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O'Rourke on CNN: America's mass shooting epidemic is "f***ed up"

Former Texas Rep. and 2020 Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke continued his crusade in favor of gun control measures on Sunday after his home state experienced yet another mass shooting on Saturday, killing 7 people and injuring more than 20.

"100 killed daily in the United States of America. We're averaging about 300 mass shootings a year. No other country comes close. So yes, this is f***ed up. If we don't call it out for what it is, if we're not able to speak clearly, if we're not able to act decisively, then we'll continue to have this kind of bloodshed in America. And I cannot accept that. We're going to speak as defiantly and as strongly as we can, but we're also going to take action. Universal background checks, red flag laws, an end to the sales of weapons of war and buying those AK-47s and AR-15s back so they cannot be used against our fellow Americans."

The big picture: O'Rourke's rhetoric on gun control has been core to his campaign in the month since the mass shooting in El Paso that killed 22 people, with his emotional appearances on cable news and in speeches going viral on several occasions. O'Rourke called for a mandatory government buyback of "every assault weapon in America" in an op-ed in USA Today last month, and he doubled down on his plan on Saturday.

  • Asked by a reporter how he would reassure people who are afraid the government will take their assault weapons, O'Rourke responded: "I want to be really clear that that’s exactly what we are going to do."

Go deeper: 2020 Democrats push for gun control measures after Texas shootings