Robert Francis O'Rourke does an about-face on guns
After Robert Francis O'Rourke challenged Ted Cruz, he became a media darling whom voters ignored. Still, despite losing to Cruz, O'Rourke was so buoyed up by press adoration that he parlayed that failed Senate run into a presidential run, which he also lost. Now, Robert Francis O'Rourke is back again, this time seeking to unseat Texas governor Gregg Abbott. O'Rourke, however, has learned something along the way, which is that you pay lip service to leaving Texans' guns alone.
I must give O'Rourke credit for being the kind of guy who is undeterred by failure. And indeed, people like that often eventually succeed. For example, as Ulysses S. Grant's detractors liked to point out, until he became a successful Civil War general, Grant had a record of career failure. He just needed the right opportunity. Likewise, Scott Adams, the hugely successful Dilbert cartoonist, likes to boast about his failures on the way to success.
O'Rourke, though, is no Grant or Adams. He's a man who couldn't accomplish anything in the private sector (although he cleverly married the daughter of a real estate tycoon), but who succeeded in a small way in Texas politics, first as a member of the El Paso City Council and then, for six years, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Those are real, albeit small, victories, but the reality is that O'Rourke is an utterly undistinguished, hardcore, generic leftist. If there is a seed of greatness in him, it's completely dormant, smothered by O'Rourke's slavish fealty to the Democrat party.
During the 2019 run-up to the Democrat primaries, O'Rourke did manage to stand out from the pack for a few brief moments. In one debate, he spoke in labored Spanish. But it was in another debate, when O'Rourke was asked about guns, that he truly gained recognition.
When asked about gun control, O'Rourke forthrightly admitted that he wants to take away people's guns. After trying to distinguish between guns on the battlefield versus those on the streets (a pointless difference since the purpose of guns, when used defensively, is always to kill your enemy), he enthusiastically shouted, "Hell, yes! We're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore."
In any event, the AR-15 is not a dedicated battlefield weapon. It is a standard rifle that is designed so that it can easily accommodate useful attachments. It also has almost no kick. There's a reason it's one of the most popular civilian weapons in America: it's fun to use for sport (whether hunting paper targets or live game) and reliable when your life or someone else's life is on the line. In the latter case, you want that gun to destroy the person attacking you. If you cannot neutralize the threat, you are still at risk.
Democrat voters were not impressed by O'Rourke, and he dropped out of the primaries fairly quickly. (He didn't even last as long as Kamala Harris.) Whether it was that "hell, yes" moment or his general weeniness that ended his campaign is open to debate. Certainly, that "hell, yes" moment is memorable.
But what is a man supposed to do when he throws his hat in the ring to be governor of Texas? Texans, after all, take their Second Amendment rights very, very seriously. If you're O'Rourke, without offering any explanation for your change of heart, you suddenly announce that you strongly support the Second Amendment and wouldn't dream of taking away people's guns.
Image: Robert Francis O'Rourke. YouTube screen grab.
Thus, on Friday, when a reporter asked him about his plan to seize AR-15s, O'Rourke shut down that line of questioning as if he'd never said "hell, yes" before:
"I'm not interested in taking anything from anyone," O'Rourke said to reporters in Tyler, Texas. "What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment. I want to make sure that we protect our fellow Texans far better than we're doing right now."
Of course, O'Rourke doesn't really mean what he just said. Two weeks ago, he posted a video making the same point he made during the 2019 debate: anything that could be used as a battlefield weapon has no place in O'Rourke's Texas.
O'Rourke did concede, however, that there wasn't a snowball's chance in Hell of him putting his seizure plan in effect. Therefore, he hopes to come up with other, more creative ways of limiting gun ownership. Essentially, he said, I can't take your guns, but I don't want you to have them...and I'm working on that problem.
What O'Rourke refuses to understand is that all guns can be used on the battlefield. I knew a veteran of the Battle of Midway who was the gunner on one of the planes on that day. When his machine gun jammed, he leaned out the window and started firing at the Japanese with his sidearm.
If you believe in the Second Amendment, both in terms of your inherent right to self-defense and in terms of your part in an American militia ready to defend against all enemies foreign and domestic (all adult males are automatically militia members), you don't want Robert Francis O'Rourke as your Texas governor.