2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke said Thursday that the nation’s financial institutions should take a more active role in curbing gun violence by prohibiting the purchase of firearms.
“Credit cards have enabled many of America’s mass shootings in the last decade,” O’Rourke wrote on Twitter. “And with Washington unwilling to act, they need to cut off the sales of weapons of war today.”
Credit cards have enabled many of America’s mass shootings in the last decade—and with Washington unwilling to act, they need to cut off the sales of weapons of war today. https://t.co/yqLHMF0EWD
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 12, 2019
Shooters have indeed used credit cards to purchase weapons used in several mass shootings, according to a report by the New York Times. The Times reported last December that eight of the shootings that killed 10 or more people in the last decade included weapons financed on credit.
Many would argue, however, that mass shooters would find their weapons of destruction regardless of credit cards being allowed to purchase them, by withdrawing cash or getting the funds from somewhere else.
Regardless, some banks have already begun to distance themselves from gun manufacturers. Citigroup and Bank of America have both ended lending to and relationships with gunmakers.
O’Rourke’s encouragement for financial institutions to step in on gun control comes the same day the former congressman will appear on stage in Houston along with nine other White House rivals for the third Democratic presidential primary debate.
Since entering the race, O’Rourke has jump-started his campaign several times, the last time in August after taking a few days off the campaign trail following the mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso that killed 22 people. O’Rourke, who was already an avid supporter of stricter gun laws prior to his candidacy, has pivoted even further to the left on the issue since the El Paso massacre, endorsing a mandatory Australian-style gun “buy-back” program at the federal level.
Having made gun control an issue central to his candidacy, O’Rourke has ramped up the rhetoric on the issue, even using profanity on cable news and selling T-shirts with the words “THIS IS F*CKED UP,” repeated six times across the front followed by the text, “End gun violence now.”
New in the store…
— Team Beto (@TeamBeto) September 1, 2019
O’Rourke’s doubling down of his aggressive stance on the issue Thursday previews what the candidate is expected to talk about during the evening’s debate at Texas Southern University. O’Rourke is going into the debate struggling to pick up momentum in the race, polling with an average 2.8 percent support in RealClearPolitics’ latest aggregate of polls, putting the former congressman in seventh place.