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.
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.
My heart is broken. For El Paso. For Dayton. For everyone who is impacted by the 40,000 gun deaths in our country every year. It’s on each and every one of us to end this crisis—and together, I still have faith that we will.
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 4, 2019
In just 24 hours, our nation suffered 29 murders in two mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso.
We could have protected these victims with common sense gun reform.
It’s not too late to prevent the next attack — Congress and the President must act now.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) August 4, 2019
Mitch McConnell needs to get off his ass and start passing legislation.
This has been a brutal 24 hours for all Americans. Our day to day lives are under fire and we are living in constant fear. We can’t have any more condolences. It’s time for action. pic.twitter.com/vKCNbQLodW
— Tim Ryan (@TimRyan) August 5, 2019
Enough is enough. As a nation, we need to take common-sense steps to end this epidemic of gun violence.@senatemajldr Mitch McConnell should reconvene the Senate and pass the House’s universal background check bill. We cannot wait to take action. https://t.co/0OLqH0xxcl
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 5, 2019
Sen. McConnell should call the Senate back into session now. We should vote on universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and large magazines, and anti-gun trafficking measures. These three things will help keep our communities safer, and we can’t afford to wait.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) August 4, 2019
This is a dark day in America. Less than 24 hours ago, it was El Paso. Today, Dayton. Tomorrow? These lives lost are an immediate and tragic consequence of racism and bigotry being used to divide us. Enough. We are one nation. We must stand together and end this madness.
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) August 4, 2019
Will the President of the United States leave his golf resort, go back to Washington, address the nation, condemn—in no uncertain terms—white nationalism, and call for the Senate to convene tomorrow to enact at least the most basic gun safety reforms that most Americans want? pic.twitter.com/GEVLkLuWei
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) August 4, 2019
At a certain point it isn’t about what happened; it’s about who we choose to be regarding what happened. Each of us must rise to the occasion now, committing to the electoral defeat of any politician who supports the NRA. Gun safety legislation must be the cry of our generation.
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) August 3, 2019
This is a national crisis. Mitch McConnell needs to bring the Senate back from recess right now and hold votes on legislation to protect Americans from gun violence. Enough. We need to end this carnage now.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 4, 2019
The horrific tragedies in El Paso/Dayton underscore two awful realities in our country: the NRA’s manipulation of our democracy & growing domestic terrorism/hate crimes. Trump’s spineless approach to the NRA enables the first & his words encourage the second. We can change this.
— John Delaney (@JohnDelaney) August 4, 2019
And hours later another mass shooting this time in Dayton, Ohio – the death toll could have been much higher. Enough is enough. We need common sense gun laws. We owe it to ourselves, our children and the countless Americans impacted by gun violence to get this right.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) August 4, 2019
If you have had ENOUGH of the epidemic levels of gun violence in this country, consider making a donation to @GiffordsCourage, one of the organizations leading the fight to change our gun laws: https://t.co/DHdacDzLMl
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 4, 2019
My heart breaks for El Paso and those killed and injured by another mass shooting. This can’t keep happening. It just can’t. Every day Congress refuses to act and pass gun laws is a horrible omission of responsibility. This is a tragedy.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) August 3, 2019
Today, America woke up to the second mass shooting in 24 hours. This is a crisis — and a crisis of leadership.
We can’t wait one more day to stand up to the NRA and pass commonsense gun laws.
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) August 4, 2019
Bill de Blasio
Urgent memo to the Senate: COME. BACK. TO. SESSION.
Take a break from the thoughts and prayers and honor the lives of those murdered by passing the universal background check bill that the House already passed. https://t.co/y7oGI4fPC2
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) August 5, 2019
We cannot confront this epidemic of gun violence with empty words.
We are El Paso.
We are Dayton.
We are Americans.
It’s time for action.
— Steve Bullock (@GovernorBullock) August 5, 2019
“I think at this point, every American should be calling their Congressional representatives and saying, ‘All right, the House passed a bill on universal background checks; why is it that the Senate hasn’t taken it up now?'”https://t.co/oblL6briaT
— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) August 5, 2019
Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough — we need action. Split a contribution today between @GiffordsCourage, @bradybuzz, and @MomsDemand who are actively working to end this public health emergency. https://t.co/khTUfYFsWD
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 4, 2019
The House passed a bill more than 5 months ago to require basic background checks on gun sales — the very least we can do to keep our loved ones safe. How many more people need to die before @SenateMajLdr McConnell puts aside @NRA interests and gives that bill a vote?
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) August 4, 2019
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.