GOP lawmaker criticized over gun tweet about O'Rourke
GOP lawmaker criticized over gun tweet about O'Rourke
13 September, 2019, 22:30
He has moved sharply to the left on gun control in the wake of the mass shootings in Odessa and El Paso, Texas; the latter is his hometown.
Within hours, Twitter removed the tweet for violating its terms of service, but not before O'Rourke took a screenshot.
O'Rourke called the tweet "a death threat" underscoring the danger of such weapons.
In response to thousands of people responding with anger and concern that he was threatening violence against a presidential candidate, the millennial Republican wrote, "I get ratioed in the reg", meaning that his tweets are regularly overwhelmed with a large ratio of disapproving comments.
But as a Senate candidate in April 2018, O'Rourke struck a different tone during an interview on "The Chad Hasty Show", whose host asked: "I own an AR-15".
Republican legislator Briscoe Cain's tweet was deleted by Twitter after the Democrat called it a "death threat".
The U.S. Secret Service said Friday that O'Rourke is not now under the agency's protection and declined to comment further.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey needled O'Rourke later, saying he was sorry it had taken the El Paso shooting for O'Rourke to embrace the position Booker already held, backing a mandatory buyback and national registration. "This campus, this state, and this nation are still raw from that racially motivated attack on Latinos in El Paso", moderator Linsey Davis said. "People were murdered. The language you are using and the way you are using it is risky". On Wednesday, for instance, he suggested on Twitter that the Texas legislature should "abolish" the famously liberal city of Austin.
Cain is a lawyer who was first elected in 2016 and is part of the small Freedom Caucus in the Texas House that represents the GOP's most socially conservative wing.
"Most reasonable gun owners who may even be collectors with those kinds of weapons can have a conversation about the fact that they don't want any Tom, Dick, and Harry stockpiling them in their apartment and then carting them off to Walmart because they're angry at an employee or they just don't like brown people", she added.
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