Beto (whose real name is Robert) O’Rourke, the Democrat running against Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), during a town hall speech last weekend, continued to attack the National Rifle Association (NRA) and repeated his opposition to using guns to protect schools.
Beto lied to a crowd at Texas State University, telling them that he doesn’t take money from political action committees (PAC), even though he has accepted bundled contributions from liberal PACs like J Street and Democracy Engine Inc. He also claimed he doesn’t want his constituents to wonder if he’s being influenced by the money from his benefactors.
He went out of his way to say that he didn’t want people to question whether he’s bought and paid for by gun-rights proponents. Was he saying that he doesn’t believe in gun rights or the Second Amendment to our Constitution?
“Did he take money from the NRA?” he said. “Does he represent the gun manufacturers instead of my kids and the families of the 30,000 people we lose every single year to gun violence in this country?”
The candidate did not bring up the issue of gun control in the rest of his speech. However, when an audience member asked whether he supported putting guns in schools as a means to protect students, O’Rourke simply replied, “no.” His answer was met with applause from those in attendance, but polling in the state shows that a majority support arming teachers and school staff while 87 percent support having armed security officers in schools.
The O’Rourke campaign website touts his support for a number of new gun-control laws. On the site, he advocates a new national universal background check law, opposes national gun-carry reciprocity, and calls for additional funding for government research on gun violence. He also explains his support for banning certain semiautomatic rifles and so-called high-capacity ammunition magazines.
O’Rourke spoke at length about his support for the ban at an event in February.
“This is as politically charged as it comes in Texas, and this is how I hope you know that I have the courage of my convictions because I’m willing to do this,” he said. “I cosponsored the assault-weapons ban. Now, I understand there are many Texans who own these AR-15s, and some of them are very good friends of mine that I’ve been out shooting with. And they say, ‘Beto, why are you going to prevent me from buying a gun? I haven’t hurt anybody. I haven’t shot anybody. I keep this gun in a gun locker. I teach my kids gun safety. How could you do this because there’s some crazy, evil person in Florida or Sutherland Springs or Las Vegas or pick the next city it’s gonna to happen in?’ I say, ‘You know what? You’re right. We have the Second Amendment, and it’s incredibly important, but the Second Amendment is not unlimited. You cannot carry a bazooka down the street. You cannot drive your tank down the street because we have a Second Amendment. There’s gonna have to be some rational limit to our ability that keeps more people in our communities safe and alive.'”
Senator Cruz, a champion of gun rights, noted for winning the famous Heller case where the Supreme Court ruled that individuals have a right to protect themselves with firearms, opposes such a ban and universal background check law, and is a supporter of national reciprocity laws, which means that states recognize other states’ concealed carry laws. States already recognize other states’ drivers licenses, and there’s no Constitutional Amendment for a driver’s license. Cruz, who received an A+ rating from the NRA, didn’t respond to a request for comment, because he didn’t need to. Robert O’Rourke received an F grade.
Cruz said that O’Rourke’s views are out of touch with what most Texas voters believe.
“Congressman O’Rourke is a vocal proponent of gun control and restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” Cruz told the Dallas Morning News earlier this year. “But those anti-gun views are not reflective of the values of Texans.”
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