Buttigieg said the United States has now “produced the second school shooting generation in this country.”
“We’re supposed to be dealing with this so you don’t have to,” Buttigieg said Tuesday evening at the second Democratic debate in Detroit. “High school is hard enough without worrying that you’re going to get shot.”
Buttigieg, who is mayor of South Bend, Ind., said he was in high school at the time of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 and that the current conversation about gun violence is the “exact same conversation” the country was having at that time.
“We have now produced the second school shooting generation in this country,” Buttigieg said. “We dare not allow there to be a third.”
“This a conversation we have been having for the last 20 years,” Buttigieg said later.
All candidates on stage Tuesday evening expressed outrage at the lack of progress on gun control.
Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Warren leads in speaking time during debate MORE (D-Minn.) responded to Buttigieg by suggesting the problem isn’t Washington as a whole but the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) aggressive lobbying against reforms including universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.
Klobuchar said that gun control legislation is now “sitting on [Majority Leader] Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump-GOP tensions over Syria show signs of easing Trump again vetoes resolution blocking national emergency for border wall Trump invites congressional leaders to meeting on Turkey MORE’s [R-Ky.] doorstep” because of the NRA’s opposition to it, and said that she as president “will not fold” in the face of pressure from the NRA.
Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale ‘Medicare for All’ costs trillion over 10 years MORE (I-Vt.) also took issue with the NRA and said he would have the “guts” to stand up to the organization.
The candidates were asked Tuesday evening to explain how they would tackle the issue of gun violence in the wake of shootings in Brooklyn, Philadelphia and California.