Following remarks from Beto O’Rourke, in which he used the 1970 Kent State shootings as an argument for gun control, gun rights proponents reminded the Texas Democrat that the massacre at Kent State was perpetrated by the government on unarmed civilians.
O’Rourke criticized protesters who brought rifles to a rally the 2020 presidential hopeful held on Wednesday at Kent State University in Ohio, the Washington Examiner reported.
Democrat presidential candidate Robert Francis O'Rourke brings up the time when the U.S. government gunned down 4 students at Kent State as an example of why people should allow their guns to be confiscated by the government
What an incredible self-own by Beto https://t.co/2mbaIRIv0V
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 27, 2019
“It is not enough to stop selling AR-15s and AK-47s when there are more than 10 million of those potential instruments of terror,” O’Rourke said to the assembled crowd.
“We must mandate that every one of them be bought back – back home, off the streets, out of our lives – no longer a threat to every single one of us.”
“Nobody should show up with one of these weapons to seek to intimidate us in our own democracy,” O’Rourke added, gesturing toward protesters.
“That’s wrong. That’s wrong.”
“What an incredible self-own”
Several commenters on social media pointed out that the May 1970 shooting at Kent State occurred when Ohio National Guard members shot unarmed students protesting United States military forces bombing Cambodia.
Four students were killed. Nine were wounded.
“What an incredible self-own by Beto,” tweeted Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra.
Beto, the government shot unarmed people in the Kent State Massacre. Your solution is to disarm more people. https://t.co/ZBDqBZLDzp
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) September 27, 2019
“Free Speech was embraced and died at Berkley and Beto would like the same fate for 2A and Kent State,” tweeted Jocelyn Glabach, a Federalist contributor who is known on Twitter as The Red-Headed Libertarian.
Yesterday, a representative of the same government who shot and killed four unarmed civilians at Kent State stood in front of a crowd on the same campus and proudly told them he was going to use the government to disarm even more innocent Americans….. pic.twitter.com/YwZt1YI6BK
— Mike (@BadKarma5555) September 27, 2019
Colin Moriarty, a podcast host and conservative commentator, also tweeted out a dig at O’Rourke.
Narrator: Unbeknownst to Beto, it was the government that shot and killed those four students at Kent State in 1970.
— Colin Moriarty (@notaxation) September 27, 2019
Second Amendment supporters go after Beto
O’Rourke’s outspoken advocacy for gun control stance in the wake of an Aug. 3 mass shooting in El Paso, Texas has made him a political target among proponents of gun rights.
During this month’s Democratic primary debate in Houston, O’Rourke responded to the moderator’s question about his stance on guns by saying he supported a ban on weapons “designed to kill on the battlefield.”
“Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15s, your AK-47s, we are not going to allow them to be used against fellow Americans any more,” O’Rourke said.
Republican state representative Briscoe Cain tweeted out a response to O’Rourke later on in the night.
“My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,” Cain said in the tweet.
O’Rourke replied with a tweet of his own, characterizing Cain’s comments as a “death threat” and declaring that neither Cain nor “anyone else” should own an AR-15.
This is a death threat, Representative. Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15—and neither should anyone else. pic.twitter.com/jsiZmwjMDs
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 13, 2019
While gun rights supporters may not agree with candidate O’Rourke’s politics, he’s been a boon to some of them.
Earlier this month, a Phoenix gun shop reported running out of AR-15 rifles in less than four hours after offering a “Beto special” on the firearms, which were discounted at $349.99.