2020 Dems express outrage after El Paso shootings

Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during the 2020 Public Service Forum hosted by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) at UNLV on August 3, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Democratic presidential candidates expressed outrage Saturday that mass shootings have becoming chillingly common nationwide and blamed the National Rifle Association and its congressional allies after a gunman opened fire at a shopping area near the Texas-Mexico border.

“It’s not just today, it has happened several times this week. It’s happened here in Las Vegas where some lunatic killed 50 some odd people,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said as he and 18 other White House hopefuls were in Nevada to address the nation’s largest public employees union. “All over the world, people are looking at the United States and wondering what is going on? What is the mental health situation in America, where time after time, after time, after time, we’re seeing indescribable horror.”

Sanders blasted Republican Senate leadership for being “more concerned about pleasing the NRA than listening to the vast majority of the American people” and said that President Donald Trump has a responsibility to support commonsense gun safety legislation.

At least 20 people were killed amid back-to-school shopping in El Paso. A 21-year-old man was taken into custody, law enforcement officials said.

Shortly after the shooting and before its death toll was widely reported, White House officials said Trump was briefed while spending the weekend at his New Jersey golf club. He conveyed his initial reaction on Twitter, writing that the shooting was “terrible” and that he was in close consultation with state officials. He turned to other topics, tweeting a note of encouragement to UFC fighter Colby Covington, a Trump supporter, and retweeting a pair of messages that furthered his recent argument that African Americans had flourished under his administration.

The shooting was far more personal for former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, an El Paso native who represented the city in Congress for six years. He suspended campaigning to fly home and “be with my family and be with my hometown.”

Earlier, O’Rourke appeared shaken as he told the union forum he’d heard early reports that the shooter might have had a military-style weapon, saying the country needs to “keep that (expletive) on the battlefield. Do not bring it into our communities.”

O’Rourke said the U.S. may require direct action, urgency and in some cases nonviolent civil disobedience, to make real change.

“I believe in this country. I believe, at the end of the day, we’re going to be able to get this done,” he said, “but it’s going to be because of those people who force it to get done.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he tried to call O’Rourke and told reporters, “Enough is enough.”

“This is a sickness,” Biden said. “This is beyond anything that we should be tolerating.” He added: “We can beat the NRA. We can beat the gun manufacturers.”

A visibly frustrated Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said: “I believe that the NRA have long dominated American politics to the point where they have stopped sensible legislation that would have prevented deaths and prevented killings. They have done it time and time again.”

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, noted: “We are the only country in the world with more guns than people.”

“It has not made us safer,” he said. “We can respect the Second Amendment and not allow it to be a death sentence for thousands of Americans.”

California Sen. Kamala Harris promised to use an executive action within her first 100 days of taking office to impose gun control. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said, “This has got to be a movement, politics or not, we’ve got to make ending this nightmare a movement before it happens to yet another community or another person dies.”

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted: “Far too many communities have suffered through tragedies like this already. We must act now to end our country’s gun violence epidemic.

___

Associated Press writers Will Weissert in Washington and Jonathan Lemire in Bridgewater, New Jersey, contributed to this report.

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6 comments

  • steve

    As always, the Democrats are screaming about the availability of guns. They say that getting a gun is no different than going to the corner store for a loaf of bread. Bull. People like this nut job will go to the corner store or across town or to another state. If they want a gun, they’ll find one. As they say, guns don’t pull their own trigger. People do,

  • Rj

    Where is their outrage over the 1604 shot and
    273 killed in Chicago so far this year ? Where is their outrage at the 72000 Americans killed by the chemical weapon fentanyl by China that is directly killing Americans and it is even being manufactured in Mexico. Where is that outrage ?

  • George

    As always when the Dems need a distraction there is a mass shooting. We all knew a shooting was coming. Like Dem Rhambo Emanuel said ” Never let a good crisis go to waste” .

  • lml25

    LML25:Note the date of the story-July 30,2019
    DAVID KRAYDEN
    OTTAWA BUREAU CHIEF
    July 30, 2019
    9:17 AM ET
    A far-left movement is reportedly planning a “siege” of El Paso, Texas, in an attempt to raise awareness of alleged abuses at the U.S.-Mexico border. Their promotion poster features explicit depictions of violence, including what appears to be an ICE officer lying dead on the ground, riddled with arrows.

    The so-called “Border Resistance” exercise involves a “militancy training tour that will converge on a 10-day siege in El Paso, TX,” according to a tweet Monday from reporter Andy Ngo.

    Meanwhile, a spokesman for the organization putting the event together flatly denied Ngo’s description.

    “We have no affiliation with Antifa. We are not offering militancy training. We are having educational workshops about what is happening on the border and how to work better inside of communities. It’s not militancy training in any way,” the spokesperson told Lead Stories.

    Andy Ngo, a Portland-based journalist, is seen covered in unknown substance after unidentified Rose City Antifa members attacked him in June.

    The promotional image shows border enforcement officers being killed & government property fire bombed. Organizers are asking for “white comrades to pay for others.”
    LML 25:This “siege”,whatever that means,was not scheduled to take place for 28 more days,however it’s interesting that Texas lieutenant governor Patrick told Antifa today to,”stay out of Texas.”
    Maybe they were already there.

  • Derp

    Politicians: “There’s only two kinds of people and this one kind is responsible for killing everyone, so give me power!”

  • stop the madness

    This is somehow worse than the late term abortions committed everyday? You people make me sick. Watching the lawmakers stand up and cheer for the passage of such heinous crimes against the innocent is a travesty. And yet they pretend to cry outrage and take the high road for horrible acts such as this. Dark days in America.

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