Washington, D.C., November 20, 2019 – The fifth Democratic primary debate was unacceptably devoid of discussion on the gun violence epidemic in our country. Brady had called on media figures such as the debate’s hosts to address the overwhelming public support for comprehensive gun violence prevention solutions, especially following a week of deadly, high-profile mass shootings across the country. When nearly 300 people in America are shot and 100 are killed by gun violence every day, any discussion among individuals with aspirations of leading this nation must include a conversation on how they would meaningfully address gun violence.
Brady President Kris Brown stated:
"On the same day that Speaker Pelosi called on Senator Mitch McConnell to take action on bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation gathering dust on his desk and less than a week after the Saugus High School shooting, where were the questions on how to stop gun violence in America? In the same vein, why didn’t more candidates address these issues, or the murder of at least 22 trans people in 2019 as it’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, during their time on stage? As our country grapples with nearly daily high-profile mass shootings in the past week, the moderators of this debate let the American people down by not directly and immediately asking candidates about their plans to address the gun violence epidemic. The number of mass shootings in 2019 has now surpassed the number of days this year. This issue is of paramount concern to the American public. It needed to be addressed."
It is surprising that so few candidates mentioned gun violence, given that with the recent shootings at Saugus High School, in Paradise Hills in San Diego, and in Fresno, California, this epidemic has been on the mind and TV screens of the country for the past week. While these events have captured the nation’s attention, they compound upon the daily violence that afflicts all of our communities. We agree with Senator Warren, we should have talked about gun violence.
Violence such as shootings in a barber shop in Newark, New Jersey, a suburban street in Evansville, Indiana, a personal vehicle off a remote highway near Bay Springs, Mississippi, a home in Ocala, Florida, a quiet street in Dallas, Texas, or a street corner in Columbus, Ohio. These local events, as well as those that make no news at all, are hurting our families and traumatizing our communities – and our kids.
Solutions such as the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 8), passed 266 days ago by the U.S. House of Representatives, would expand background checks on gun sales. This measure is supported by a majority of Americans, yet it’s been languishing on Senator Mitch McConnel’s desk while more and more Americans die of gun violence. Since the legislation passed, over 26,000 people have been killed by gun violence in the United States. Blood is on Mitch McConnell’s hands. Americans deserve a discussion of these issues, and they deserve a vote on these bills.
"Tonight’s discussion was inadequate. We’ll be watching the next debate in December for an appropriate response."
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.