Buttigieg says US has produced 'second school shooting generation'

Buttigieg says US has produced 'second school shooting generation'
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote MORE expressed frustration Tuesday at Congress’s inability to pass legislation to stem gun violence.

Buttigieg said the United States has now “produced the second school shooting generation in this country.”

“We’re supposed to be dealing with this so you don’t have to,” Buttigieg said Tuesday evening at the second Democratic debate in Detroit. “High school is hard enough without worrying that you’re going to get shot.” 

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Buttigieg, who is mayor of South Bend, Ind., said he was in high school at the time of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 and that the current conversation about gun violence is the "exact same conversation” the country was having at that time.

“We have now produced the second school shooting generation in this country,” Buttigieg said. “We dare not allow there to be a third.” 

“This a conversation we have been having for the last 20 years,” Buttigieg said later. 

All candidates on stage Tuesday evening expressed outrage at the lack of progress on gun control.

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocrats: A moment in history, use it wisely The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Rodney Davis says most important thing White House can do on COVID-19 is give consistent messaging; US new cases surpass 50k for first time The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus MORE (D-Minn.) responded to Buttigieg by suggesting the problem isn’t Washington as a whole but the National Rifle Association's (NRA) aggressive lobbying against reforms including universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.

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Klobuchar said that gun control legislation is now “sitting on [Majority Leader] Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPublic awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Democrats: A moment in history, use it wisely 'Comrade' Trump gets 'endorsement' from Putin in new mock ad by Lincoln Project MORE’s [R-Ky.] doorstep” because of the NRA’s opposition to it, and said that she as president “will not fold” in the face of pressure from the NRA. 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed flight Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mt Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' Democratic strategist Andrew Feldman says Biden is moving left MORE (I-Vt.) also took issue with the NRA and said he would have the “guts” to stand up to the organization. 

The candidates were asked Tuesday evening to explain how they would tackle the issue of gun violence in the wake of shootings in Brooklyn, Philadelphia and California.