Beto O’Rourke lashes out with expletive after heckler laughs over Uvalde mass shooting

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Democratic politician Beto O’Rourke snapped Wednesday at a heckler who laughed while he was discussing the Uvalde, Texas, mass shooting at a town hall in Mineral Wells, Texas.

During his speech at the town hall, O’Rourke expressed outrage over the gunman who opened fire inside an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school and killed 19 children and two adults back in May. O’Rourke described the weapon that the 18-year-old gunman used as being “originally designed for use on the battlefields in Vietnam to penetrate an enemy soldier’s helmet at 500 feet and knock him down dead.”

In his description to the crowd, O’Rourke imitated a warfighter by dropping to one knee and extending his arm as if he were lining up for a shot. A member of the crowd was heard laughing, to which O’Rourke promptly turned around and confronted the person.

“It may be funny to you, (expletive),” O’Rourke said to the heckler. “But it’s not funny to me.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks to the media after interrupting a press conference held by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in Uvalde, Texas, on May 25, 2022.

The confrontation garnered O’Rourke a round of applause from the crowd. It was unclear what, specifically, prompted the member of the crowd to laugh.

‘This is on you’: Beto O’Rourke confronts Abbott, Cruz at Texas school shooting press conference

Related video: Beto O’Rourke confronts Texas Gov. Abbott during Uvalde news briefing

O’Rourke, a longtime proponent of stricter gun laws, is set to face off as the Democratic nominee against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in November’s Texas gubernatorial election.

During his 2020 presidential campaign, O’Rourke became known for his “hell yes” promise to ban semi-automatic rifles. His comment came after the 2019 mass shooting at a Walmart in his hometown of El Paso, Texas.

O’Rourke also called out Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, at a school shooting news conference for not doing enough when it came to gun laws.

“This is on you. Until you choose to do something different, this will continue to happen,” O’Rourke said to Abbott. “Somebody needs to stand up for the children of this state or they will continue to be killed just like they were killed in Uvalde.”

After Wednesday’s campaign event in Mineral Wells and video footage of O’Rourke’s confrontation went viral, the 49-year-old tweeted there’s “nothing more serious to me than getting justice for the families in Uvalde and stopping this from ever happening again.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Beto O’Rourke snaps with expletive at heckler over Uvalde shooting

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