Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke have contrasting views on Kyle Rittenhouse’s verdict

The leading Texas gubernatorial candidates have had very different reactions to the acquittal by a Kenosha, Wis., Jury of Kyle Rittenhouse on murder charges.

The case involving the 18-year-old vigilante crystallized the national debate on guns and self-defense.

In Texas, incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott praised the jury’s verdict, while Democratic Party challenger Beto O’Rourke lamented the outcome.

After the verdict, Abbott took to Twitter to exclaim “Rittenhouse – NOT GUILTY!”

O’Rourke was gloomy.

“This sets a very dangerous precedent that a young man, in fact a 17-year-old could carry a weapon originally designed for use on the battlefield on the streets of a community and shoot a certain number of people, killing two of them, and being able to get by completely without scot, ”O’Rourke said during a recording of The politics of the lone star, a Sunday political show produced by The morning news from Dallas and KXAS (NBC 5).

“You know, our thoughts are of course with the victims of this terrible tragedy, but they also go to the country and communities of Texas, who are concerned about the level of violence that we are seeing right now, and the fact that after Le Governor Abbott’s radical gun program, more people will have more loaded guns without background checks, training, and the kind of oversight law enforcement requires or wants to keep our communities safe.

In response, Abbott’s campaign spokesperson Mark Miner asked O’Rourke to explain his positions.

“Beto ‘O Rourke needs to explain his open border, anti-law enforcement, and anti-Second Amendment policies that put him in line with Joe Biden on Texans,” Miner said. “He’s in a better position to run for mayor of Austin than for governor of Texas.”

Rittenhouse has been charged with manslaughter, attempted homicide and recklessly endangering security for killing two men and injuring a third with an AR-type semi-automatic rifle.

The Kenosha shooting took place on a night of protests against police violence against black residents. It was part of the summer of 2020 which was marked by protests and calls for social change.

Rittenhouse is white, just like those he shot. The jury appeared to be predominantly white, according to The Associated Press.

The Republican candidates for governor of Texas – former State Senator Donald Huffines and former State GOP Chairman Allen West of Garland – have also welcomed the verdict.

“The not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case is a victory not only for Kyle but for all patriots in our country,” Huffines said in a statement. “Sir. Rittenhouse acted courageously to stand up for himself and his community, but it was clear from the start that the radical left was seeking revenge, not justice.

“Everyone in this republic has a right to defend themselves, and I am glad the jury has sided with Mr. Rittenhouse in this obvious example of self-defense,” West said in a statement. “The Second Amendment is not about dove hunting, but about the protection of life and liberty. Justice, not the bullying left-wing media and the mob, prevailed.

The Rittenhouse case also sparked more debate about gun control.

Since Monday, when he entered the gubernatorial race, O’Rourke has had to defend his belief that assault-type weapons should be banned and confiscated.

“Look, we’re a proud state to own guns and we’re also very proud of the responsibility we take on owning and using a gun like millions of Texans,” O’Rourke said on The politics of the lone star. “I think I can say with great confidence that we don’t want to worry about being shot with a weapon of war in a Walmart or a movie theater or a church or in our schools… We want to vigorously protect the Second Amendment right to own firearms for hunting, for sport, for self-defense.

He added that the new unlicensed portering law made Texans less safe.

“What we can also agree on is that what Abbott did in rejecting law enforcement advice by signing into law an unlicensed port that allows anyone to wear a loaded gun in public is going to make us a lot less safe in our communities, and make it much harder for law enforcement to do their job.

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