Beto O'Rourke

Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke speaks at a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


Former El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke is now on his second (or is it the third?) attempt at rebooting his failing presidential campaign, and two of his biggest priorities in his latest reboot are taking on what he calls President Trump’s “racism” and “the gun lobby.”

In the immediate aftermath of the horrific El Paso mass shooting earlier this month which left 22 dead and dozens more injured, O’Rourke stated a mandatory gun buyback program “absolutely has to be part of the conversation.” He noted he would be open to one in the event he was elected President:

“It absolutely has to be part of the conversation. And at the end of the day, if it’s going to save lives, if it’s going to prevent the kinds of tragedies that we saw in El Paso or Gilroy or Dayton or this weekend in Chicago or all over this country on a daily basis, then let’s move forward and do it,” O’Rourke said on the podcast “Pod Save America” when asked if he’d be open to mandatory gun buyback programs or gun licenses, referencing shootings in other cities in recent days.

On Friday, the O’Rourke campaign posted the candidate’s gun control plan op his website which included, among other things, a call for a mandatory buyback program for “weapons of war.”

Over the weekend, O’Rourke made an unannounced visit to a gun show in the red state of Arkansas to talk to gun owners about their thoughts on his ever-evolving gun control plan. Several media outlets including CBS News and The Hill described O’Rourke as being back on the campaign trail after a “12-day hiatus” in response to the El Paso mass shooting.

In reality, O’Rourke never really stopped campaigning.

Beto talked about his visit to Arkansas on Twitter over the weekend. Here’s what he said:

The NRA took notice – and responded:

O’Rourke clapped back:

Not to be outdone, the NRA posted back:

The NRA makes an important point here that can’t be overstated. In debates about gun control and gun rights, what often gets lost in the heated rhetoric is the use of the correct terminology. For example, to some a “weapon of war” could be something as simple as a pistol.

Gun control activists often deliberately distort the meaning of certain words, terms (and laws) to confuse voters on the issue in an effort to bring them over to their side. It’s vitally important in these debates that everyone be on the same page when it comes to the meaning behind the words/terminology used so there is no confusion.

Honest and informed discussions are the best kind of discussions.

— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –