BY PATRICK SVITEK, Texas Tribune
Beto O’Rourke caused a dramatic scene on Wednesday when he angrily confronted Gov. Greg Abbott at his Uvalde news conference about the school shooting, yelling, “This is on you.”
After Abbott was done giving his initial remarks, O’Rourke charged toward the stage and told Abbott he was “doing nothing” to combat gun violence. He said the Uvalde massacre, in which a gunman killed 19 children and two adults, was “totally predictable.”
“You are doing nothing, you are offering us nothing,” he told Abbott from the floor as security worked to remove him.
“Someone needs to stand up for the children of this state or they will continue to be killed just like they were killed in Uvalde yesterday,” he said before walking out of the building.
Some of the Republican officials onstage with Abbott quickly denounced O’Rourke, screaming at him to go away. Another man onstage used expletives to criticize O’Rourke for interrupting the event.O’Rourke was eventually escorted away amid the unruly scene. Some in the crowd cheered O’Rourke on saying, “Let him speak.”
“I can’t believe that you’re a sick son of a bitch that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue,” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told O’Rourke at one point.
Once the scene calmed down, Abbott called for unity.“There are family members that are crying as we speak,” he said. “There are family members whose hearts are broken. There’s no words that anybody shouting can come up here and do anything to heal these broken hearts.”
O’Rourke became outspoken about gun violence in 2019 after his hometown of El Paso was the site of a deadly mass shooting that left 23 people dead. He famously backed an assault rifle buy back program when he ran president.