A woman carrying a Glock pistol appeared at a Beto O’Rourke rally in Colorado on Thursday, challenging him for his comment about taking AR-15s and AK-47s from American gun owners.
“Gun-owning Americans who heard your speech and heard what you had to say regarding ‘Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15s and AK-47s’ — Well, I am here to say, ‘Hell no, you’re not,’” Lauren Boebert, owner of Shooters Grill, which encourages staff to carry a firearm at work, challenged.
O’Rourke’s supporters booed her speech, shouting, “Bullshit” as she said it was “not the gun,” but the “heart of the man” that pulled the trigger.
The woman said she lived in Colorado during the Aurora theater shooting and the Columbine shooting. She also said she had four children, was only five feet tall, and could not defend herself from a threat with only her fists.
One man questioned why the woman needed an AR-15.
“I don’t have my AR-15 today. I have my Glock,” she replied.
“Well, you shouldn’t have it,” the man replied.
“Don’t worry, sir. I have your back,” she replied.
The woman told O’Rourke that more laws against guns would only prevent law-abiding citizens from owning weapons, as criminals did not obey the laws.
O’Rourke disputed the idea that Americans had to accept the fate of gun deaths at the hands of people.
“There’s this presumption that we are, I guess, inherently evil,” he said, “because you ask how we are going to legislate this.”
He said Americans should not accept the fate of mass shootings, arguing that no other country allowed citizens to purchase “weapons designed for war.”
“Why would we allow this? You don’t need it to hunt. You don’t need it … so why shouldn’t we allow you to have a bazooka or drive a tank down the street?”
The woman posted her exchange with O’Rourke on Facebook.
Evan Todd, a survivor of the Columbine shooting, said he was the first student shot in the library and the last one to talk to the shooters before they shot themselves.
He asked why O’Rourke continued to press for a ban on AR-15s and AK-47s when those rifles were not involved in most gun deaths.
“None of my classmates were murdered with those weapons,” he said. “Don’t you think it’s time to get rid of all semiautomatics?”
“This is the criteria that makes sense to me,” O’Rourke replied. “If that weapon was designed to kill people and does so effectively, efficiently, then we should no longer be selling it to each other.”
O’Rourke sympathized with the man’s statement but argued that just because a proposed law would not prevent a specific shooting incident was no reason not to pass it.
“Sometimes there is an argument made that if a given proposal or policy would not have prevented a given gun crime or tragedy or massacre, then we can’t do it. We shouldn’t do that,” he said, asserting that universal background checks, red flag laws, and assault weapons bans would “save lives.”
After the event, Boebert told followers that Aroura undercover police officers escorted her back to her vehicle.
“Those gentlemen were so wonderfully polite,” she said, thanking them for their professionalism.