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Beto O'Rourke campaign sells profane T-shirts to support gun control

Fact check: Trump on gun control
Fact check: Trump on gun control 00:33

Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is selling a new T-shirt on his campaign website that has a profane message about gun violence. It repeats "This is f*cked up" six times and concludes with a call to action that reads, "End gun violence now."

"Beto for America" is printed at the bottom.

Beto O'Rourke This is f*cked up tee screenshot, O'Rourke campaign website

The shirt, sold in unisex and women's cuts, is unusual for campaign wear in that it prominently features profanity. The words echo O'Rourke's own response to the recent mass shooting in West Texas on Saturday.

"We don't know how many have been killed. We don't know the motivation. But here's what we do know: This is f***** up," he said at an event in Fairfax Station, Virginia, after news of the shooting broke. He later tweeted the video from the event.

His campaign declined to comment further, but O'Rourke defended his use of profanity in talking about gun control during an interview with MSNBC on Sunday, taking Minneapolis Rabbi Michael Latz's perspective on the question.

"Rabbi Latz came up on my Twitter feed and he said, 'Profanity is not the F-bomb. What is profane is a 17-month-old baby being shot in the face. What is profane is losing the life of a high school student in that shooting yesterday. He will not be returning to school tomorrow. What is profane is 40,000 gun violence deaths in this country.'"

O'Rourke suggested that the rhetoric that's been used to respond to gun violence has fallen far short. "What we've been saying, the rhetoric we've been using, the policies and practices and politics of this country has not been as urgent as enough as needed. It doesn't meet this crisis," he added. "So let`s speak clearly and bluntly and then take decisive action. Universal background checks, red flag laws, ending the sales of weapons of war."

Also, none of the revenues from the tee shirt sales will support O'Rourke's campaign. Instead, the campaign says on its website that all of the proceeds will be "shared equally between Mom's Demand Action and March for Our Lives," two gun control groups.

The campaign also notes on its site that the shirts are made in the U.S. and are union-printed.

Tim Perry contributed to this report.

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