Beto O’Rourke has been one of the loudest 2020 Democratic candidates when it comes to gun control. At one point, he shouted and confirmed that, if elected, he would be “coming for your guns.” He’s been unapologetic about his stance, wanting to get guns off of the streets. This has only increased since the shooting over the summer that happened in his hometown of El Paso.
The problem is that when confronted by a high schooler, he stumbles on his response. How is he going to make a good president if he cannot even hold his ground when being asked questions by a teenager?
O’Rourke spoke in Des Moines on Friday and was starting to backtrack on his position. Just a week ago, he was still talking about confiscating AR-15 rifles as well as other semi-automatic firearms across America.
A high school student explained that rifles such as the AR-15 make for effective hunting tools. Overwork responded by saying it was the first time he had heard of an AR-15 being used for hunting and started to backtrack on mandatory confiscation.
All of a sudden, be overwork wasn’t talking about mandatory confiscation. He said that “perhaps” there may be a way to address a legitimate concern by allowing those who have or want to use AR-15s to keep them at a gun range or a hunting club in order to establish control and safeguards.
One thing that O’Rourke committed to while talking to the high school student is that he will listen to all points of view. However, this is coming from the same person that yelled out during the September Democratic debate that “hell yes,” that we are going to take your AR-15 and your AK-47.
O’Rourke has been relatively silent on how he plans to enforce such a ban. He stated that he believes that most Americans will comply with the firearm ban despite how Americans have traditionally not been compliant with actions that curtail Second Amendment freedoms. Plenty of surveys have gone around to identify how people would absolutely not comply with any kind of ban where people would be required to turn in their guns.
When pushed for details, O’Rourke has said that any American who does not comply with the mandatory confiscation would have to face criminal consequences. He has also not identified how he would mandate gun confiscation or even know who he was confiscating from. There are millions of people around the United States who have guns without there being any kind of registration involved. Not all states require registration. Additionally, there is also the fact that AR-15s and other guns similar in nature may have been handed down through the family or given as gifts.
If a high school student is capable of asking a question that causes O’Rourke to pause long enough to change his stance on gun control, perhaps the Democratic candidate has not thought his stance through entirely. The high school student was capable of asking the question that millions of other people have already been asking – what about hunters?
For O’Rourke to say that he hasn’t heard of people using an AR-15 for hunting is ridiculous because the conversation has been going on for quite some time. Plenty of other candidates have already identified that people would be able to hold onto their guns if they have a hunting license. If O’Rourke is changing his tune on the way gun control will work if he becomes president, he needs to figure out what his stance actually is and make it known. Otherwise, he is still going to be known as the candidate who wants to say that he’s coming for the guns.
While he likely made the “hell yes” statement of coming for guns in the heat of the moment, he hasn’t backed down from it for over a month – until a single high school student from Des Moines asked the question. Now, all of America is seeing a different side of O’Rourke – someone who is willing to back down off of his strong stance. Whether it was because he didn’t want to fight with a high school student or because he truly is thinking about changing his stance, it doesn’t bode well for his campaign platform because it shows that he is undecided.
If O’Rourke, who has been dropping in the polls, expects to make any kind of comeback at all, he needs to figure out his stance on gun control once and for all – and stick with it.