Candidates Invoke Personal Experiences With Gun Violence And Blast NRA’s Lobbying Influence
Mayor Pete Buttigieg spoke about the "school shooting generations" that the country is producing, and Gov. Steve Bullock, a hunter himself, talked about ridding D.C. of powerful lobbies that hold sway over a public health policy issue. The discussion at the debate showcases just how far the political conversation around the topic of gun control has come even from the 2008 debates between then-candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The New York Times:
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Violence: ‘I Was Part Of The First Generation That Saw Routine School Shootings’
Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Gov. Steve Bullock on Tuesday night both spoke in stark terms about how the epidemic of gun violence had personally affected them. During the Democratic presidential debate, Mr. Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., recalled being in high school when two students killed 12 classmates and a teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. “I was part of the first generation that saw routine school shootings,” Mr. Buttigieg said. “We have now produced the second school shooting generation in this country. We dare not allow there to be a third.” (Corasaniti, 7/30)
Democrats' Gun Control Debate Grows Into Argument Over Money In Politics
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, was the top-polling candidate on the stage, touted his poor ratings from the NRA as proof of his ability to effect major change. “Nobody up here is going to tell you that we have a magical solution to the crisis,” Sanders said. “I have a ‘D-’ voting record from the NRA. And as president, I suspect it will be an ‘F’ record.” (McDonald, 7/30)
2020 Debate: Gilroy Victim Stephen Romero, 6, Invoked On Guns
A candidate debating gun control at Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary debate invoked the youngest victim of the mass shooting Sunday at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California. “When that little 6-year-old boy died, Stephen Romero, when his dad said, ‘he’s only 6 years old’ — all I can say is: He’s 6 years old. We have to remember that,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., as she called for gun control measures such as universal background checks. (Gilmour, 7/30)
Los Angeles Times:
What Are The 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates' Positions On Gun Control?
Over the last decade, an unrelenting stream of mass shootings with increasing body counts has horrified the public, fanned liberal activism and emboldened Democrats to embrace gun control policies that would dramatically increase the federal government’s restrictions on gun purchases. Almost every candidate in the field supports universal background checks, implementing “red flag” laws to take away guns from high-risk individuals, and bringing back a ban on the sale of “assault” weapons similar to the one the nation had between 1994 and 2004. And they have not been apologetic about it. (Pearce, Finnegan and Hook, 7/30)
In other gun safety news —
Gun Control Could Finally Have Its Moment In Virginia
Gun control had already become a rising issue in Virginia after 12 people were killed in a mass shooting in Virginia Beach on May 31. A recent legislative breakdown over gun laws demonstrates how it could be a centerpiece of the state’s upcoming elections. Virginia has a Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, but both houses of its legislature are narrowly controlled by Republicans, who have a 51-48 majority in the lower house and a one-seat advantage in the Senate. (Kim, 7/30)