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This week’s events in Uvalde, Texas have left many people feeling raw. Given the magnitude of the tragedy, it is understandable for people to react in their own way; be that through fear, anger, sadness, or even a sense of righteous indignation.
What, however, is neither understandable nor acceptable was the behavior of Robert ‘Beto’ O’Rourke. During a press conference in the aftermath of the shooting, O’Rourke pulled a political publicity stunt in an attempt to make it all about himself.
“This was totally preventable,” Beto shouted at the governor. “You’re doing nothing, this is totally predictable.”
Two important points should be made about O’Rourke’s outburst. The first was that this tragedy was not totally preventable. Unfortunately, the nature of such attacks involves loners who slip into the shadows of a broken society.
No matter the failings of politicians, law enforcement, or society, the sheer availability of firearms and people with mental health issues means that these rare but devastating attacks are notoriously difficult to predict. No matter what legislation is enacted, individuals in a state of mind as to massacre innocent children will inevitability find ways to bypass the law.
The second point is that O’Rourke’s outburst was not only wrong but wholly self-serving and inappropriate. At a time of national grieving, his stunt was merely an attempt to weaponize the situation in a way that may positively impact his chances as the Democratic candidate in the Texas gubernatorial race later this year.
It is likely that ‘Beto’ (a false alias intended to make him appear Hispanic and somehow more appealing to that demographic) genuinely cares about the massacre and ways future attacks can be prevented. Yet that stunt was not for the victims or the families of this massacre. It was for himself.
This article originally appeared in El American’s newsletter on May 27, 2022. Subscribe for free here!
Ben Kew is English Editor of El American. He studied politics and modern languages at the University of Bristol where he developed a passion for the Americas and anti-communist movements. He previously worked as a national security correspondent for Breitbart News. He has also written for The Spectator, Spiked, PanAm Post, and The Independent
Ben Kew es editor en inglés de El American. Estudió política y lenguas modernas en la Universidad de Bristol, donde desarrolló una pasión por las Américas y los movimientos anticomunistas. Anteriormente trabajó como corresponsal de seguridad nacional para Breitbart News. También ha escrito para The Spectator, Spiked, PanAm Post y The Independent.