White nationalism, Congress, and Donald Trump are to blame for mass shootings say 2020 Democratic candidates
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s hometown was struck with tragedy this weekend, after a mass shooting inside an El Paso, Texas, Walmart left 20 people dead and at least 26 people wounded Saturday.
On the campaign trail in Las Vegas with nine other candidates, O’Rourke, visibly emotional, said he was cutting his trip short to fly back to El Paso, which he represented while in Congress. He went on to deliver a message that has been echoed by the wide field of 2020 candidates, all of whom decried political inaction on gun reform following the attack.
“There is no luxury in this democracy of sitting this one out, whether it is gun violence, whether it is many of the issues we discuss today,” O’Rourke said at a trade union forum. “Universal background checks, a stop to all sales of weapons of wars, some initial reports were that it was a military style weapon or weapons used in Cielo Vista Mall, keep that shit on the battlefield, do not bring it into our communities, I don’t want to see it in our malls or in our schools or in our churches or in our synagogues.”
Just hours later, nine more died in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio early Sunday morning; more than two dozen others were injured. The weekend of violence has reinvigorated the national conversation around gun violence in America, particularly among Democratic presidential candidates.
But the focus hasn’t only been on inaction in Congress. As law enforcement investigates reports that the El Paso shooter published an anti-immigrant manifesto online before carrying out the attack, Democratic candidates are also calling out President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly used racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric and has courted support among white nationalist groups.
“Multiple news organizations have reported the gunman shared a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted. “If true, let us be clear: this would be yet another white nationalist domestic terror attack. After every tragedy the Senate, intimidated by the NRA’s power, does nothing ... We must treat this violent racism like the security threat that it is. That means investing in law enforcement resources to combat the growing population of white nationalists who are engaging in violence.”
2020 Democratic candidates all called out Republican inaction on gun control
In responding to the mass shootings, 2020 Democrats are calling out inaction on gun control. Candidates currently in Congress say these tragedies are followed with an all too common cycle: an outpouring of thoughts and prayers, and then a short lived debate on gun control that has never amounted to real change.
“We are in this unimaginably just distraught moment in this country, where we seem to be almost accepting this idea that these are going to be a regular occurrence,” Sen. Cory Booker, (D-NJ) told reporters in Las Vegas. “And so I have had enough of this, especially living in a community where gunshots are all too regular.”
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