What Each 2020 Candidate Had to Say About the Mass Shootings in El Paso and Dayton

Below is a list of all 2020 presidential candidates (from both major parties) with all tweets made regarding the shootings in El Paso and Dayton. List is in alphabetical order, and is updated to 3:45 pm MT on August 4, 2019. Under some candidates’ names is a link – that link is to their website if they have a plan to address gun violence. If they have no plan available, then no link follow under their names. (Note: Donald Trump is listed last) This is not meant to be an endorsement of any candidate; rather, it is intended to help inform the public about each candidate’s positions on gun control and their responses to the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

Michael Bennet: “To go to bed mourning one mass shooting, then wake up to news of another – this isn’t the America I grew up in, but it’s reality for my 3 daughters & kids nationwide. The horrible epidemic of gun violence is an existential threat to their generation. We must act now.”

“We have to forcefully denounce violent acts of domestic terrorism and white supremacy. We need a President who will stand up to hate, instead of stoking division.” (2 tweets)

Joe Biden: “Heartbroken to hear the news from El Paso. Our thoughts are with those impacted by yet another senseless act of gun violence in America.

How many lives must be cut short? How many communities must be torn apart? It’s past time we take action and end our gun violence epidemic.”

“At least 29 lives stolen, families broken, communities shattered in El Paso and Dayton within 13 hours. Dozens more wounded. Between those two mass shootings, dozens more were killed and injured by gun violence that didn’t make national headlines.”

“Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines don’t belong on our streets. We must stand up to the @NRA and gun manufacturers—they don’t own this country. We the people own this country.”

“We have to address what’s happening in America. We continue to bear witness to acts of terror carried out with a common thread: hatred of “the other.” We saw it in Charlottesville two years ago, at synagogues in Pittsburgh and Poway, and now in El Paso.”

“We are in a battle for the soul of this nation. And in this moment, we all have a responsibility to declare with conviction that hatred and bigotry and white supremacy have no place in America. We will give hate no safe harbor.” (5 tweets)

Cory Booker: “Enough. We need to end this national nightmare. Praying for everyone affected by this unspeakable tragedy, and for our country to find the moral courage to take action to end this carnage.” 

“One of the lessons in my faith is that you reap what you sow. 

When Donald Trump uses words like “infestation,” “invasion” and “shithole countries”—

When he refuses to condemn Neo-Nazis and white supremacists—

Trump is giving license to this kind of violence. He’s responsible.”

“This is a national crisis. Mitch McConnell needs to bring the Senate back from recess right now and hold votes on legislation to protect Americans from gun violence. Enough. We need to end this carnage now.” (3 tweets)

Steve Bullock: “I’m devastated for El Paso and the families whose lives were forever changed today. 

But it’s not enough for our hearts to go out to them — our laws fail them and their families. No more. We need action, and we need it now.”

“Not even 24 hours after El Paso, we wake up to more bloodshed in Dayton. 

I’m heartbroken for both communities — and for our country. 

The complexity of the problems underlying this gun violence epidemic cannot serve as the excuse for inaction.”

“The El Paso shooting was an act of domestic terrorism. 

Addressing the rising tide of hate in this country means condemning white nationalism when we see it — and what happened on Saturday in El Paso is no exception.” (3 tweets)

Pete Buttigieg: “My grandmother used to take me to Cielo Vista Mall. Now it’s one more mass shooting scene. How many more must grieve before we act?”

“Our country is under attack from white nationalist terrorism, inspiring murder on our soil and abetted by weak gun laws. If we are serious about national security, we must summon the courage to name and defeat this evil.”

“America is under attack from homegrown white nationalist terrorism. That ideology is evil. It is being condoned at the highest levels of our government. And today it inspired a gunman to claim at least 20 lives in #ElPaso.

Enough is enough. We have an obligation to act.”

“How many more?”

“Will the President of the United States leave his golf resort, go back to Washington, address the nation, condemn—in no uncertain terms—white nationalism, and call for the Senate to convene tomorrow to enact at least the most basic gun safety reforms that most Americans want?”

“Our president isn’t just failing to confront and disarm these domestic terrorists, he is amplifying and condoning their hate.”

“After 9/11, I joined thousands of other Americans in signing up to fight the threat to our nation. Now, in the face of white nationalist terror, our leaders must stand up to fight this threat to our national security.” (7 tweets)

Julian Castro: “Truly devastating. Folks in El Paso should follow guidance from local emergency personnel and monitor updates from the @EPPOLICE. Stay safe.”

“My heart is with the people of El Paso today as they cope with a devastating mass shooting—the scope of which we are still learning. 

This attack is a tragic reminder of our government’s failure to do its most basic duty: to protect American lives. We need gun reform now.”

“In just 24 hours, our nation suffered 29 murders in two mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso. 

We could have protected these victims with common sense gun reform.

It’s not too late to prevent the next attack — Congress and the President must act now.”

“We can’t forget that those 29 were not the only ones killed or wounded by a gun this weekend.

A shooter in Chicago wounded 7.

8,734 people have been killed by guns this year. Over 17,000 injured.

There have been more mass shootings than days this year. 

We need #GunReformNow” (4 tweets)

Bill de Blasio: “Horrific. Innocent civilians gunned down by assault weapons in El Paso.

