A Texas state representative was reported to the FBI hours after he sent a tweet in which he appeared to threaten violence against his fellow Texan and presidential candidate, Beto O'Rourke after he was asked about mandatory gun buybacks at Thursday night's Democratic debate.
At one point during the three-hour debate on Thursday, the conversation shifted to guns with one question going to former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, whose hometown of El Paso, Texas saw a gunman open fire inside a Walmart last month, leaving 22 people dead and 26 more wounded. When the presidential candidate was asked by the moderators about mandatory buybacks for assault weapons and whether he was proposing to take away people's guns in response to the recent spate of mass shootings.
Beto said, "hell yes."
"I am. If it's a weapon that is designed to kill people on the battlefield ... Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AR-47. We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore," the congressman said to loud applause from the audience.
“If it’s (a) weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield. If the high impact, high velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body because it was designed to do that so you would bleed to death on a battlefield, and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers,” O’Rourke said.
That didn't sit well with O'Rourke's fellow Texas, state representative Briscoe Cain who tweeted that "My AR is ready for you Robert Francis" using the presidential candidate's full legal name.
Cain's tweet quickly went viral, with many commentators outraged over the perceived death threat against the presidential candidate. Within three hours of the tweet being posted, it had received over 3,400 comments, with fewer than 90 people retweeting it, something known as it being "ratioed."
Beto O'Rourke didn't mince words in response to Cain's tweet, writing on Twitter, "This is a death threat, Representative. Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15 - and neither should anyone else."
O'Rourke's campaign reported Cain's tweet to the FBI Friday morning, his press secretary said. Twitter confirmed on Friday that Cain's tweet violated their policy that "you may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people."
"Anytime you have somebody threatening to use violence against somebody in this country to resolve a political issue, really for any reason, that's a matter for law enforcement," O'Rourke told CNN.
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