‘DUMMY BETO’: Trump blames O’Rourke for no deal on gun control

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday came out swinging against Beto O’Rourke, blaming the would-be Democratic presidential nominee for the lack of deal being reached with Democrats on gun control legislation.

Beto, who once claimed to be a “staunch defender” of the Second Amendment, has raised eyebrows in recent weeks after vowing to confiscate all AR-15’s and AK-47’s in the country should he become president.

“Dummy Beto made it much harder to make a deal,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Convinced many that Dems just want to take your guns away. Will continue forward!”

Trump’s comments referenced O’Rourke’s remarks in Houston during last week’s Democratic debate where Beto called for a mandatory federal buyback of assault weapons. “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore,” O’Rourke proclaimed.

O’Rourke quickly fired back on Twitter by calling Trump a coward for refusing to take a tougher stance on gun control.

“The only thing stopping us from ending this epidemic (of gun violence) is you,” O’Rourke tweeted.

“To be clear: We will buy back every single assault weapon. We‘ll also license every gun & do a background check on every buyer. That’s what the American people want—and deserve,” O’Rourke wrote. “The only thing stopping us from ending this epidemic is you & your cowardice. Do the right thing.”

“Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to allow a vote on a bill that would mandate universal background checks for gun-buyers. A proposed version of the bill passed the House of Representatives late last year.

A bipartisan group of senators have been pushing for a compromise bill that covers most gun purchases but negotiations on that bill have stalled.

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FALLOUT CONTINUES: Ohio gun reform urged; calls in Texas for Trump to stay away

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s Republican governor bucked his party to call for expanded gun laws Tuesday and some Democrats in Texas told President Donald Trump to stay away as both states reeled from a pair of shootings that killed 31 .

A racist screed remained the focus of police investigating the massacre at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, as further details trickled out on the shooter at a popular nightlife strip in Dayton, Ohio, who was described as fascinated with mass murder.

PUSH FOR LEGISLATION IN OHIO

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine urged the GOP-led state Legislature to pass laws requiring background checks for nearly all gun sales and allowing courts to restrict firearms access for people perceived as threats.

Persuading the Legislature to pass such proposals could be an uphill battle. It has given little consideration this session to those and other gun-safety measures already introduced by Democrats and DeWine’s Republican predecessor, John Kasich, also unsuccessfully pushed for a so-called red flag law on restricting firearms for people considered threats.

“We can come together to do these things to save lives,” DeWine said.

EX: OHIO SHOOTER SHARED DARK THOUGHTS

An ex-girlfriend of the Ohio gunman, 24-year-old Connor Betts, said he suffered from bipolar disorder, joked about his dark thoughts and exhibited a fascination with mass shootings.

The woman, Adelia Johnson, said in an online essay that Betts showed her a video of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on their first date.

She said Betts expressed “uncontrollable urges” that she called “red flags,” which eventually led her to call things off in May.

EL PASO DEMOCRATS SHUN TRUMP VISIT

President Donald Trump was planning visits to both cities Wednesday, an announcement that stirred some resistance in El Paso.

Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar of El Paso made clear that the president was not welcome in her hometown as it mourned. Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who was an El Paso congressman for six years, also said Trump should stay away.

Escobar said Tuesday that victims’ families were already using the city’s newly opened resource center where various government and mental health services have set up booths.

“We’ve got to make sure that folks have access to mental health care. There’s going to be a lot of trauma in our community, a lot of children saw things that no human being should see,” Escobar said.

GUN CONTROL AND IMMIGRATION

On Monday, Trump made a vague expression of openness to new gun laws , suggesting a bill to expand gun background checks could be combined with his long-sought effort to toughen the nation’s immigration system but gave no rationale for the pairing.

Studies have repeatedly shown that immigrants have a lower level of criminality than those born in the U.S., both shooting suspects were citizens, and federal officials are investigating anti-immigrant bias as a potential motive in the Texas massacre.

In both El Paso and Dayton, a young white male was identified as the lone suspect. The suspect in the Texas shooting, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, was booked on murder charges. Betts was killed as police quickly swooped in to end his ambush.

 


Associated Press writers Julie Carr Smyth, Kantele Franko, Cedar Attanasio, Astrid Galvan, Morgan Lee, Paul J. Weber, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire contributed to the contents of this report.

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