A headline in the Texas Tribune had me scratchin’ my noggin.
It asked: Beto O’Rourke went after assault rifles in his run for president. Will that hurt him with gun-loving Texans?
Well, that poses a quandary, don’t you think? Of course it does! But here’s the deal as I see it. I consider myself to be a “gun-loving Texan.” I own a couple of rifles, both of which are keepsakes given to me when I was a boy by my father. One of them is a single-shot .22-caliber rifle; the other is a 30.06 that carries a five-round magazine.
Neither of them is an assault weapon. I love my guns, even though I rarely shoot them.
Back to the Tribune’s question: I fear that O’Rourke’s statement about assault weapons is going to hurt him among many Texans who profess to love their guns, but who in reality love owning — or love the prospect of owning — weapons designed to kill human beings in rapid fashion on a battlefield.
The question came to O’Rourke during a 2020 Democratic primary presidential debate. He had said “hell yes!” he wanted to take people’s assault rifles. I did not in that moment believe he intended to send agents to my home and confiscate my two cherished rifles.
The crazy crowd among us no doubt is going to interpret O’Rourke’s statement in 2020 as a clarion call to disarm us all. You can bet your last bandolier that Gov. Greg Abbott is going to play on that fear as he seeks to paint O’Rourke as a commie sympathizer intent on destroying the Second Amendment to our Constitution.
Let’s get ready for a rough campaign.