Twitter deletes 'death threat' from Texas lawmaker who targeted Beto O'Rourke

GOP lawmaker criticized over AR-15 gun tweet about Beto O’Rourke

GOP lawmaker criticized over AR-15 gun tweet about Beto O’Rourke

O'Rourke received some of the loudest applause of the night on the Democratic presidential debate stage in Houston on Thursday when he said, "Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47" in response to a question about gun violence in America and how he would address it.

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

Within hours, Twitter removed the tweet for violating its terms of service, but not before O'Rourke took a screenshot. However, it was still captured in a screenshot and shown on O'Rourke's account.

Mr Cain tweeted after Mr O'Rourke called during a live TV debate on Thursday night for a ban on semi-automatic rifles.

Meanwhile, a Texas state lawmaker sent a threatening tweet, which O'Rourke reposted with the message, "Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15-and neither should anyone else".

Cain replied, "You're a child Robert Francis".

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Thousands responded to the tweet before it was taken down, and Cain engaged with some. If the high impact, high velocity round, when it hits your body shreds everything inside of your body because it was created to do that so you would bleed to death on a battlefield, and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers. AR stands for Armalite rifle.

O'Rourke is seeking to breathe life into his campaign amid consistently weak polling performances, and apparently used the occasion of the third Democratic presidential primary debate to go for broke. "This campus, this state, and this nation are still raw from that racially motivated attack on Latinos in El Paso", moderator Linsey Davis said.

O'Rourke has made addressing gun violence and mass shootings a central theme of his presidential campaign over the last few weeks after a series of mass shootings, including one in his hometown of El Paso, rocked the U.S.in August. "The language you are using and the way you are using it is risky".

Cain is a member of the Texas House of Representatives for House District 128, which covers an area east of Houston, where the debate was held.

He added later in the same interview: "If you own a gun, keep that gun".

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