On August 3, a white supremacist terrorist entered an El Paso Wal-Mart and killed 20 people. His stated purpose was killing as many Latinos as possible. Our hearts are broken. We’re sending love to all of our Texas family there. It is such a generous, loving and safe community. And we recommit ourselves to taking meaningful action to end the public health crisis of gun violence continues to take lives every day in this country.
We do not have to live like this. But our current state leadership has absolutely failed in their sworn duty to protect its citizens, and our own Congressman is more interested in kowtowing to the NRA than in keeping us safe.
Texas law allows the open carry of semiautomatic rifles. It does not require a background check, training or an age limit. Walmart allows open carry. And yet 20 people were killed. More guns does not equal more safety.
This country can not bear more inaction. You’re either sticking up for machines created to murder the most people and the corporations that profit from selling them, or you’re sticking up for the people of Texas.
We choose the people of Texas. And we won’t stop fighting until public life in America is safe again.
There are concrete solutions to the public health crisis of gun violence in America. It is not too soon to call for them, and saying it is dishonors the victims of the El Paso shooting, their families, and every other survivor of gun violence in this country. My commitments to common sense gun safety legislation include:
- - universal background checks,
- - a ban on public sale of weapons of war, designed to kill the most people with the most efficiency,
- - strong red flag laws,
- - closing the gun show loophole,
- - opposing concealed carry reciprocity,
- - and repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act for both gun manufacturers and gun retailers.
But we need to be clear about the El Paso shooting. This is not a mental health issue. This is not a video games issue. This is not a prayer in schools issue.
This was an act of white supremacist terrorism.
It was carried out by someone who drove 9 hours with the explicit purpose of killing Hispanics and Latinos, and who subscribes to an ideology that very closely mirrors statements that corporate right-wing media pundits and the president himself makes, every day.
We need to push back on the narrative that politicians try to hide behind to avoid accountability: that it's video games, or a lack of prayer in schools, or it's “mental illness”. Texas is the most uninsured state in the country, and blaming “mental illness” for a politically motivated act of terror further stigmatizes those who can’t get the care they need in a country that does not provide healthcare to its citizens, in a state where millions do not have health insurance.
Let's be clear. Call it what it is. White supremacist terrorism.
Federal and TX law enforcement must present their plan to identify, disrupt and dismantle white nationalist terror networks, and hold the individuals and corporations who have enabled it accountable -- including Donald Trump.