On Tuesday's season premiere of The View Meghan McCain made an on air declaration that 2020 presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke took exception to. In a heated discussion of the latest mass shooting, McCain extolled the popularity of the AR-15 rifle and stated violence would occur if anyone tried to eliminate or limit access to the weapon.
As part of his campaign platform, Texas born Beto O'Rourke proposed an AR-15 style weapon buyback program. But the former Texas Representative said to The Daily Beast about McCain's statements on national television:
"I just—I think that kind of language and rhetoric is not helpful."
“It becomes self-fulfilling; you have people on TV who are almost giving you permission to be violent and saying, ‘You know this is—this is going to happen'."
O'Rourke—whose home state saw two mass shootings in quick succession—added:
"When someone says, 'If you do this, then this will happen,' almost as though that’s a natural response or maybe even something that should happen or deserves to happen."
"When I think the response should be, ‘We’re doing nothing now and we’re seeing people slaughtered in their schools, at work, at a Walmart, in a synagogue, in a church, at a concert. There is violence right now and it is horrifying and it is terrifying and it is terrorizing.’...."
"We should be worried about that kind of violence right now."
McCain took to Twitter Thursday to respond to O'Rourke's comments regarding her promise of violence.
"Beto is the only man in all of Texas who would revise ‘Come and Take It’ to ‘Please, Come and Take It'."
Her exact meaning was unclear, but it seemed to indicate real Texas men promote gun violence. But the 27 people murdered and almost 50 more injured by two Texas men like McCain seemed to promote indicated perhaps O'Rourke had the right idea.
Whatever her intention, McCain found few advocates for her throwback Charlton Heston "cold, dead hands" approach to AR-15 style rifles.
And some Texans let McCain know that she doesn't know Texas men.
AR-15 refers to a lightweight semi-automatic rifle based on the ArmaLite AR-15 design. The patent and trademark were sold to the Colt firearms company in 1959. Colt still retains the trademark on the name AR-15, but the design patent expired in the 1970s.
There are many "AR-15 style" rifles but only one AR-15.
While many confuse the AR to mean "assault rifle" or "automatic rifle," it merely designates ArmaLite Rifle design number 15.
O'Rourke explained to The Daily Beast his view of public reaction to a mandatory AR-15 style rifle buyback if those in the public eye don't encourage violence.
"I think in a mandatory buyback, the vast majority of people will follow the law. Not everyone will agree with it, not everyone will like it. But I think that ultimately, they’ll follow the law."
"And I think many will see this in the national interest. I listen to gun owners and non-gun owners alike who just—who say that this current level of bloodshed and violent death in this country is unacceptable. Worries them, it worries their kids and they want to do something about it."
"And I can’t escape the conclusion that even universal background checks and red flag laws and ending the sale of weapons of war would not be enough to significantly change the outcome [without a buyback program]."
The 2020 election is 424 days away as of Thursday, September 5, 2019.
Listen to the first three episodes of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!', where we explore the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
Be sure to subscribe here and never miss an episode.