Did ‘Beto’ O’Rourke ‘Scramble’ Dem’s Message, or Clarify it?

Did Democrat Robert Francis “Beto” O'Rourke confuse his party's message on guns, or clarify it? (Screen snip, YouTube, ABC News)

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- The Associated Press is reporting that “Beto O’Rourke’s ‘hell yes’ moment at the Democrats’ presidential debate is scrambling his party’s message on guns,” but Second Amendment advocates contend that’s not accurate; instead of “scrambling” the message, they say he clarified it.

The story quotes Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), putting it bluntly: “This is what their goal is. We’ve always said it, now they’re saying it. Now they’ve said it and we’re going to make them eat it.”

That could cause massive indigestion, if not food poisoning, among Democrats now fearful that O’Rourke’s “out-of-the-closet” remark will haunt the party for years.
U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) admitted that much to CNN.

“I frankly think that that clip will be played for years at Second Amendment rallies with organizations that try to scare people by saying Democrats are coming for your guns,” Coons stated. “I don’t think a majority of the Senate or the country is going to embrace mandatory buybacks. We need to focus on what we can get done.”

Thanks to O’Rourke’s candid extremism, it’s not clear what Democrats “can get done” now.

O’Rourke was on “Meet the Press” Sunday, defending his remark, stating, “I refuse to even acknowledge the politics or the polling, or the fear or the NRA. That has purchased the complicity and silence of members of Congress,” as quoted by AOL News and NBC.

Writing at Reason.com, Jacob Sullum observed, “So it turns out that the Democrats are coming for your guns. Well, maybe not yours. Not yet, at least. Then again, it is not always obvious which guns Democrats have in mind when they talk about bans and mandatory buybacks. What's clear is that they view the people who own those guns as useful scapegoats for horrifying acts of violence.”

And “the people” to whom Sullum alludes are fully aware they’re being scapegoated by the likes of O’Rourke and his colleagues on the Democrat presidential campaign trail.

Gottlieb, who also chairs the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said in a prepared statement, “O’Rourke’s comment was brutally revealing, and so was the reaction from the audience. His intent to confiscate privately-owned firearms got the biggest cheer of the evening. Even more alarming was the fact that not one of his colleagues on stage made an effort to disagree. That should concern every gun owner in the country.”

Indeed, it could do exactly that, and Gottlieb—preparing for the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in Phoenix this coming weekend, Sept. 20-22—will no doubt amp up that concern when hundreds of Second Amendment activists gather at the Sheraton Crescent hotel for what now promises to be an extraordinary event. Gottlieb told Ammoland News that this year’s pre-registration has set a new record. For those who cannot attend, the event will be live-streamed on SAF’s Facebook page.

With his ten-word debate declaration, O’Rourke may have irreparably damaged the entire Democrat field, which Sen. Coons’ remark to CNN seems to acknowledge.

Instead of Democrats taking advantage of the public reaction to the tragic shootings in Texas, California and Ohio, O’Rourke’s threat dramatically changed the conversation. That’s what gun rights organizations could now use to their advantage, and Democrats who have traditionally supported all manner of gun control are now scrambling to contain, if not repair, the damage. But Gottlieb and his contemporaries have long memories.

“Second Amendment activists have been ridiculed by Democrats and the gun prohibition lobby for years,” he recalled. “Their condescending assurances that ‘nobody is going to take your guns’ just went out the window, thanks to O’Rourke.”

In his Reason.com article, Sullum said something else the gun control crowd has religiously avoided discussing.

“The ‘assault weapons’ that the presidential contender wants to confiscate are not especially deadly,” Sullum wrote, “but the symbolism of that policy is poisonous.”

That’s actually true on a technical level. The cartridge fired in a typical AR15 rifle is used for shooting prairie dogs and other varmints, and even coyotes, by countless numbers of outdoorsmen and women. Ammunition used in typical big game hunting rifles is far more powerful, yet currently, nobody is coming after your Winchester Model 70 or Remington Model 700. At least, not until the gun control crowd figures out a way to characterize those legendary bolt-action hunting rifles as “sniper rifles” with “powerful telescopic sights.”

In his essay, Sullum noted the term “assault weapons” is arbitrary and it “means whatever legislators decide it means.”

