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This Labor Day, several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates appeared more focused on gun safety than the holiday’s typical topics of unions, wages and jobs. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar blasted Republicans for lack of action on guns two days after Texas' second mass shooting in a month. And on CNN Sunday, Beto O’Rourke slammed U.S. gun laws. Lisa Desjardins reports.
From coast to coast, the 2020 presidential candidates celebrated Labor Day.
But a weekend of breaking news turned their attention to guns once again.
Lisa Desjardins brings us this campaign update.
There they were, at work today, among the crowds and parades charming potential voters.
But, listen closely. On this Labor Day, Democratic candidates for president focused less on jobs and wages, and more on the gun debate, after Odessa, Texas, became the latest site of a mass shooting on Saturday.
Take former Vice President Joe Biden in Iowa. He said the Constitution doesn't protect semiautomatic rifles, like the one used in Odessa.
Having assault weapons on the street and multi — magazines carrying multiple bullets is irrational. There is no need for it, and your Second Amendment rights are in no way violated.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar singled out Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on guns.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.:
Mitch McConnell is going to have to decide what side he's on. He's going to have to explain to the people of this country why he wouldn't let that bill that just passed the House come up for a vote.
And all this follows the comments from former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who used an expletive on CNN Sunday while reacting to another mass shooting in his home state.
So, yes, this is (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up.
And if we don't call it out for what it is, if we're not able to speak clearly, if we're not able to act decisively, then we will continue to have this kind of bloodshed in America. And I cannot accept that.
In Los Angeles, California Senator Kamala Harris hit several notes, vowing executive action on guns if Congress doesn't act, while commemorating the holiday.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.:
We are celebrating the leadership of organized labor that brought all of us, whether you're member of a union or not, better conditions, better wages, better benefits.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren sent out a Labor Day video to her supporters, while, for another candidate, Labor Day was about their work force.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is expanding in Iowa.
That starts with the folks who are gathered here. And it starts in this, the first of 20 field offices that we're going to be opening over the next few days.
In the meantime, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders focused on New England, stumping in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire.
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Lisa Desjardins is a correspondent for PBS NewsHour, where she covers news from the U.S. Capitol while also traveling across the country to report on how decisions in Washington affect people where they live and work.
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