Still not going to get the nomination but I welcome the conversation. 

Courtesy of Buzzfeed

It was a question that Democrats had faced for years. As Beto O’Rourke traveled around the country calling for gun control, a reporter asked, how would he reassure lawful gun owners who were afraid that the government would take their assault rifles away?

“So, I want to be really clear that that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” O’Rourke said, speaking to journalists under the late August sun in a city that had been torn apart two years earlier by white supremacist violence. “Americans who own AR-15s and AK-47s will have to sell them to the government.”

In the wake of a mass shooting targeting Hispanic immigrants and Mexicans in El Paso, the city he once represented in Congress, something has changed about Beto O’Rourke the presidential candidate.

In recent weeks, he has broken through the Democratic primary’s noise with expressions of raw, visceral, and expletive-laden anger over issues like gun violence and racism. And he has taken a stance that no other major Democratic presidential candidate has touched: calling for mandatory assault weapon buybacks.

After months of campaigning without a clear, cohesive narrative or signature issues for voters to latch onto, with sometimes wobbly answers on why he is different from the 20-some other Democrats running for president, O’Rourke has a message and an explanation for why he is the person to deliver it: what’s happening now in America is fucked up, and he has seen up close both how much that hurts and how to fix it.

In a tightly choreographed trip through Virginia, O’Rourke embraced the bogeyman of the Democrat seeking to take Americans’ guns away, saying he was willing to take a politically unpopular stance he believed was the right thing. At an event the same evening, his voice rose as he spoke about the country’s “fucked up” acceptance of mass shootings, a speech that ricocheted across the internet.

Well I think we know who the NRA is going to start raging against next. 

While I don’t think dropping the “F” word once in awhile is a winning strategy for the long haul it will attract temporary attention, it is up to O’Rourke to prove that he can properly take advantage of that increased attention. 

I think that O’Rourke is onto something with his aggressive stance on gun control. 

I also think we need to get these military style weapons off the streets by virtually any means necessary. 

I just don’t think that in the end he is going to be the person positioned to implement those policies.