WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — Democrat Beto O’Rourke, still mourning the mass shootings in Texas, shrugged off his long-running campaign by urging a national audience to finally stop the spread of high-powered cannons in his home. The time has come for real action. state and throughout the US.
It was 2019, and the former congressman was running for president when he announced during a debate, “Hell, yeah, we’re gonna take your AR-15,” by a gunman targeting Mexican immigrants. A native of ‘Rourke’ in El Paso, weeks after killing 23 people at a Walmart.
Last week, after the massacre of 19 elementary school students and two teachers by an 18-year-old with an AR-15-style rifle in Uvalde, Texas, O’Rourke — now campaigning for governor — again seized on national politics. Spotlight. This time, it means crashing the news conference of the man he wants to remove, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, and announcing – a moment later seen widely online – that the massacre was “on you.”
O’Rourke is betting that tragedy could re-establish the governor’s race in America’s biggest red state—despite Abbott winning the election twice earlier by a landslide and launching the campaign with $55 million in the bank and Despite probably more gun culture in Texas than anywhere else in the .
It didn’t work in 2019. O’Rourke’s debate announcement earned him praise from other Democrats on stage and a fundraising bump. But he dropped out of the race after barely six weeks.
It is too early to say what will happen in the governor’s race, but the firing has already affected both sides. Abbott canceled his planned visit to the annual National Rifle Association meeting to be in Uvalde. Also there was Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who is among those negotiating with Democratic allies to strengthen background checks and “red flag” laws that allow officers to remove firearms from people who do not. Are determined to be a danger to self or others.
“I think it was a cathartic feeling for a lot of people who might be on the fence,” said Abel Prado, executive director of the Democratic advocacy group Cambio Texas. “It gives you, ‘At least someone is trying to stand up and do something, or at least say something.'”
O’Rourke spent two nights in Uvalde after the shooting, then flew to Houston for a rally against gun violence outside the NRA’s Friday meeting.
“To the men and women who are in positions of power who care more about your power, to save the lives of those you are supposed to serve…. we will beat you and we will you Will beat,” O’Rourke told protesters who named him and the phrase “Vote him!
Supporters are hopeful that O’Rourke will recapture the magic that saw him in 2018 as a national Democratic star and nearly troubled Republican Senator Ted Cruz. But since then, O’Rourke’s White House bid has failed, with former President Donald Trump easily winning Texas in 2020 and Democrats who hoped to flip scores of congressional and legislative seats in the state that year, nearly every Lost in the top race.
A Democrat also hasn’t won Texas’ governorship since 1990, and, last year, the state loosened firearms restrictions enough to allow almost any resident age 21 and older to carry unlicensed guns. Can you Abbott signed that law along with NRA CEO Wayne Lapierre and group president Carolyn Meadows.
Of course, the dominance of guns in Texas culture predates the law for a long time. Abbott once tweeted his embarrassment at his state’s lagging behind California in gun sales, and Cruise is fond of saying, “Give me a horse, a gun, and an open field, and we can conquer the world.” Huh.” Former Republican Governor Rick Perry ran for re-election in 2010 after using a laser-sighted handgun to kill a coyote while jogging.
Similarly, mass shootings are nothing new in Texas. Tuesday’s massacre in Uvalde and the El Paso killings follows a mass shooting at Santa Fe High School outside Houston that killed eight students and two teachers in 2018, and ransacked a church in Sutherland Springs, leaving 25 dead , as well as an unborn child. Last year.
Former Texas land commissioner Jerry Patterson, a Republican long famous for carrying multiple guns everywhere, said that after his confrontation with Abbott, O’Rourke’s most ardent supporter, “there was even more reason to vote for Beto”. more determined”.
Yet Patterson said the conflict could backfire, alienating otherwise potentially sympathetic swing voters who might think O’Rourke was putting on a self-serving show.
“Sometimes your method overpowers your message, and his method destroys any profit he may have made,” said Patterson, who, as a state senator, hid a Texas native, 1995. Wrote the handgun law, which allows Texans to carry firearms to more places than almost anywhere. America at that time. “I think it’s a net loss.”
Abbott hasn’t mentioned O’Rourke much since the shooting, but answered questions about potential new state gun limits by downplaying high crime rates in mainly Democrat-run cities.
The governor exaggeratedly said, “more people are shot every weekend in Chicago than in schools in Texas.” Speaking of arguments that the new firearms ban could make Americans safer, “Chicago and LA and New York reject that thesis.”
Abbott’s campaign has previously reprimanded O’Rourke for his previous stance on guns, producing an online ad last year that featured a cartoon of O’Rourke speeding in the wrong direction on a one-way street. was moving on, then off a cliff when the radio clip plays his “hell yes” remarks and other strongly progressive positions he took as a presidential candidate.
O’Rourke’s campaign insists that it is not using genocide for political gain. It changed its fundraising mechanism to accept donations for relatives of those killed in Uvalde, and said O’Rourke attended the Abbott news conference at the urging of one of the victims’ families.
The campaign states that he sat quietly in the audience for more than 10 minutes with the intention of listening only. But, when Abbott said, “there was no meaningful foreshadowing of this crime”, posted about the shooting just moments before the gunman began to do so, O’Rourke was enraged – especially noting that That, after the El Paso shootings, the state’s major response was to loosen gun laws. He approached the stage and accused Abbott of “doing nothing” when the Uvalde violence was “totally predictable”.
Also on stage was Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, who responded with obscenity and called O’Rourke “sick” for trying to make shoeing “a political issue”.
But it still helped a Texan change his mind. Nicole Armijo, who works at her family’s HVAC business in the border town of McAllen, and has three children, ages 10, 9 and 6, attending public school. She didn’t vote for O’Rourke when she ran for Senate, but plans now because “the way we’ve been working isn’t working.”
“Maybe, Texas, it’s not just about having a gun,” said Armijo, who said she loves guns and hunting, but would support an expanded background check. “Beto portrayed those thoughts: It’s not about me or you. It’s about everyone as a whole.”
More information about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas: https://apnews.com/hub/school-shootings.
The story has been corrected to show Abbott winning the election twice, not again by landslide.
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