Last Year’s Beto: “If You Like Your Ar-15, You Can Keep Your AR-15”

Individual rights are so last year…

Thursday, September 12,  during the Democratic primary debate in Houston, America’s number one navel-gazer Beto O’Rourke made a bold claim to the American viewing public . He said in no uncertain terms that an O’Rourke administration would force gun owners to surrender certain types of firearms, namely, “assault weapons” such as the AR-15 and the AK-47.After an anecdotal story involving a mother from Odessa and her 15-year-old daughter, O’Rourke proclaimed, “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” This received roaring applause, however, many of those cheering would pause if they knew the congressman’s previous position. 

During the hotly contested Senate Race in 2018 between Congressman O’Rourke and Senator Ted Cruz, O’Rourke made an appearance on The Chad Hasty Show, a news/talk radio show in Lubbock, Texas. There, Beto O’Rourke claimed, in response to Hasty’s question, “To be clear, they should have them [AR-15s]. If you purchase that AR-15, if you own it, keep it. Continue to use it responsibly. I think Texas has [a] real opportunity to lead on this issue right now because we so jealously guard that second Amendment.We believe in it, we defend it.” 

It appears that Beto O’Rourke has switched his position on firearms, likely to appease the leftist activist class of his party in hopes to win the nomination. As Beto O’Rourke currently has an aggregate poll rating of 3% according to RealClearPolitics (and not even registering 1% support in certain delegate-rich states such as New York), it further appears his strategy is to toss out a “Hail Mary” in a last-ditch effort to salvage his candidacy.

O’Rourke tends to use the terms “weapon of war”, or “battlefield weapon” in regards to semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15. Similar phraseology was used by O’Rourke in the September 12th debate, as well as the Hasty interview.  The AR-15 simply is not a “battlefield weapon.” It is a semi-automatic rifle (one trigger pull, one round fired) manufactured by ArmaLite, and made for civilian use. While related to the popular military rifle the M-16, the AR-15 is poorly suited for the military. Civilian ownership of automatic weapons has been widely prohibited since 1934. 

If the concern is banning weapons commonly used on the battlefield, the 9mm pistol is certainly a much more common “weapon of war”, having seen continuous and almost universal service in three of the four major branches of the U.S. military since 1985, most commonly the Beretta M9. Also, the 9mm pistol is the most popular handgun used in gun crime, and handguns are used in the vast majority of gun crimes in the U.S., far exceeding gun crimes committed with rifles of any kind.

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