Dodgeball

Many of us watched Friday night’s debate with great interest. For those political observers, it was really kind of humorous to watch. Beto O’Rourke couldn’t answer the hard questions.

He was specifically asked if he was in favor of confiscating certain types of guns. The commentator said “Yes or No” –Beto dodged the question. For us, that was a very loud “Hell yes, I’ll take your guns”.

In this same discussion, Mr. O’Rourke threw out an interesting “fact”: “In those states where the age has been raised, mass shootings are down 80 percent.”

We at TSRAPAC looked long and hard for the source of his outrageous number and could find zero evidence of it.

Here’s what we did find:

There are more than 1.2 million young adults under 21 in Texas. In more than three decades, exactly one has legally purchased a gun and used it in a mass shooting.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, Florida’s mass shootings declined from 31 in the year following the Parkland shooting to 12, a drop of 61 percent, in the following year. In the next year, the number of mass shootings soared to 38, an increase of 217 percent. In the most recent year, the number of mass shootings fell to 28, a 26% decrease.

The net decrease from February 14, 2018 to February 13, 2022 was ten percent.

Using the most recent additions to the Gun Violence Archive’s list, a state-by-state comparison of incidents from October 3, 2020 to October 2, 2021 and October 3, 2021 to October 2, 2022 does not support Beto’s claim.

Considering real mass shootings (3+ deaths, not including the shooter) these incidents are so rare that there isn’t any pattern.

In the 30 years between the Lindhurst High School shooting in May 1992 and the attempted mass shooting at Greenwood Park Mall, a total of nine young adults under the age of 21 have legally purchased guns from a federally licensed dealer and used that gun to commit a mass shooting.

Governor Abbott’s comments were right on target: With the recent U.S. District Court ruling, it’s likely that any attempt to raise the age to buy a firearm would be ruled unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is making it clear that the right to keep and bear arms, including outside of the home, for lawful purposes is a protected right for American citizens and that citizenship becomes fully vested at the age of eighteen.

It’s impossible to legitimately claim any need to raise the age to purchase a firearm; it’s almost impossible to believe that any state doing this would not see the law knocked down.

Beto is willing to punish more than a million young Texans for the evil committed by one. How is this even American? How does this fit with our ideals and our concept of justice?

Beto continues his assault on the truth with calls for red flag laws but nobody ever asks for proof. If red flag laws were going to prevent mass shootings, why haven’t they?

After every mass shooting incident, the news reports are filled with stories about warning signs that were ignored or not reported. The Florida commission created to investigate the Parkland shooting called it the most preventable mass shooting in history. In their initial findings, they cited numerous failures of the Broward County Schools, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the administration of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, and the FBI: All lapses that allowed the shooting to happen. Did the commission blame gun laws, the stores that sold guns to the shooter, or the manufacturers of those guns? No.

Governor Abbott was again correct about the red flags that Beto wants: They are unconstitutional.

Our forefathers left England because (among other reasons) citizens were being tried in absentia, their property confiscated, imprisoned and worse–all without even knowing they were accused of something, let alone WHAT it was. 

Even Congress has figured that out. The Safer Communities Act passed earlier this year includes incentives for states to pass their own red flag laws. However, those incentives come with restrictions. The most notable is the demand that red flag laws respect the constitutional rights, including the right to due process, before, during, and after any legal action. No more surprise visits in the early morning hours; no more unchallenged hearsay.

Despite the many claims for them, universal background checks have never shown any conclusive evidence that they save lives. The simple reason for this is that universal background check laws can’t be enforced without universal gun registration, which is not only prohibited by at least three federal laws but is a practical impossibility. New York’s attempt to impose a registration requirement on certain types of firearms was ignored by at least 80% of the estimated number of owners.

The takeaway from Beto’s comments is that he is so married to his dogma that he can’t imagine anything else. Quite literally, he dodges the hard questions with either no answer or some pie in the sky notion that has absolutely no evidence of working. He will say whatever he needs to say and that’s pandering. It matters not if it’s true, it just sounds good.

Don’t be fooled here – dodging questions and pandering are the acts of a candidate who is desperate.

But this is exactly what Beto O’Rourke did in the governor’s debate.