Last night at the latest round of Democrat debates, whittled down to only one evening of 12 candidates as opposed to two different stages previously, there were some very interesting moments, to say the least. Failed U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke was back again, talking about gun control like the time before, but in a more measured tone. This gives cause for concern over whether or not politics use tragedies as knee jerk reactions to push legislation in ways that they may otherwise not.
At the previous debate on September 12th, O’Rourke was famously quoted, and even sold t-shirts to raise campaign funds on his “hell yes we’re going to take your AR-15s, your AK-47s line. While he received a loud ovation back on that day for his radical approach to gun control, after the dust settled, many on both party lines pushed back.
U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D) chided O’Rourke for his ideas unlikely to settle with many gun owners in the United States by saying that he ‘wasn’t helping’ to actually get more moderate gun control measures passed.
In last night’s debate, other candidates such as Amy Klobuchar and Julián Castro pushed back on the idea of mandatory gun buybacks, possibly to the surprise of some on the right. Castro mentioned the recent shooting of an innocent woman in Fort Worth, Texas, Atatiana Jefferson. He went even further to say “police violence is also gun violence”, making his case against gun confiscation measures proposed by Beto O’Rourke previously.
After previously doubling down on his stances though, at a Charlottesville, Virginia event and then claiming in Rural Republican Southwest Virginia that people of all parties would turn over their guns in a more desperate attempt, this debate was different.
Interesting to note here is that regardless of where you stand on the issues, American voters likely want candidates who are sure of what they say and don’t backtrack or knee jerk react to current events relating to their policy decisions. This being the case when pressed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper at last night’s debate, O’Rourke took a more measured approach indeed.
“Congressman O’Rourke, in the last debate you said ‘hell yes we’re going to take your AR-15s, your AK-47s’ but when you were asked how you would enforce a mandatory buyback, you said police wouldn’t be going door to door,” Cooper asked. He went on to say, “so how exactly are you going to force people to give up their weapons, you don’t even know who has those weapons?”
O’Rourke then pivoted to highlighting banning the sale of those weapons instead. He mentions that if people brandish the AR-15 type weapons improperly, then the police will take them but he doesn’t believe a ‘door to door’ approach will be good. “I expect my fellow Americans to follow the law” He vaguely pointed out after making his case that the guns are “too dangerous to own” mentioning the recent and tragic Dayton, OH shooting on folks that don’t turn in their guns: “if they persist there will be other consequences from law enforcement”. He doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty of what those consequences would be in the debate though.
“The expectation is that Americans will follow the law”
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