Beto O’Rourke Praises the Universal Background Checks That Failed to Stop Shootings

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke speaks at the National Forum on Wages and Working People: Creating an Economy That Works for All at Enclave on April 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Six of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are attending the forum, held by the Service Employees International Union …
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Democrat presidential hopeful Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke praised universal background checks on Tuesday but did not acknowledge that such checks failed to stop May 7, 2019, STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting.

That shooting occurred in Colorado, which has had universal background checks in place since 2013.

He also neglected to note that universal background checks failed to prevent the April 27, 2019, San Diego synagogue shooting. California has had universal background checks since the early 1990s.

Moreover, as far as Colorado is concerned, O’Rourke did not mention that universal background checks also failed to stop the November 27, 2015, Planned Parenthood shooting (two civilians and an officer killed); the October 31, 2015, Colorado Springs shooting (three innocents killed); and the December 31, 2017, fatal shooting of Deputy Zackari Parrish.

As far as California is concerned, he failed to mention the May 23, 2014, Santa Barbara shooting (three innocents shot dead, three innocents stabbed to death); the December 2, 2015, San Bernardino attack (14 innocents shot dead); the October 8, 2016, ambush of Palm Springs police officers (two officers killed); the April 18, 2017, Fresno shootings (three innocents killed); the September 11, 2018, Bakersfield shootings (five innocents killed); and the list goes on.

Instead of highlighting the crucial failures of universal background checks, O’Rourke was quoted by CNN as saying:

We know that … those states that have adopted universal background checks and closed every loophole, the ‘Charleston loophole,’ the ‘boyfriend loophole,’ the ‘gun show loophole’ — and make sure that everyone who purchases a firearm goes through a background check — those states have seen a reduction in gun violence of up to 50 percent.

He also did not point out that California witnessed an 18 percent rise in firearm homicides from 2014 to 2016 despite having universal background checks, an “assault weapons” ban, a ten-day waiting period for gun purchases, and myriad other gun controls.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.