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 McConnellSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Trump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in 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 BidenJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad MORE, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSpeculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Conway: Trump is 'toying with everybody' by attacking Bloomberg for stop-and-frisk comments Democratic rivals sharpen attacks as Bloomberg rises MORE (N.J.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad MORE, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisConway: Trump is 'toying with everybody' by attacking Bloomberg for stop-and-frisk comments The Hill's Campaign Report: New challenges for 2020 Dems in Nevada, South Carolina Beleaguered Biden turns to must-win South Carolina MORE (Calif.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Judd Gregg: Bloomberg rising MORE (Minn.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Budget hawks frustrated by 2020 politics in entitlement reform fight MORE (Mass.) and businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangTrump seeks split-screen moments in early primary states More accusers come forward after Evelyn Yang breaks silence on alleged assault by OBGYN Sanders leads Biden in latest Nevada poll 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 John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE will sign. Trump has wavered on his support over such a reform measure.