By Larry Keane
Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, the poor fella, just can’t help himself. He can’t seem to land on just one good idea. His latest big idea is you can keep your AR-15, but you’ve got to keep it at a hunt club or a gun range. His very Eurocentric compromise comes on the heels of learning that some people use AR-15s to hunt deer and other game.
O’Rourke was schooled on the hunting applications of modern sporting rifles by a Des Moines, Iowa, student who told him the AR-15 was an efficient tool for harvesting deer.
“So, this is the first time that I’ve heard the case made for using an AR-15 to hunt deer,” O’Rourke said, according to a Washington Examiner report. “I’ve heard feral hogs in Texas, which are a real problem…”
That Won’t Hunt
The former Texas Congressman might want to get a better handle on his Lone Star roots. While the 5.56 mm round might be outlawed in some states for harvesting deer, it’s perfectly legal in Texas. Imagine his surprise when he learns that AR-10s look strikingly similar to AR-15s, but fire bullets in a variety of larger calibers, many perfectly suited for taking deer, antelope, elk and even bear.
O’Rourke’s flip-flop compromise on pushing a confiscation, complete with the threat of a door-to-door visit from law enforcement to round them up, was panned by several law enforcement groups as “asinine” and “ridiculous.” This isn’t his first time wandering in the wilderness of gun control. Or just pandering.
O’Rourke once wanted to be a U.S. Senator from Texas, but couldn’t best Sen. Ted Cruz. During that campaign, he told radio personality Chad Hasty, of the “Chad Hasty Show,” that he didn’t want to confiscate modern sporting rifles.
Ignore What I Said…
“If you purchased that AR-15, if you own it, keep it,” he explained in 2018, adding, “If you own a gun, keep that gun. Nobody wants to take it away from you — at least I don’t want to do that.”
He lost handily to Sen. Cruz in that election, which of course led to him eat dirt. Literally, he ate dirt. Now, he believed it was special New Mexico dirt with regenerative powers. But at least he shared. He brought some home for his family.
Still, think about this, O’Rourke might have opened the flood gates to a cottage industry. Hunt clubs are a thing in the United States. Many hunters pool their resources to lease properties and access hunting land. Owners of America’s rifle just need to declare themselves a hunt club and they’d have nothing to worry about when O’Rourke comes knocking on their door to collect them. “Sorry, you can’t take that. My house is a hunt club.”
In all seriousness, joining a hunt club to own guns might be the way they do things in jolly ol’ England, or Germany, but this is America. The Second Amendment is clear. It doesn’t say Americans can go to their local shooting range, gun club or hunt club and request to check out the rifle they own. Americans’ right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Not by the government. Not by a gun range or hunt club. Certainly, it can’t be the put under lock and key by a failing politician.
Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.