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2020 Candidates Respond to a Tragic Weekend of Mass Shootings

19.08 SOC Candidate Response Blog visuals

The contrast between their response and the current president’s couldn’t be clearer.

This weekend, less than 24 hours apart, two gunmen wearing tactical gear and armed with semi-automatic assault weapons and large-capacity magazines stormed public spaces, wreaking havoc and sowing fear. Twenty-two people died and dozens were injured at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Nine died and dozens were injured outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio.

In Chicago, one trauma hospital was so overwhelmed that it had to stop accepting victims. This just days after tragic shootings in Gilroy and Brooklyn.

We’re heartbroken and we’re angry. Enough is enough.

While President Trump vowed to act in the wake of the attacks, he also blamed video games and mental illness for these tragedies. And Trump’s past inaction, obfuscation, and silence on this issue—not to mention his allegiance to the NRA—gives us no confidence that this time will be any different.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidates stepped up and showed us that they’re ready to fight for solutions. Many of them echoed Gabby’s call for Mitch McConnell to bring Congress back from summer recess to take action on the public safety crisis of gun violence. Many of them have expressed support for Giffords and other gun violence prevention organizations. Many have condemned the hateful rhetoric that seems to have inspired the El Paso shooter, calling out our country’s moral crisis.

Below is a roundup of candidate reactions to this weekend’s tragedies. As we noted after the second round of Democratic debates last week, any of these individuals would be a much stronger leader in saving lives from gun violence than the person who currently sits in the White House.

Beto O’Rourke

Julián Castro

Tim Ryan

Joe Biden

Kirsten Gillibrand


Tulsi Gabbard

Pete Buttigieg


Marianne Williamson

Cory Booker


John Delaney


Andrew Yang

Bernie Sanders

Amy Klobuchar

Jay Inslee

Bill de Blasio


Steven Bullock


John Hickenlooper

Kamala Harris

Elizabeth Warren

If you agree with these candidates that the Senate needs to take action on gun violence now, here’s one thing you can do right now:

Text MITCH to 90975

We’ll connect you to your Senators—tell them you demand an emergency special session to end gun violence starting with a vote on H.R.8, the bipartisan background checks bill that passed the House of Representatives in February.