By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial
Beto O’Rourke is popular in Texas. Across the state, his campaign logo populates the signs on front lawns, bumper stickers, and tv advertisements. People are starting to wonder, is Beto actually going to replace Cruz in the Senate? With midterms right around the corner, Beto’s increasing popularity has Texas Republicans worried.
They probably do not need to worry, though, considering the Cruz is polling higher than Beto across the board. On average, he is polling 4.4% above Beto. But election day is two months off. And things can change. One has to wonder if Beto is going to turn things around and win this election. He is campaigning hard and visiting people across the state. One thing that may be his downfall, though, is his position on guns.
Guns are popular in Texas. This is the very last state in the U.S. that would tolerate an increase in restrictions on the ownership of weapons. Yet Beto, on his Issues page, does not come across as a very pro-gun politician.
At first, he states that he grew up around firearms and understands that they are part of Texas culture. “That shared heritage — that uniquely Texas experience — means that our state should lead the way in preserving the Second Amendment.” Sounds fine so far. Beto understands the Texan allegiance to guns and wants to stand by what the constitution says about ownership of weapons.
But the sentence continues: “…while working together to ensure people can live without fear of gun violence in their communities.”
This is the classic statist remark of “I believe in rights, but…” If you have the word “but” after your affirmation of a right, you do not believe in rights. Beto believes we should defend the right to bear arms, but we should not have that right if we think it may have a social cost. That is not a defense of rights, though. If you believe in them, you believe in them regardless of the social expense that they may have.
Beto continues to say that we should “Stop selling weapons of war and high-capacity magazines to ensure that firearms designed to kill as effectively and efficiently as possible on the battlefield aren’t used in our schools, our streets, our churches, and our concerts.”
One must understand why we have the right to bear arms in the first place. When the Bill of Rights was written, the founders did not have home robbery or deer-hunting on their minds. They had just fought a violent revolution against a hegemonic power. What they had on their mind was preventing a governmental power from becoming too powerful again. And to prevent a state from becoming too powerful they enshrined the right to bear arms so that we would have weapons of war outside the hands of the war-makers.
The government should be in fear of the people. They should not want to tread on our sacred rights. The best way to ensure that is for the populace to be armed. At one point, even Western governments understood that. During World War 2 the idea of dropping 10,000 single shot Liberator guns over the Axis powers was considered a viable strategy. It would leave the governments of the Axis powers in fear of which civilians were armed and which were not. Subsequently, there would be disarray which would undermine the hegemonic state.
This is why we are armed. Beto seems to think we are armed so we can hunt or look at antique rifles. But that is not the Texan culture at all. The old Texan saying “Come and Take It” calls back to the truest moments of Texas rebelliousness. At the battle of Gonzales a government we did not like attempted to take control of us. So we told them we wouldn’t surrender our weapons and they would have to put up a fight.
The fact that Beto O’Rourke does not see the true reason for Texas gun culture shows that he is merely trying to pander to the populace in an empty manner. He does not identify with your right to bear arms. He especially doesn’t identify with that right in a Texan manner. So it’s about time we see through the empty political platitudes and don’t vote for someone so against our right to defense as Beto.
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