After an allegedly hate-motivated shooting left 22 people dead in Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE’s hometown of El Paso, Texas, this month, the former congressman is unveiling a plan to combat white nationalism and gun violence.
O’Rourke’s plan unveiled Friday calls for the creation of a nationwide gun licensing system and registry, universal background checks for gun purchases and creating domestic terrorism offices in the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the FBI.
To combat gun violence, he also called for a gun buyback program, designating gun violence a public health emergency and implementing a federal “red-flag law” that would allow law enforcement to seize weapons from those deemed dangerous in court.
The plan also aims to “block terrorist content online” and require large social media platforms to “create systems designed to remove hateful” activity.
O’Rourke in a statement on the plan blamed the El Paso attack on the rhetoric of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE, whom he has previously called a white supremacist.
“The terrorist attack on El Paso, fueled by the racist rhetoric of Donald Trump, was not only an attack on America, but an attack on the aspirational ideals of this nation,” he said. “Congress’ failure to act has resulted in a democracy that is unwilling to confront an epidemic of gun violence.”
“It’s time for those in positions of public trust to stand up, tell the truth and offer bold solutions without fear of political ramifications so we can finally start making progress and saving lives,” he added.
The shooter in the El Paso incident allegedly posted a manifesto online warning of a “Hispanic invasion” and allegedly told the police he was targeting “Mexicans.”
The day after the incident, nine people were killed in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.
O’Rourke is among nearly two dozen candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. He has struggled in polls and, recently, in donations.
O’Rourke sought to relaunch his campaign Thursday with a speech that described gun violence and racism as existential threats to the U.S. and accused Trump of terrorizing immigrant communities.