He’s talking about anti-gun lawmakers, and they’ve recently gotten some help from the gun prohibition lobby in Washington State. Last year, Seattle-based and billionaire-backed anti-gunners pushed through Initiative 1639, a citizen measure that, among other things, invented a legal definition for “semiautomatic assault weapon” that literally applies to any self-loading rifle ever manufactured. Gottlieb and CCRKBA were involved in the battle to beat that measure but were outspent at least 10-to-1. Even some newspapers called the measure overkill.

Here, on Page 27 of the initiative, is how anti-gunners define a “semiautomatic assault rifle,” which Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said earlier this year is a weapon that really doesn’t exist anywhere except on paper: “‘Semiautomatic assault rifle’ means any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.”

The definition applies to everything from the .22-caliber Ruger 10/22 and Remington Nylon 66 on up. While they may not be the guns O’Rourke singled out in his debate remark, they are officially on the gun prohibition lobby’s hit list, courtesy of that citizen initiative, which is currently being challenged in U.S. District Court by SAF and the National Rifle Association. Anybody want to guess how long it will take Capitol Hill's anti-gun Democrats to adopt that language?

It may not be known for weeks, or perhaps even months, how much damage O’Rourke’s candor has caused Democrats. But Gottlieb, speaking for CCRKBA, may have said it best.

“O’Rourke’s party is no longer interested in piecemeal erosion of the Second Amendment,” he posited. “Their intent now is to smash it. How can Democrats expect any gun owner to believe otherwise unless the party, especially the other candidates, immediately disavow and condemn O’Rourke’s remark? Their silence is both deafening, and damning.”


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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    Will FlattSmokeJimWild Billfreewill Recent comment authors
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    Jim
    Member
    Jim

    HE CLARIFIED IT! The top leadership of the socialist/communist infiltrated Democrat Party is against the Constitution –the guns protect it. Got to get the guns one way or another FIRST, then the “fun will begin.”

    Desert Ranger
    Member
    Desert Ranger

    Mahalo for an excellent article! One thing that most are overlooking is that O’Rourke said they wanted all guns, not just “assault weapons”. His exact criteria for confiscation were “if it’s a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield”. As we all know, all guns were designed for warfare, from colt and webley revolvers, to all hunting rifles based on Mauser or Enfield actions. I am grateful to this fool for finally showing the true colors of the DNC. No gun owner has any excuse to vote Democrat in the next election, or any election to come.

    Wild Bill
    Member
    Wild Bill

    @DR, Yep, that fat cat is out of the bag, and welcome aboard!

    MK
    Member
    MK

    Does anyone else see the irony in an admitted burglar wanting to confiscate your legal firearms.

    freewill
    Member
    freewill

    Thanks to Bush and the Patriot act, Its legal to break into your home and steal your stuff and they dont have to inform you!

    Alex
    Member
    Alex

    He’s like that March for our lives girl with the “we’ll take the mile” comment. I don’t think their ultimate goal is a surprise to anyone here lol

    MICHAEL J
    Member
    MICHAEL J

    We knew all along what democrats were thinking. Now that they blatantly verbalized it along with all that fake applause. They didn’t debate themselves, they were pushing their agendas.
    Democrats have now clearly defined their political party as a communistic, anti-God, anti-Constitution, pro-abortion, pro-socialistic and anti-American. This perverbial cat cannot be put back into the the bag, no matter how many democrats are sacrificed.

    Ryben Flynn
    Member
    Ryben Flynn

    He made the mistake of outing all the Dims of their true endgame, total disarmament. Now that the truth is out there they can no longer claim “nobody wants to take your guns”, because they DO.

    uncle dudley
    Member
    uncle dudley

    It burns my butt to listen to these anti-gun idiots who want to do away with firearms because of the nuts who shoot innocent people, they talk about taking lives but yet these same liberals are in favor of abortions which happens everyday in hospitals and clinics across the U.S.
    Where is their outrage about those deaths, oh it’s a womans right, well owning firearms is my right.

    Smoke
    Member
    Smoke

    Well said.

