Like clockwork, in the wake of two senseless mass shootings across the country a handful of Democratic Presidential hopefuls promptly called for immediate gun control. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, however, took it one step further by comparing gun ownership to the worshiping of a “false God.”

Sunday morning, the South Bend, Indiana mayor was interviewed by Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” where he asked the question, “…is a gun a tool or is it an idol?”

“Anytime I’ve carried or handled a weapon … I’ve viewed it as a tool, but if the gun corporation lobby, which is what the NRA is, now has people viewing guns as a thing to be loved, a thing to be protected, a thing that is the source of our freedom and power and a thing to which we are willing to sacrifice human life, isn’t that the definition of a false God?”

– Buttigieg

When asked by Tapper whether or not he felt President Trump was a white nationalist, the Indiana mayor responded saying, “Yeah. I mean, at best he’s condoning and encouraging white nationalism … It is very clear that this kind of hate is being legitimized from on high.”

Buttigieg was attending a forum in Las Vegas, hosted by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), along with 18 other Democratic presidential candidates on Saturday when the mass shooting broke out in El Paso. During his opening statement, Buttigieg said that America was currently under attack from “homegrown white nationalist terrorism”, adding that President Trump was permitting such behavior. “White nationalism is evil, and it is inspiring people to commit murder, and it’s being condoned at the highest levels of the American government, and that has to end.”

Congressman Beto O’Rourke also took the opportunity during the forum to attack President Trump stating, “He is a racist and he stokes racism in this country … it fundamentally changes the character of this country and it leads to violence.”

While some candidates pushed the white nationalist terrorism angle, others focused their attention on taking on the NRA.

“This is beyond anything that we should be tolerating. … We can beat the NRA. We can beat the gun manufacturers,” said Former Vice President Joe Biden during the forum..

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar also attacked the NRA during the forum claiming, “The NRA have long dominated American politics to the point where they have stopped sensible legislation that would have prevented deaths and prevented killings. They have done it time and time again.”

Other candidates attacked both President Trump and the NRA via Twitter.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted Saturday, “The news out of El Paso is devastating. I’m heartbroken for the victims and their families. Far too many communities have suffered through tragedies like this already. We must act now to end our country’s gun violence epidemic.”

Sanders also took to Twitter Saturday posting a series of tweets:

“We shouldn’t have to live in fear of mass shootings. Congress must have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws. If they won’t act, I will,” Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted.

Sen. Kamala Harris then posted an 8 second video clip Sunday where she told MSNBC that President Trump needed to “have the courage to act” and “do something” about gun violence. Harris added that when she became president, she was “going to do something.”

Buttigieg also told host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that the mass shootings over the weekend were “symptomatic of white nationalist terrorism,” adding, “There is a measure of responsibility that you just can’t get away from when you have case after case of racial rhetoric coming out of the White House.”

Hours after the mass shooting Saturday that occured at a Walmart near the Cielo Vista Mall, in El Paso, Texas the hashtag #ElPasoShooting and #GunControlNow began to trend on Twitter. Sadly, overnight, a second mass shooting occurred in downtown Dayton, Ohio. In the last 24 hours the hashtags trending on Twitter quickly morphed from #DomesticTerrorism to #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism, and as of Sunday afternoon, the #1 Top Trending hashtag on Twitter is #TrumpsTerrorists.

Haley Kennington
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