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 McConnellTrump's election delay red herring On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs major conservation bill into law | Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official | Trump Jr. expresses opposition to Pebble Mine project 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 BidenMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Hillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation Biden offers well wishes to Lebanon after deadly explosion MORE, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerUSAID appointee alleges 'rampant anti-Christian sentiment' at agency OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA rule extends life of toxic coal ash ponds | Flint class action suit against Mich. officials can proceed, court rules | Senate Democrats introduce environmental justice bill Senate Democrats introduce environmental justice bill MORE (N.J.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegFormer Indiana Gov. Joe Kernan dies How Republicans can embrace environmentalism and win In politics, as in baseball, it ain't over till it's over MORE, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisMichelle Obama supporters urge Biden to pick former first lady as running mate Michelle Obama wishes Barack a happy birthday: 'My favorite guy' Harris endorses Democrat in tight California House race MORE (Calif.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharLobbying world Biden should pick the best person for the job — not the best woman House committee requests hearing with postmaster general amid mail-in voting concerns MORE (Minn.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersLongtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary Hillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation Schiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTrump says government to review 5M Kodak loan deal Michelle Obama supporters urge Biden to pick former first lady as running mate On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again MORE (Mass.) and businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangIs this the end of the 'college experience'? Biden campaign to take over 'Supernatural' star's Instagram for interview Hillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology 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 TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE will sign. Trump has wavered on his support over such a reform measure.