O'Rourke calls on other 2020 Democrats to sign on to gun plan

O'Rourke calls on other 2020 Democrats to sign on to gun plan
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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is calling on his fellow 2020 primary opponents to sign onto the March for Our Lives plan that outlines a progressive gun reform policy agenda. 

“So we’re left with a choice. We can stick by what we’ve been doing — playing it safe, while we beg Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: 'It never occurred to me' convincing Americans to get vaccinated would be difficult The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal MORE to take action on the floor of Congress. Or we can follow the lead of the students marching for their lives and for all of ours, who are demanding we do more to protect them,” the former Texas congressman wrote in an op-ed published in Teen Vogue on Monday. 

“I choose the kids. And the question I have for my fellow Democrats in this race and in Congress is: Do you?”

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The “Peace Plan for a Safer America” calls for a mandatory buyback program of assault-style weapons. O’Rourke has been an outspoken advocate for such a proposal since a mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, killed 22 people at a Walmart. 

Several other 2020 primary candidates back a buyback program, but O’Rourke is the only candidate to sign onto the March for Our Lives plan, according to his campaign. 

The March for Our Lives movement was started by survivors of the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., It inspired marches across the country. 

O’Rourke, in his op-ed, recalls marching with his son Henry on his shoulders in the El Paso march. 

As we finished marching, we were met by counter-protesters flaunting AR-15s. And when Henry saw them, he asked me why they were there — because, in his mind, assault weapons didn’t belong at a March For Our Lives,” O’Rourke wrote. 

“I told him he didn’t have anything to worry about. ‘Just ignore them,’ I said. But when an alleged white supremacist killed 22 people in my hometown of El Paso with a similar weapon, I realized I was wrong and Henry was right,” he added. 

O’Rourke’s op-ed was published before a gun safety forum co-hosted by March for Our Lives that will feature 10 Democratic presidential candidates on Wednesday. 

Along with O’Rourke, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Former New York state Senate candidate charged in riot MORE, Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerSenate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Juan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer Congress can make progress on fighting emissions with Zero Food Waste Act MORE (N.J.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegChasten Buttigieg: DC 'almost unaffordable' JD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary MORE, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWant to improve vaccine rates? Ask for this endorsement Biden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act Will Pence primary Trump — and win? MORE (Calif.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharOvernight Health Care: CDC advises vaccinated to wear masks in high-risk areas | Biden admin considering vaccine mandate for federal workers Four senators call on Becerra to back importation of prescription drugs from Canada Biden signals tough stance on tech with antitrust picks MORE (Minn.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Lawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans Warren hits the airwaves for Newsom ahead of recall election Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action MORE (Mass.) and businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Kings launch voting rights effort honoring John Lewis Eric Adams to meet with Biden on curbing gun violence MORE will participate. 

Gun reform activists have been pushing for Congress to pass a universal background check bill in the wake of mass shootings across the country over the summer. 

The House passed a universal background check bill in February but it has yet to be called for a vote in the Senate. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has shifted the focus to the White House, saying he will only call a bill to a vote that President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE will sign. Trump has wavered on his support over such a reform measure.