The line from the Democratic presidential debate in Houston, Texas on Thursday night that arguably drew the most enthusiastic response of the evening was former Rep. Beto O'Rourke's (D-TX) emphatic declaration that they were going to take Americans' "battlefield" guns.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke's campaign has contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation after a sitting Texas state representative appeared to threaten O'Rourke with his "AR" on Twitter just after the Democratic debate Thursday evening.
And just like that, "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15!" became the Republicans' most effective option for a campaign ad. A Twitter spokesman says Cain's tweet was removed for violating the company's terms of service.
"This is a death threat, Representative", O'Rourke wrote on Twitter. Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15-and neither should anyone else.
Cain replied, "You're a child Robert Francis".
For decades, Democrats have avoided suggesting that the government should take back guns out of concern that such a platform would be politically toxic in much of the country.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke answers a question during a Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston.
Twitter users responded with disbelief, and Cain called one commenter "an idiot". An O'Rourke spokesperson told The Verge that the campaign reported the tweet as a threat to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 31 percent of Republicans support the policy.
I am, if it's a weapon that was created to kill people on a battlefield.
Andrea Mitchell Reports guest Margaret Carlson, a Daily Beast columnist, argued that an assault weapons buyback is more urgent than background checks. After the attack, O'Rourke left the campaign trail to meet with victims of the shooting, and he has since delivered sharp commentary on gun control.
In response to the recent wave of gun violence stoked by white nationalism, O'Rourke has proposed an expansive plan to establish a national gun registry, a national gun licensing system, and a mandatory buyback program of assault-style rifles.
In 2018, police were called to remove Mr Cain from the state Democratic convention after he showed up with a pistol and pro-gun pamphlets, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.