Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke is not backing down on his past presidential campaign vow "hell, yes, we're gonna take your AR-15, your AK-47," despite running in a staunch Second Amendment-supporting state.
"I still hold this view," O'Rourke told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, but he noted he will have to support the Second Amendment in the state of Texas but will do so with restrictions, suggesting his constituents want that.
"But I also have been listening to my Texans, my fellow Texans who are concerned about this idea of permitless carry that Greg Abbott has signed into law, which allows any Texan to carry a loaded firearm, despite the pleadings of police chiefs and law enforcement from across the state, who said it would make their jobs more dangerous and make it harder for them to protect those that they were sworn to serve in their communities."
O'Rourke turned the debate on guns on incumbent Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, suggesting backing the Second Amendment can lead to "extremism in our gun laws."
"We don't want extremism in our gun laws," O'Rourke continued to host Dana Bash. "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 also denounced Kyle Rittenhouse, who was exonerated for having used self-defense in shooting a trio of men attacking him for bringing an AR-15 style gun to a Kenosha, Wisconsin, riot in August 2020. Two of the attackers died and another had his biceps blown off.
"I mean, 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," O'Rourke told Bash.
"That 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.
"This is crazy. And we should not come to expect this as a matter of course in America."
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