Aug 17, 2019

In gun reform plan, Beto O'Rourke wants to hold social media liable

Beto O’Rourke speaks at a campaign re-launch on August 15 in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke wants to hold social media platforms liable for failing to ban "hateful activities" like harassment, white nationalism or defamation in his newly unveiled gun reform plan.

Be smart: Efforts to limit or amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — which shields platforms like Google and Facebook from legal liability for users' posts — have historically failed because of free speech protections granted by the First Amendment.

The big picture: In the wake of recent mass shootings, more 2020 candidates are proposing gun control plans that combine standard firearm restrictions with efforts to combat extremism and hate. In the case of the El Paso shooting, the attacker posted an anti-immigrant manifesto on 8chan's message board hours before opening fire.

  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg's gun reform plan includes requiring police to monitor 8chan and online platforms like it.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren's plan identifies white nationalism as a form of domestic terrorism, in reference to the alleged shooter in El Paso.

"... the internet continues to serve as a breeding ground for the rise of domestic terrorists and white supremacists," O'Rourke's proposal reads.

Go deeper: Where 2020 Democrats stand on gun control

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Beto O'Rourke brings gun control campaign to gun show

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke in his hometown of El Paso Thursday. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke visited a gun show in Arkansas Saturday to talk with firearm owners and vendors about his plan to stop gun violence.

Go deeper: Where 2020 Democrats stand on gun control

Keep ReadingArrowAug 18, 2019

After Texas shootings, 2020 Democrats push for gun control measures

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during the 2020 Public Service Forum hosted in Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidates joined fellow 2020 hopeful Beto O’Rourke in speaking of the need for gun control on Saturday following a second mass shooting in Texas in August.

"Don’t know what the motivation is, do not yet know the firearms that were used or how they acquired them, but we do know this is f**ked up. We do know that this has to stop in this country. There is no reason that we have to accept this as our fortune, as our future, as our fate, and yet functionally right now we have. ... To have a Congress that will not ... even pass universal background checks or close those loopholes that allow people to buy a firearm when they should not be able to."
— Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke at an event in Fairfax Station, Virginia
Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 1, 2019

March for Our Lives launches gun control plan to spur 2020 youth vote

David Hogg speaks onstage at March For Our Lives in 2018. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for March For Our Lives

March for Our Lives, started by student activists who survived the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., launched a massive gun control plan Wednesday aimed at kicking off a youth voting surge in 2020.

Why it matters: It was the influential group's first public action since the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

Go deeperArrowAug 21, 2019