Editor's Note: The content below is strong language. Viewer discretion is advised.
Following the shooting in Midland and Odessa, Texas Saturday evening, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) shared a video on Twitter talking to supporters. In the video, O'Rourke said Americans might not know the specifics of what took place but they do know one thing: "it's f**ked up."
"Not sure how many gunmen. Now sure how many people have been shot. Don't know how many people have been killed, the condition of those that survived. Don't know what the motivation is. Do not yet know the firearms that were used or how they acquired them. But we do know this is f**ked up," O'Rourke said in the video. "We do know that this has to stop in this country. There is no reason that we have to accept this as our fortune, as our future, as our fate. And yet, functionally, right now, we have."
After the video, Beto began a media blitz using the same talking points. He even went as far as to drop an F-bomb on live TV during his interview with CNN's Dana Bash.
“The rhetoric that we’ve used, the thoughts and prayers that you just referred to, it has done nothing to stop the epidemic of gun violence, to protect our kids, our families, our fellow Americans in public places. At a Walmart in El Paso where 22 were killed. In Sutherland Springs, in a church. One or two a day all over this country, 100 killed daily in the United States of America," O'Rourke explained. “We’re averaging about 300 mass shootings a year. So yes, this is f**ked up."
"If we don’t call it out for what it is, if we’re not able to speak clearly, if we’re not able to act decisively, we’ll continue to have this kind of bloodshed in America. And I cannot accept that," he said. "We’re going to speak as defiantly and as strongly as we can but we’re also going to take action. Universal background checks, red flag laws, end of the sales of weapons of war and buying those AK-47s and AR-15s back so they cannot be used against our fellow Americans.”
During an interview on MSNBC, O'Rourke defended his use of the f-bomb to describe the situation. He explained that he saw a tweet from Rabbi Latz saying profanity is seeing a 17-month-old shot in the face:
Profanity ain't the F-bomb.— Rabbi Latz (@RavMABAY) September 1, 2019
Profanity is living in a country where a 17 MONTH OLD BABY IS SHOT IN THE FACE & the moral cowards of the Republican party tweet out vacuous #thoughtsandprayers.
THAT is profane. #OdessaShooting #MidlandShooting
"I was watching and reading the reactions of my fellow Americans to this tragedy and the Permian Basin in West Texas, a month removed from what happened in El Paso, where we lost 22 lives, and Rabbi Latz came up on my Twitter feed and he said 'profanity is not the f-bomb. What is profane is a 17-month-old baby being shot in the face,'" O'Rourke explained. "What is profane is losing the life of a high school student in that shooting yesterday [in Alabama] and returning to school tomorrow. What is profane is 40,000 gun violence deaths in this country."
"What we've been saying, the rhetoric we've been using, the policies and practices and politics of this country has not been as urgent as needed. Doesn't meet this crisis," he explained. "So let's speak clearly and bluntly and then take decisive action: universal background checks, red flag laws, ending the sales of weapons of war, but also importantly, and politically difficult to say, buy those weapons of war back. Mandate that. Not voluntarily. Let's be really clear with our fellow Americans: [there's] no place for an AK-47 or an AR-15 on the streets of our communities."
Profanity is not the f-bomb. What is profane is a 17 month-old baby being shot in the face. pic.twitter.com/mUuK12Rxbp— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 1, 2019