Beto Says Tweet About AR-15 Is a “Death Threat”

Derrell McIver | @BenjaminDMyles1

Yesterday, presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke claimed that one Texas lawmaker’s now-deleted tweet represented a death threat. The state representative’s name is Briscoe Cain of House District 128.  O’Rourke, hoping to gather support for proposed gun control measures, also stated that this kind of statement showed that Cain shouldn’t own an AR-15—and neither should anyone else.” Afterward, many of Beto’s followers took it upon themselves to file a complaint with the Texas State Bar. The Bar could take action that may impact Cain’s ability to practice law in the state. As of the time of publishing, no such actions have yet occurred.

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Beto O’Rourke Wants to Take Guns

Before the alleged threat against Beto, the debate around gun control ignited again after O’Rourke made a controversial statement during the debates. He said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47s.” Later, Beto took to Twitter to promote t-shirts with the new catchphrase. O’Rourke has said that his administration will enforce this through a mandatory gun buyback program. These programs make it illegal to own certain types of weapons. They also legally force citizens to turn over their property in exchange for an arbitrary amount of cash. Many gun-rights activists have feared this type of policy for decades.

Responses to the Tweet

After the debate, many fellow Democrats took to Twitter to join O’Rourke in calls for more gun control. Representative Eric Swalwell agreed with Beto that Cain’s tweet was a threat. Then he stated that Cain “should be red-flagged and disarmed.” Swalwell, however, gained national attention when he argued that the government would use nuclear bombs on its own citizens to enforce gun control legislation. John Delaney, also running for President, told CNN he supports more gun control legislation. He then clarified that this includes red flag laws and restrictions on assault weapons.

On the other hand, many disagree with Beto saying the tweet is a death threat. Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie stated that calling for mandatory gun buybacks is akin to calling for violence. Also, prominent online activist Eric July claimed that Beto’s gun control proposals were the real threat. Missouri State Representative Tony Lovasco added that Cain’s tweet was a statement of self-defense.

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