Texas GOP lawmaker's tweet escalates tension over guns

State Rep. Briscoe Cain R Deer Park in 2017

Struggling Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke is getting desperate in his quest to appeal to the far-left base, even declaring on his campaign website Thursday night: "The president of the United States of America is a white supremacist".

That prompted Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain, a Republican, to publish a tweet taunting O'Rourke.

"No one should have an AR-15 that they could hold over someone else in this country, say, 'Look, if we disagree on something, let me introduce you to my AR-15.' Absolutely wrong", O'Rourke said.

O'Rourke's birth name is Robert Francis O'Rourke, and he has been mocked by Republican lawmakers for using his nickname, Beto.

Beto O'Rourke's presidential campaign has reported a Texas state lawmaker's tweet about him to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a death threat.

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This is a death threat, Representative. "If you purchased that AR-15, if you own it, keep it".

Cain also called O'Rourke "a child".

Mary González of Clint responded to Cain's original tweet by saying the state needs leaders who want to change "our culture of violence".

"I met the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was shot by an AR-15 and that mother watched her bleed to death over the course of an hour because so many other people were shot by that AR-15 in Odessa, in Midland, there weren't enough ambulances to get to them in time", he continued. O'Rourke's staff reported they were seeing record online fund-raising numbers in the wake of his comments. AR stands for Armalite rifle. At Thursday night's primary debate, he said "hell yes" he would take those guns.

Cain's assertion that his AR-15 was "ready" struck many as insensitive in light of the mass shootings that took place last month in El Paso and Odessa, Texas, where a gunman armed with an assault-style rifle killed seven and injured 22. A gunman who told police he was targeting Mexicans opened fire at a Walmart on August 3 and killed 22 people, most of whom had Hispanic last names. Before then he was a congressman for El Paso.

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