Yesterday afternoon Texas Governor Greg Abbott, state public safety officials, and the mayor of Uvalde held a presser to update the public about the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School where 19 kids were shot and killed by Salvador Ramos. Two teachers were also killed. Ramos shot his grandmother in the face before starting his rampage; the grandmother miraculously survived. Ramos was a loner, angry, and reportedly was known to local officials. He worked as an evening manager at the local Wendy’s and purchased two long guns. He was 18. It was a legal purchase. These details were going to be outlined by law enforcement officials, but Beto O’Rourke decided to crash the presser and turn the whole event into a fiasco.
O’Rourke, who is also known as Bob since the man doesn’t have a drop of Hispanic blood in him, is gung-ho about gun confiscation. We all know he’s an anti-Second Amendment crusader. As someone noted on social media, when parents did this at school boards, they were branded as domestic terrorists by the Left. Beto will be hailed as a hero. And, of course, CNN’s Chris Cillizza delivered the first pitch (via CNN):
When Democrat Beto O'Rourke confronted Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott during a press conference Wednesday in the wake of a mass school shooting that left 19 children and two adults dead, he was shouted down for making the tragedy political.
"There are family members who are crying as we speak, there are family members whose hearts are broken, there is no words that anybody shouting can come up here and do anything to heal those broken hearts," said Abbott. "We all, every Texan, every American has the responsibility. We need to focus not on ourselves and our agendas."
This is, of course, the common response when these events happen. Politicians -- usually Republicans -- insist that it's not the time to discuss gun-related public policies after a mass shooting. And that anyone who does so is somehow dishonoring the memories of those who have been lost.
It's time -- actually past time -- to put that way of thinking behind us.
My point here, though, is broader than all of that: Don't let politicians tell you that there's no place for politics in moments like these. In fact, this is exactly the right moment to talk about politics.
Politics is about momentum. That's because politicians tend to be a reactive species. They are always wary of going too far out on a limb only to find themselves out of step with the people whose votes they need. The place a politician likes to be is comfortably in the middle of what his or her constituents think.
O'Rourke didn't make the aftermath Texas shooting political any more than Abbott's policies (or lack thereof) on guns did. Guns and how we choose to regulate them in the country are fundamentally a political issue. Today and every day.
ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post will swoon for days over Beto as brave and a role model for our children.— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 25, 2022
Just remember. When parents did this at School Board meetings. They were branded as Domestic Terrorists. Beto will be declared a hero. https://t.co/XUTuGzmbOj— The People's Cube (@ThePeoplesCube) May 25, 2022
Political stunts are only good when Democrats do them. It’s the two separate rules thing again. Will this help, Beto? It certainly reminded us that he was running for governor, and then we were reminded that his opponent was Greg Abbott who will probably wipe the floor with him. It’s late May. The election is in November. This will not be a major issue when voters head to the polls. We have baby formula shortages, a supply chain crisis, inflation rising, and gas prices that are through the roof—all of which have been hurting American families longer than this string of shootings. Sorry, voters can feel bad about what happened in Uvalde, Texas, worry about not being able to feed their babies due to a lack of formula, and know the latter issue is more pressing.