two different things—raising the age to purchase firearms and passing red flag laws. Neither of those “solutions” are acceptable to Texas gun owners, nor do voters believe they would prevent crime or mass shooting events.
Later in the speech, O’Rourke mentioned some other proposals on which he feels that gun owners and non-gun owners have some common ground. “In a universal background check that just simply says if you're going to buy a gun in Texas, we're cool with that,” O'Rourke said.
Of course, the so-called “universal” background check is just a sanitized term for outlawing the private sale of firearms, which makes it much easier for the government to create an illegal registry of guns and gun owners.