White House hopeful Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years MORE (D) got emotional on Saturday when answering a question from a second grader about how to keep schools safe.

"It's not normal, is it? It's not OK. And we owe it to you, we owe it to anybody who's in school, and for that matter their teachers ... to make sure that that safety is there," the South Bend, Ind., mayor said at a campaign stop in California.

"One of the voices that is in my head when someone like you asks a question like that is we cannot let you down," he continued, seemingly choking up. "Those of us in elected office owe it to you to do whatever it takes, even if it means losing an election every now and then."

There have been 13 school shootings so far in 2019, according to Education Week.

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Buttigieg's campaign platform calls for universal background checks for gun purchases, a ban on military-style assault weapons and programs to address gun violence.