Updated Sep 1, 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
What they're saying:

Julián Castro, a former HUD secretary and mayor of San Antonio, tweeted, "My prayers are with our country and with West Texas tonight—not prayers that absolve us from inaction—but that we will each find the strength within us to act. To act boldly, swiftly, so that one day our grandchildren won’t believe the stories of what these days were like.

"I want to reach out to Republicans in the Senate, who refuse to act, who refuse to move on gun reform, and I want to ask them: What is the number? How many Americans are you willing to sacrifice to the NRA?"

Former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted, "I’m heartbroken, sickened, & angry. Weeks after the horror in El Paso, another community in Texas has been terrorized by gun violence. Enough. We must end this epidemic. Dr. Biden & I send our thoughts to those affected & thank our law enforcement who responded at great risk."

Sen Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) tweeted, "I'm heartsick for the victims of this latest mass shooting in Odessa and Midland. We shouldn't have to live with this near daily fear and horror. We've already lost far too many to gun violence — Congress must act now."

Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) tweeted, "I’m heartbroken for the families of the victims in the Odessa and Midland shooting. Our children deserve a future without multiple mass shootings in one month. We need gun safety reform."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told reporters Americans are sick, tired and horrified by the "never-ending mass shootings" and they want an expansion of background checks, to "do away with the gun show loophole" and the "straw man' provision."

"A significant majority now, according to recent polls, want to ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons — that is what we should be doing. ... One of the outrages that is going on in this country right now is that we have a Republican Party that ignores what the American people want and simply is intimidated by the NRA. As president of the United States, I will not be intimidated by the NRA."

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg tweeted, "Enough. Texas, my heart is with you. America, we must act."

Sen. Corey Booker (N.J) tweeted, "Beginning on Day One in office, I will take executive action to reduce gun violence—closing dangerous loopholes in gun sales, cracking down on gun manufacturers, and investing in communities impacted by gun violence."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) tweeted, "More shootings. More tragic losses. Again in Texas. I wanted us to go back to work in the Senate weeks ago to pass the bills to start fixing this. They didn’t. No more of the same playbook: (1) promises made; (2) NRA meeting; (3) promises broken. We need to act."

Venture for America founder Andrew Yang tweeted, "We are the only country that struggles with gun violence at this level. Other countries respond to tragedy. We must as well. Our people deserve better than to live in fear and be struck down at random. We are better than this. We will do better for our kids."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more comments from 2020 candidates on gun control.

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