During her first cable news town hall since announcing that she was running for president in 2020, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif) called for stricter gun control measures. She stated that there is no reason in a "civil society" that people should have semi-automatic "assault weapons."
She also proposed that legislators should be forced to look at pictures of children killed by guns before they vote on gun control legislation.
What did she say?
On Monday evening, Harris answered questions at a town hall event in Iowa, hosted by CNN's Jake Tapper.
When she was asked about what her gun control policies would be, Harris explained:
We have got to have smart gun safety laws in this country. And we've got to stop buying this false choice. You can be in favor of the Second Amendment, and also understand that there is no reason in a civil society that we have assault weapons around communities that can kill babies and police officers.
Something like universal background checks. It makes perfect sense that you might wanna know, before someone can buy a weapon that can kill another human being, you might wanna know 'have they been convicted of a felony where they committed violence.' That's just reasonable.
Harris reminded the crowd of the 2012 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. She argued that a tragedy like that should be used to motivate members of Congress to enact stricter gun control measures.
20 six and seven-year-old babies were massacred in Connecticut. They failed to act. Here's what I think. I think that somebody should have required, and this is going to sound very harsh, I think somebody should have required all those members of Congress to go in a room — a locked room, no press, nobody else — and look at the autopsy photographs of those babies. And then you vote your conscience. This has become a political issue. This has become a political issue, and there is no reason why we cannot have reasonable gun safety laws in this country.
Notably, while it may have helped in other instances, the background check legislation that Harris discussed would not have prevented the Sandy Hook massacre. The killer in that case stole guns that had been legally purchased by his mother. This point was brought up by CNN in 2013.