At this point in the 2020 Democratic primary campaign for president, it is already obvious that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s efforts aren’t going to earn him the nomination. So maybe it is not so surprising that he’s the one out front on gun control. He’s a lost cause so he can safely lead on the hottest topic in the nation.
His push for bans and buybacks of AR-15s and their related assault style weapons is stunning in its boldness and the lightening it is attracting from the right. But it’s opened up the discussion about guns and gun control and gun violence around the nation in a very significant way. And for now the other Democrats can wait it out while Beto takes the heat and the Republicans fall over themselves looking bad on the topic.
And it let’s the short term goal of universal background checks and red-flag laws seem like small potatoes and the just plan common sense ideas…that they actually are.
But Pete Buttigieg thinks that Mr. O’Rourke is stirring the pot unnecessarily and roiling up Republicans. And I am sure that he is but when’s a better time to do that and what better candidate to do that? He’s as out of the race as is Mayor Buttigieg and he’s from Texas…so he’s the perfect lightening rod. So why not here and why not now? Get it out there…will it reflect onto the other candidates? The GOP will do their best to make that happen. But will it invigorate the left who want to see future gun control actions? Hell, YES!
So is Beto O’Rourke the Democrats’ sacrificial lamb on gun control and future bans on assault style weapons? Hell, YES. Will it backfire on the Democratic Party? It might this time around…but the door will be open finally and the discussion will have been started.
extra credit reading: Beto O’Rourke’s call for mandatory buyback of assault weapons roils Texas politics