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Texas gubernatorial hopeful Beto O’Rourke is not mincing words.
While speaking to a crowd of supporters at the Crazy Water Hotel in Mineral Wells, outside Dallas, Wednesday, O’Rourke did not hold back when a heckler loudly laughed at his plea to control mass shootings.
“It may be funny to you, mother f—-r, but it’s not funny to me,” the Democratic candidate said, as the crowd erupted into wild cheers.
O’Rourke was referencing the mass shooting that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this year, which left 19 children and two teachers dead.
The incident happened as O’Rourke was giving an impassioned speech about the need to curb gun violence in the United States.
“You could (legally) buy two, or more if you want to, AR-15s, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and take that weapon that was originally designed for use on the battlefields in Vietnam to penetrate an enemy soldier’s helmet at 500 feet and knock him down dead, up against kids at five feet,” O’Rourke said, before the off-camera heckler began laughing, causing O’Rourke to turn to him and hurl the expletive.
According to NBC News, a group of supporters for incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott had gathered to one side of the room. Two minutes prior to swearing at one of them, O’Rourke had thanked Abbott’s supporters for attending.
“I want to hear a round of applause for these Abbott supporters who are here I’m glad that you all came,” said O’Rourke as his backers politely cheered in appreciation. “Thank you for coming out. That’s not easy to do. But you’re welcome to join us and we’re glad that you’re here.”
O’Rourke has been a longtime proponent of stricter gun laws and is set to face off against Abbott as the Democratic nominee in November’s Texas gubernatorial election.
Earlier this year, he made headlines when interrupted a press conference on the Uvalde school shooting to rip into state officials for their lack of action.
“You are doing nothing,” O’Rourke was heard saying while standing below the podium of officials, pointing his finger. “This is totally predictable.”
“Please leave the auditorium,” one official replied. “I can’t believe — you are a sick son of a b—- that you would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.”
He was eventually escorted away by security.
Speaking to reporters outside the news conference, O’Rourke said, “We owe those parents action. They want us to do something right now. I want us to do something right now. We can do something right now. But if we continue to accept this, then it is on us, it’s not just the governor’s fault, it is on us.”
After Wednesday’s video footage of O’Rourke’s confrontation went viral, the 49-year-old tweeted there’s “nothing more serious to me than getting justice for the families in Uvalde and stopping this from ever happening again.”
Nothing more serious to me than getting justice for the families in Uvalde and stopping this from ever happening again.
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 11, 2022
U.S. Congress has repeatedly failed to pass legislation to curb gun violence in the country, prompting lawmakers and citizens to express their exasperation on the issue.
— with files from Global News’ Eric Stober
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