The former Representative from Texas made a plea and a promise while discussing a mandatory buy- back plan for assault weapons.
On Thursday, Sept. 12 at the Democratic debate, Beto O’Rourke boldly and unflinchingly took one of the most resolute stances on gun control in today’s political world. Just last month, O’Rourke called for a mandatory buyback program for assault weapons. This action was used to ask O’Rourke if he is, “proposing taking away their guns, and how would this work?” O’Rourke, without hesitation, replied that he is proposing just that and then launched into a small story that detailed the tragedies caused by these weapons. Upon finishing that story, he uttered the phrase that has set off debates across the U.S., he said, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
This heavy handed assertion was immediately applauded by the audience but caused mixed feelings among fellow Democrats. These comments could even cost him the shot at Democratic nomination, yet he refuses to back down. Frankly, this is a good thing. For far too long, Democrats have been carefully tiptoeing around the long held conservative fear that if you give the Democrats control over your weapons, the day will come when they’re busting down your door to take them from you.
Many such fearful Democrats are trying to place themselves as far from O’Rourke’s claims and desires for a buyback program as they can. Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer even said that, “I don’t know of any other Democrat who agrees with Beto O’Rourke.” In a CNN interview O’Rourke showed no mercy to Schumer, the most powerful Democrat in the Senate, replying with “Ask Chuck Schumer what he’s been able to get done … we still don’t have background checks. Didn’t have them when he was in the majority either.”
The strongest argument that O’Rourke’s statement was a mistake is the idea that his comments would incite fear in the conservative populace and lead to not only a boom in people buying guns but also an increase in distrust or fear of Democrats. As a matter of fact, a Gun shop in Arkansas used a “Beto Special” in order to draw in customers and the sales results led to the NRA giving him title of “salesman of the month.” However, according to the Washington Post, a recent poll has revealed that 51 percent of voters are in favor of a mandatory buyback program while only 36 percent are against it. This sheds light into how the influential conservatives are obstructing gun control through fear mongering and other despicable tactics. A stronger stance for gun control and the removal of assault rifles from the consumer market are in the best interest of the American people.
Far too many school shootings and mass killing sprees are attributed to these weapons. They are not useful for hunting and frankly should have no place on the streets and within reach of dangerous individuals. Some argue that any other weapons, such as pistols or knives, can still be used in attacks on schools and killing sprees. O’Rourke’s unapologetic and blunt approach may just be exactly what’s needed to help bring gun control to a nation that is desperately in need of it. If anything, his unshakeable stance gives him a more appealing and trustworthy quality than most other politicians who try and curry favor with everyone, taking no real strides in the direction of progress. Only time will tell whether O’Rourke’s comments ultimately cost him the nomination, but regardless, his boldness should serve as an example to future leaders and politicians that when it is time for change, change must be made boldly and sincerely. If you’re interested in making change, don’t be fooled into thinking your vote doesn’t. Get out and vote this year!