    Deplorable Bill
    Member
    Deplorable Bill

    Ohdork has only verified that which we all have suspected/known for years. The socialist/demoncraps want us disarmed. Why? I don’t know but, every other nation that has surrendered their firearms has gone socialist and then into poverty, slavery, starvation etc. See Venezuela. Eleven years ago they were the richest nation in South America. Then they voted in a socialist president who quickly loaded up his government with yes men socialists. Then he outlawed all firearms. Now the public is impoverished, starving, with little or no medical care, there is rampant inflation etc. There is no hope of anything better for… Read more »

    freewill
    Member
    freewill

    The 50 worst cities with the highest crime rates are blue city’s, strict gun controls, Chicago and the U.S Virgin Islands has total bans, now tell me again that total confiscation was never part of the plan..Riots broke out in Baltimore and people couldnt defend them selves or property from savages, The police sat idly by and watched

    Smoke
    Member
    Smoke

    O’Dork wants another Civil War. This time it will be Constitutional Patriots ( We The People ) fighting for our Rights v Socialistic, Dictatorial Rule. We The People will prevail.

    JPM
    Member
    JPM

    I do not believe anyone who is a Democrat this day and time is someone who I would trust around my livestock or my property, much less my kids.

    Rock
    Member
    Rock

    Clarified the Dems message… One step closer to lighting that fuse that NO DEM/lib ever wants to be lit.

    Bowserb46
    Member
    Bowserb46

    The DNC bosses might be socialists, traitors, and all around criminals, but I don’t think they’re stupid. Could O’Rourke be a disposable candidate in this election–thrown out with this high risk policy statement for the party to evaluate the result? [Doubtless the DNC promised future election support, possibly a high dollar campaign chest to run against John Cornan in the next Texas senatorial race.]

    Get Out
    Member
    Get Out

    O’Rourke didn’t scramble anything and it was an open threat to all gun owners that he intends to commit a criminal act and disregard the US Constitution and BoR.
    Harris has bleated she would do the same when she threated to cinfiscate firearms by executive order as president if Congress doesn’t act on gun reform.

    Stripeseven
    Member
    Stripeseven

    Traitors to America’s founding principles of Freedom and Liberty, are willing accomplices to the enemies of our freedom and our sovereignty. No other conclusion is possible.

    Dave
    Member
    Dave

    The mask is off. In reality it has been for quite awhile for people who have been paying attention for quite a few years, but now they can no longer deny it after his statement and the support he has received for it.

    Will Flatt
    Member

    The commiecrats are now dead in the water on gun control unless they can convince GOP members of Congress to join them in committing treason and help them ban & seize all the guns. If they do, then they will get the civil war they’ve been lusting for all this time. Except it won’t go so well for them, not one bit.

    Expect a run on tar and feathers!! Invest now!

    mlhtd51
    Member
    mlhtd51

    Will Flatt, 3/4 inch manila rope might be a good investment also, Just Saying.

    Will Flatt
    Member

    For those occasions, I would prefer heavy duty bungee cord, I would like to see them dance!

    Green Mtn. Boy
    Member
    Green Mtn. Boy

    Dear presidential candidate Robert Francis ‘Beatoff’ O’Rourke: April 19th, 1775 is a day of the greatest significance to the birth of this great nation. If they didn’t teach you about this date in your “American History” class I will gladly share the facts with you for “those who don’t know history (or I would add… willfully dare to ignore it) are doomed to repeat it’s mistakes…” On that specific day 700 British Red coats (what a coincidence! The Communist’s/Socialist’s favorite color!) under the command of Lieutenant Colonel FRANCIS Smith (wow! talk about coincidences!) marched on the Massachusetts town of Concord… Read more »

    Smoke
    Member
    Smoke

    The simple truth. “Bobby” did not do well in American History. Now he is siding with another enemy of the State, Illegal invaders at our borders.

    jmb1911
    Member
    jmb1911

    Mr. Workman, A very well written, truthful and informative article. Robert Francis O’Rourke has made it known last Thursday night during the televised presidential debate when asked the question by David Muir. The Democrats and their party can no longer deny that they want or intend to confiscate AR 15 rifles, a.k.a Assault weapons”, “Weapons of War”, or” Weapons of Destruction” as well as banning magazines that hold over 10 rounds of ammunition. The Democrats have been at this idea for years and now with the recent tragic shootings they are using them to confuse the public and gain support… Read more »