March 15, 2022
If there is anybody who has flip-flopped on his hatred of so-called “assault weapons” more than former presidential candidate and current Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, I’m not sure who it would be.
Most readers will remember O’Rourke proudly gloating during a presidential debate, when asked whether Americans would be required to sell the government their semi-auto rifles if he were elected, “Hell yeah!”
“We’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, ”O’Rourke said at the time. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”
More recently, faced with an uphill battle in largely conservative and pro-gun Texas, O’Rourke seemed to have had a change of face.
“I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone,” O’Rourke recently told KLTV in Tyler, adding an almost unbelievable statement, “What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment.”
Unfortunately for Texas gun owners, O’Rourke’s foray into the pro-gun arena was ever so brief. In an interview last week with Evan Smith, CEO of The Texas Tribune, Beto again flip-flopped on the topic of lawful citizens owning popular semi-auto rifles.
“I don't think anyone should have one,” O'Rourke said, referring to AR-15-style rifles that are the most popular type in America and owned by millions of lawful gun owners who use them for hunting, sport shooting, competition and self-defense. “And if I can find the consensus within the Legislature to have a law in the state of Texas that allows us to buy those AK-47s and AR-15s back, we will. As you said earlier, I cannot mandate or dictate anything as the next governor of the state of Texas. I'm going to have to do this by listening moving forward.”
Along with the flip-flop, many other aspects of the interview were quite revealing. One of the most interesting was O’Rourke calling current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott a “thug” and “authoritarian.” He also falsely blamed Abbott signing the Lone Star State’s constitutional carry law into effect last year for the death of law enforcement officers.
"You have seen a spike in gun violence," O'Rourke said. “More cops or sheriff's deputies or members of law enforcement have been gunned down in the state of Texas than in any other state. So, when you hear b---s--- about defund the police—and some folks support law enforcement, some don't—Greg Abbott turned his back on those members of law enforcement who put their lives on the line for this community, and they're losing their lives at a faster rate than in any other state because of it."
Of course, 22 states now have such constitutional carry laws in effect, and there is research anywhere proving that such laws have caused a rise in crime in any of those states, or an increase in police deaths.
It’s likely that no Texas gun owners were fooled by Beto’s brief stint as a fake protector of the right to keep and bear arms. Hopefully both Democrat and Republican gun owners alike in the Lone Star State will put the Second Amendment first when casting their ballots in Texas’ upcoming gubernatorial election.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for more than 20 years.