My AR is ready for you,’ Texas lawmaker tells Beto O’Rourke over mandatory buybacks

Yosemite Sam

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‘My AR is ready for you,’ Texas lawmaker tells Beto O’Rourke over mandatory buybacks
By Antonia Noori Farzan The Washington Post,September 13, 2019, an hour ago
31

Democratic presidential candidate former US Representative Beto O'Rourke gave a closing statement at the debate Thursday. (DAVID J. PHILIP/ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Beto O’Rourke has already backed mandatory buybacks for assault weapons, but at Thursday’s Democratic debate, he left no ambiguity about what that would mean. ‘‘Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,’’ he said.

Less than an hour later, O’Rourke received what he described as a ‘‘death threat’’ from a fellow Texas politician. ‘‘My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,’’ Briscoe Cain, a Republican state representative from the Houston area, wrote on Twitter, using O’Rourke’ legal name.

Cain did not respond to multiple requests for comment about his message. But many read it as clear threat of violence, and a spokeswoman for O’Rourke’s campaign told The Washington Post that staffers had reported the tweet to the FBI.

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‘‘This is a death threat, Representative,’’ O’Rourke wrote on Twitter. ‘‘Clearly, you shouldn’t own an AR-15 - and neither should anyone else.’’

Cain shot back: ‘‘You’re a child Robert Francis.’’

Twitter also took quick action, removing the lawmaker’s tweet roughly two hours after it appeared. A spokesman told The Post that it violated the company’s terms of service, which prohibit violent threats.

Thousands responded to the tweet before it was taken down, and Cain engaged with some. Asked if he had just threatened to shoot a presidential candidate and former member of Congress, he replied, ‘‘You’re an idiot.’’ When another critic told him they had saved a screenshot of his comments for the FBI, the lawmaker responded, ‘‘Cool bro.’’

Cain’s provocation came shortly after a moderator at Thursday night’s debate asked O’Rourke if his proposal to require assault rifle owners to sell their weapons to the government amounted to taking away people’s guns. As The Post’s Amy B Wang reported, the former Texas congressman didn’t flinch, saying that assault weapons such as AR-15s and AK-47s were developed for combat, and use the kind of high-impact, high-velocity round that ‘‘shreds everything inside your body because it was designed to do that, so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield, not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers.’’

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‘‘When we see that being used against children,’’ he said, ‘‘hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.’’

Since Aug. 3, when a gunman armed with an AK-style rifle killed 22 people at a Walmart in O’Rourke’s hometown of El Paso, the candidate has been an outspoken proponent of stricter gun-control measures, including mandatory buybacks. He had previously supported banning the sale of new AR-15 rifles but stopped short of advocating for taking existing guns out of circulation, telling talk radio station KFYO in 2018, ‘‘If you purchased that AR-15, if you own it, keep it, continue to use it responsibly.’’

Since the mass shooting in El Paso, O’Rourke has been emphatic about what a mandatory buyback would mean. Asked by a reporter earlier this month if he could address fears that the government was going to take away people’s assault rifles, he replied, ‘‘That’s exactly what we’re going to do.’’ But his forceful ‘‘hell, yes’’ on Thursday became one of the most memorable lines of the presidential debate. By the end of the night, it had turned into a slogan, appearing in red, white and blue letters on T-shirts sold on O’Rourke’s campaign website.

The proposal has widespread support among Democrats nationally - 74 percent support a mandatory buyback program, compared to 31 percent of Republicans, a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found.

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Cain’s assertion that his AR-15 was ‘‘ready’’ struck many as insensitive in light of the mass shootings that took place last month in El Paso and Odessa, Texas, where a gunman armed with an assault-style rifle killed seven and injured 22.

‘‘In case you forgot, people were just killed in El Paso,’’ responded Mary E. Gonzales, a Democratic member of the Texas House. ‘‘People were murdered. The language you are using and the way you are using it is dangerous.’’

Speaking to reporters after the debate, O’Rourke said that Cain’s comment ‘‘sure reads’’ like a death threat. ‘‘I think it’s a really irresponsible thing for him to do,’’ he added, ‘‘especially somebody who is a public servant and in a position of public trust to be sending that kind of message.’’

Cain, an attorney, frequently uses his official social media accounts to air inflammatory and hyperbolic views. On Wednesday, for instance, he suggested on Twitter that the Texas legislature should ‘‘abolish’’ the famously liberal city of Austin.

First elected to the Texas legislature in 2016, Cain was ranked the most conservative lawmaker in the state’s House of Representatives the following year, and he also received the dubious distinction of appearing on Texas Monthly’s list of the 10 worst legislators in the state in 2017. Typically, the publication explained, freshmen lawmakers are exempted from the list, but they cited Cain’s ‘‘uninformed and belligerent performance.’’

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An outspoken supporter of Second Amendment rights, Cain was kicked out of the Texas Democratic Party convention in 2018 after he showed up with what appeared to be a sidearm and began handing out fake yard signs that said, ‘‘This home is a gun-free safe space,’’ the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The paper noted that when students across the nation left class to protest gun violence in the wake of a mass shooting that killed 17 in Parkland, Florida, last year, Cain responded by introducing legislation that would temporarily revoke state funding from any Texas schools where similar walkouts took place.

David Hogg, a former Parkland student and co-founder of March for Our Lives, argued that Cain’s tweet proved the necessity of mandatory buybacks.

‘‘If you threaten to kill a presidential candidate you should not have a gun,’’ he wrote


I didn’t see this as a threat,
it sounded like he wanted to comply, and give him his AR15 LOL

People are so easily misunderstood

Oh chicken little, the sky is falling,
 

jpk

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Beto shoots off his mouth, but he won't be the one on the front lines going door to door. He should be. It would be friggin' funny.
Beta is sprinting down a path to becoming a darwin awards candidate

I'd consider sending Cain a campaign donation........
 
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Ah yes. We will come and you will give up your personal property under threat of force. Makes sense, when i think of the land of the free, threatening citizens is exactly what comes to mind.
 
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jpk

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The guy should have said "I, with many, many other Americans, will resist confiscation and other Leftist tyranny, as is our Right by God and the Constitution".
I think thats exactly what most people understood him to say.......you need to learn to read between the lines
 

jpk

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Ah yes. We will come and you will give up your personal property under threat of force. Makes sense, when i think of the land of the free, threatening citizens is exactly what comes to mind.

I do find it ironic that a tool who cant legally possess these firearms are now telling us to give them up because we cant be trusted with them.
Is Beta a prohibited person?

Details?
 
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If you intend to violate my 4th amendment rights with your "mandatory buy back" than I intend to use my 2nd amendment rights to defend them. Seems pretty simple to me. I'm sure I won't be alone. Those of us who choose this path will become a militia.

That's EXACTLY why the founders wrote the 2nd amendment.
 

edmorseiii

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Texan's have a solid chance to show the rest of us they really are the Texan's they want us to think they are with this guy...
 

Whutmeworry

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Cain should have said 'My AR-15 is ready for you to come and take.'

It lacks an explicit threat, and anyone who gets it knows the implied Molon Labe
It’s best to not even play their game. The correct response needs to simply be: “Explain to me how this is a threat.” They can’t answer that question.

We also need to stop playing their game by even USING the term “hate speech”. We desperately need to dismiss this term out of hand. There are only two kinds of speech: Free speech, and speech controlled by the powerful. It’s totally binary. There MUST be ZERO restrictions on speech.
 
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