Twitter took the comment down within hours because it violated a rule forbidding threats of violence and O'Rourke's campaign planned to report the tweet to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to CNN. "Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47", he said. A Twitter spokesman said Cain's tweet was removed for violating the company's terms of service.
Fox News quoted an exchange between O'Rourke's and Hasty that began with the host saying, "I own an AR-15".
Mr Cain tweeted after Mr O'Rourke called during a live TV debate on Thursday night for a ban on semi-automatic rifles.More news: Democratic candidates bash Trump's tariffs, but agree China is a problem
Mr O'Rourke responded: "Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15 - and neither should anyone else".
Cain also called O'Rourke "a child".
Cain, who did not respond to an emailed request for comment, appeared to defend his tweet as simply a version of a popular slogan among American gun rights activists - "Come and take it" - which generically dares any politician to try to confiscate their guns. As The Post's Amy B Wang reported, the former Texas congressman didn't flinch, saying that assault weapons such as AR-15s and AK-47s were developed for combat, and use the kind of high-impact, high-velocity round that "shreds everything inside your body because it was created to do that, so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield, not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers".
"I met the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was shot by an AR-15 and that mother watched her bleed to death over the course of an hour because so many other people were shot by that AR-15 in Odessa, in Midland, there weren't enough ambulances to get to them in time", he continued.More news: Boris Johnson ‘considering building bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland’
Since Aug. 3, when a gunman armed with an AK-style rifle killed 22 people at a Walmart in O'Rourke's hometown of El Paso, the candidate has been an outspoken proponent of stricter gun-control measures, including mandatory buybacks.
On Thursday night, Democratic state Rep.
The O'Rourke campaign reported the tweet to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a campaign spokesperson told the Guardian. "This campus, this state, and this nation are still raw from that racially motivated attack on Latinos in El Paso", moderator Linsey Davis said.
But it escalated an already tense atmosphere in Texas over guns after two mass shootings in August left 29 people dead.More news: Three Australians detained in notorious Iranian jail
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.
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