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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 McConnellGOP acknowledges struggle to bring down Biden Pew poll: 50 percent approve of Democrats in Congress Pelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' 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 BidenSuspect in FedEx shooting used two assault rifles he bought legally: police US, China say they are 'committed' to cooperating on climate change DC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is MORE, Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerProgressive lawmakers press DHS chief on immigration detention Democrats battle over best path for Puerto Rico Biden's DOJ civil rights nominee faces sharp GOP criticism MORE (N.J.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegWhite House says gas tax won't be part of infrastructure bill The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden meets with bipartisan lawmakers for infrastructure negotiations Senate Republicans label Biden infrastructure plan a 'slush fund' MORE, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisDC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is Florida nurse arrested, accused of threatening to kill Harris Oddsmakers say Harris, not Biden, most likely to win 2024 nomination, election MORE (Calif.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden nominates former NSA deputy director to serve as cyber czar | Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after all | Biden pressed on semiconductor production amid shortage Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after pushback from Klobuchar, Lee Lobbying world MORE (Minn.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWorld passes 3 million coronavirus deaths Sirota: Biden has not fulfilled campaign promise of combating union-busting tactics Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWorld passes 3 million coronavirus deaths Poll: 56 percent say wealth tax is part of solution to inequality Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents MORE (Mass.) and businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangYang expands lead in NYC mayor race: poll Evelyn Yang pens children's book on sexual abuse, reveals she was sexually assaulted as a child Yang pitches plan to revive Broadway, live performances in New York 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 TrumpDC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is Biden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' Taylor Greene defends 'America First' effort, pushes back on critics MORE will sign. Trump has wavered on his support over such a reform measure.