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Tipsheet

Beto O'Rourke Doubles Down on Obsession with Getting Rid of AR-15 When Commenting on Rittenhouse Trial Verdict

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) who is also a failed senatorial and presidential candidate, and who just recently announced his run for governor of Texas, so as to likely lose a third race, made an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" for Sunday morning. He was predictably asked about the "not guilty" verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, where he once more addressed his preoccupation with wanting AR-15s banned.

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Host Dana Bash asked O'Rourke for his reaction, to which he suggested "this entire tragedy makes the case that we should not allow our fellow Americans to own and use weapons that were originally designed for battlefield use."

He also claimed that the "AR-15, that AK-47 has one, single solitary purpose, and that is killing people as effectively, as efficiently, in as great a number, in as little time as possible. We saw that in Kenosha. We saw that in El Paso, Texas, where 23 people were murdered by someone with an AK-47 just in a matter of minutes," going on to say that "this is crazy. And we should not come to expect this as a matter of course in America. And the thing is, we don't have to."

The weapon Rittenhouse used, though, in self-defense, shot three people and killed two. And, one could point out that with it being a matter of self-defense, Rittenhouse's aim was not necessarily trying to murder people "in as great a number, in as little time as possible," despite O'Rourke claiming "we saw that in Kenosha."

O'Rourke didn't just merely rage against AR-15 and AK-47 weapons in the context of what happened in Kenosha, though. 

His appearance made headlines because he doubled down on an infamous line about wanting to ban such weapons.

Bash played a clip of O'Rourke declaring "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47." When she asked him "is that what you would still do as governor of Texas," he confirmed "yes, I still hold this view" as part of his answer.

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O'Rourke had also raised an oft-repeated talking point, that sitting Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX), is an extremist. "So, we don't want extremism in our gun laws. We want to protect the Second Amendment. We want to protect the lives of our fellow Texans. And I know that, when we come together and stop this divisive extremism that we see from Greg Abbott right now, we're going to be able to do that," O'Rourke told Bash.

A poll from the Dallas Morning News-University of Texas at Tyler released on Sunday shows that Abbott leads O'Rourke by six percentage points among registered voters, 45 to 39 percent. 

A FiveThirtyEight post from November 19 by Geoffrey Skelley noted that "Texas Voters Have Soured On Greg Abbott, But That Doesn’t Mean They’ll Vote For Beto O’Rourke."

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