September 22, 2019

Here is a clip of a speech given by Beto O'Rourke on Saturday in Des Moines and one thing is clear: His positions on gun control are serious and sincere and he is not backing down. Here is some of what he said:

"One of the things I've learned over the course of this campaign all across Iowa and all across the United States of America is we are all in this together. We are all connected for better and for worse. In El Paso, Texas, on August 3, we are one of the safest cities in the United States of America, not despite the fact that we are a city of immigrants at asylum-seekers and refugees but because we are a city of immigrants and asylum-seekers and refugees.

[cheers and applause]

There was nothing so safe, so special about us that could disconnect us from a country that is violent and founded in a racism that is still with us today in 2019, a violence and a racism welcomed out into the open by President Trump and directed by our community. 22 killed in a Walmart on the Saturday before school started by a gentleman who had an AK-47, a weapon designed for war to kill people as effectively, as efficiently, in as great a number as possible. That is exactly what he did, fueled by that hatred and that racism directed by this President.

Weeks later, we found ourselves in Forest, Mississippi, the side of the largest single state ICE raid in the history of this country. Those communities of immigrants working in chicken processing plants, one of the toughest, shittiest jobs available in the United States of America rounded up like animals, separated from their kids. All this done in our names. And in Pacific Junction in this state, meeting in a community that had never meaningfully flooded before this year, to learn that every single one of their homes was underwater.

To visit with farmers at the store, soybeans in their visions, unable to find markets that had been closed to them by this President. For better or worse, we are connected to climate change. We are connected to these disastrous policies. We are connected to the violence and racism in this country. But for better, we are all connected to one another and to the solution. The people of El Paso, Texas, are the ones who gave me voice to say hell, we are going to buy back every a an AK-47 in this country, to get those off the streets and out of homes so that no over has to fear that again and people will ask us -- they will say, "Hey, Beto, are you afraid you have gone too far? That you have really pissed off the NRA this time?"

I'm not afraid of that. No, I'm not afraid of that. I would be afraid if I were a schoolteacher in a kindergarten classroom and those kids for whom I had already sacrificed so much were up against a gunman with an AR-15 because we did not have the courage to stop them while we still had time. I would be afraid if I were the son of an immigrant who went to work early this morning and never came back, detained and deported back to a country he had not seen for 20 years. I would be afraid if I were one of those farmers here in Iowa who had seen those markets closed to me, unable to get out of debt. I would be afraid if I was a trans woman of color who could be killed with complete impunity in this country right now with no one to follow up or investigate. I would be afraid if I had to drive 300 miles to make my own decisions about my own body to find a safe, legal abortion or for cancer screening or family clinic health because we closed on the cancer centers in my state. I would be afraid of my son were black and were stopped by the police in a country that has refused to ensure accountability for the abuse of power in the deaths of young, black men who are not armed and posed no threat to this country. Then I would be afraid.

But for all of those who live in fear in this country, we as Democrats must decide we will not be afraid. We as Americans must decide we will not be afraid. We must decide that we will free America from fear.

[cheers and applause]

Powerful. Touches on so many important and crucial topics - gun control, climate change, school violence, farmers losing money due to Trump's tariff war, trans rights, police brutality against citizens of color, mass deportation raids of immigrants and abortion rights. Words of a man who is ready to lead and has his finger on the pulse of what truly matters to Americans right now.

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