Activists Call On 2020 Candidates To Attend Gun Safety Forum In Wake Of Mass Shootings

Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg called on former Vice President Joe Biden and others to attend the forum, set for Oct. 2 in Las Vegas.

In the wake of two mass shootings this past weekend that claimed at least 31 lives and injured dozens more, gun safety activists are calling on 2020 presidential candidates to commit to attend a forum on gun violence that had been announced nearly a week ago.

The forum is set for Oct. 2 in Las Vegas and will be hosted by Giffords and March For Our Lives — two prominent gun safety groups. It will take place one day after the second anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, which claimed 58 lives and injured hundreds more.

The El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, shootings have spurred calls for action from activists and politicians alike, with many 2020 hopefuls denouncing the acts of violence and calling for stricter gun control legislation.

March For Our Lives organizers have asked candidates on Twitter to commit to joining the forum, though not all have done so. All candidates who have met the Democratic National Committee’s polling and fundraising thresholds for the September debate will be eligible to attend.

Of those who have already qualified for the debate, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) as well as former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) have tweeted that they will be at the forum. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, have not yet confirmed their attendance.

Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and entrepreneur Andrew Yang have also said they will attend the forum, though they may be ineligible if they are unable to qualify for the September debate.

While Democratic presidential candidates have been quick to call for gun control following the shootings, President Donald Trump gave remarks on Monday that blamed a variety of other factors — including social media, the internet, video games, white supremacy and mental illness — but did not mention firearms or the need for stricter gun control legislation.