FORT DODGE, Iowa — The latest mass shooting in Odessa, Texas, is re-sparking the gun debate for Democratic presidential candidates, just four weeks after the El Paso and Dayton shootings.
Some are bringing up their policy ideas or calling out the NRA, but all of them are demanding action.
Gun violence is a public health crisis—and our country is being held hostage by a small group of well-financed extremists. I will break the NRA’s stranglehold on Congress and sign comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation within my first 100 days. https://t.co/oNOjva3Rak
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 1, 2019
Together, we will beat the @NRA. We will end this gun violence epidemic.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 1, 2019
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.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) September 1, 2019
Presidential candidates Joe Sestak and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, spoke to the Western Iowa Labor Federation in Fort Dodge on Sunday. The two candidates touted their military experience and talked about the importance of the working class, but both did not bring up the mass shooting.
Channel 13 spoke to both candidates during the event and asked them about their plans for gun control.
Sestak said gun legislature needs to be treated like the First Amendment.
“We have freedom of speech but you can’t run into a movie and yell ‘fire.’ There’s limits and that’s how this nation has got to understand gun control,” he said.
Both candidates called for gun control. They believe is the most sensible for the country’s safety, while agreeing on universal background checks.
Gabbard called for “red flag” laws and condemned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for sitting on the universal background checks bill.
“This is an issue that’s bigger than partisan politics. This is about helping take care of each other to make sure we have safe communities,” she said.
Sestak went a little further and called for a ban on assault-style weapons, drawing on his experience with them when he was in the Navy.
“Why is there any need for the kind of assault weapons we had out there here at home?” he said.
Although the two candidates did not touch on the mass shooting in their speech to voters, they gave their sales pitches to the crowd and talked about other topics.
Both Gabbard and Sestak did not qualify for the third Democratic debates.