Beto O’Rourke came under fire from Texas Republican lawmaker who tweeted an apparent death threat at the Democratic presidential candidate over his debate declaration that he would ban military-style assault weapons.
The El Paso Democrat called out state Rep. Briscoe Cain for saying "My (AR-15) is ready for you,” if O’Rourke tried to seize the assault weapon.
This is a death threat, Representative. Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15—and neither should anyone else. pic.twitter.com/jsiZmwjMDs
David Hogg, a former student at Parkland High School in Florida where a gunman killed 19 classmates, said Cain’s tweet proved O’Rourke’s point about the need for an assault weapons ban and other gun restrictions..
“If you threaten to kill a presidential candidate you should not have a gun,” Hogg wrote on Twitter.
O’Rourke staffers reported the threat to the FBI and Twitter removed the tweet after apparently determining that it violates rules against threats of violence.
Cain, a two-term GOP lawmaker, is a strong gun-rights advocate who was rated the most right-wing member of the conservative Texas House. He is known for provocative social media statements and recently called for the liberal city of Austin to be “abolished.”
O’Rourke has made stricter gun restrictions a calling card of his White House campaign after a racist gunman inspired by anti-immigrant hatred gunned down nearly two dozen innocent people at a shopping center in El Paso last month.
The former congressman had what some called a breakout performance in Thursday’s debate when other candidates repeatedly praised his eloquent stand following the massacre.
O’Rourke raised the hackles of gun rights advocates when he called for banning assault weapons, a move that would amount to reinstating a 1994 ban that existed for a decade but expired after Congress failed to extend it.
"When we see that being used against children,” O’Rourke said to cheers from the Democratic crowd at a Houston black college, “hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”