Gun violence is an epidemic in our country—one that doesn’t discriminate. And it’s one that won’t end until we beat back the gun lobby and win stronger, smarter gun laws.

We’re praying for El Paso tonight.”

“20 dead.

26 wounded.

Countless tragedies all because the gun lobby has certain “leaders” more scared of losing support than losing loved ones.

Enough empty words. These families deserve action.”

“Two mass shootings in less than 24 hours. Three in one week.

Domestic terrorism perpetrated by white nationalists is bringing our country to its knees. This president needs to address the nation and be honest about the real threat to our sovereignty.” (3 tweets)

John Delaney: “Today’s tragedy in El Paso is heartbreaking for every American. Our prayers go out to the residents of El Paso and all those who have been affected by this horrific act of cowardice. As we all recognize, our thoughts and prayers are insufficient, we must demand action. (1/2)”

“We must address the gun violence epidemic that is ravaging our country. Thank you to all the members of law enforcement for their work at the scene. (2/2)”

“There are many things we need to do on gun safety, including requiring liability insurance to own/purchase a firearm (like we do to own a car). It would probably cost an average hunter $5 a year, but if you have a history of hate crimes it would be cost prohibitive. Commonsense.”

“The horrific tragedies in El Paso/Dayton underscore two awful realities in our country: the NRA’s manipulation of our democracy & growing domestic terrorism/hate crimes.  Trump’s spineless approach to the NRA enables the first & his words encourage the second. We can change this.” (4 tweets)

Tulsi Gabbard: “Sending all of our love and strength to the people of El Paso during this terrible tragedy. Thank you to the brave first responders, putting their lives on the line to prevent more from being killed. We can and must come together to prevent these senseless shootings.”

“This is a dark day in America. Less than 24 hours ago, it was El Paso. Today, Dayton. Tomorrow? These lives lost are an immediate and tragic consequence of racism and bigotry being used to divide us. Enough. We are one nation. We must stand together and end this madness.” (2 tweets)

Kirsten Gillibrand: “Again, and again, and again, and again, and again…and nothing in response. This is domestic terrorism going unchecked and it’s complete madness. My heart is with El Paso and all the victims and their families.”

“Not even 24 hours later and there’s another mass shooting. Gun violence in America is a public health epidemic—yet we have done almost nothing to address it.

To the victims and their loved ones in Dayton: My heart is with you.

This. Must. Stop.”

“White nationalist terrorism is a national emergency.” (3 tweets)

Kamala Harris: “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.”

“My message to the president on gun violence: ”

“According to authorities, 9 people were killed and 26 were injured in the Dayton shooting. It lasted less than a minute.

Less than a minute.

We cannot remain idle and allow this level of carnage to ravage our communities. We need courage. We need to act.”

“We must call these mass shootings exactly what they are: domestic terrorism.”

“Students practicing mass shooting drills don’t care what party you’re in. They want action.”

“Last week it was Gilroy. Today it’s El Paso. How can our country tolerate this? My prayers are yet again with families who are grieving and my thanks are with the first responders, but that is not enough. We must act.” (6 tweets)

John Hickenlooper: “This has to stop. [Picture below shows full statement]”

“I’m heartbroken by the events in Dayton last night. Words will never be enough to heal the trauma inflicted by such abject horror –  it’s time for real action.”

“In less than a minute, a mass shooter took 9 precious lives and ripped apart families. We stand with you, Dayton and victims of gun violence across America. As we mourn, we must DEMAND action from @realdonaldtrump and Congress. Stop with the excuses. This must end.”

“Like most Americans, I am fed up with all the talk and lack of action from Washington on gun safety. People are dying, and yet @realdonaldtrump, @senatemajldr and their @NRA enablers are stopping commonsense gun legislation from a vote. #NotOneMore”

“The lack of action to address gun violence in America is unconscionable. It’s time for @senatemajldr to do his job and bring gun violence legislation up for a vote immediately.” (5 tweets)

Jay Inslee: “Truly heartbreaking news out of El Paso today. We must come together and summon the courage to say: no more. We cannot allow this to remain our new normal. Support  @MomsDemand as they work to combat the scourge of gun violence in our country.”

“You can help by passing commonsense gun reform, Senator.” [Responding to a tweet from Sen. John Cornyn]

“We need to elect a president who won’t back down from taking on the @NRA to reduce the gun violence that plagues our country. We have the @NRA on the run in Washington State, and it’s time to put them on the run in America.”

“Today, America woke up to the second mass shooting in 24 hours. This is a crisis — and a crisis of leadership. 

We can’t wait one more day to stand up to the NRA and pass commonsense gun laws.”

“You’ve heard it said when it comes to terrorism: if you see something, say something. So I’m saying something. This president has to stop emboldening white nationalism. He is actively endangering American lives.”

“We cannot and will not end gun violence in America without ending the filibuster.” (6 tweets)

Amy Klobuchar: “My heart breaks for El Paso and those killed and injured by another mass shooting. This can’t keep happening. It just can’t. Every day Congress refuses to act and pass gun laws is a horrible omission of responsibility. This is a tragedy.”

“Today innocent people—families—went to that mall in El Paso.  Some of them never came home. The U.S. House has passed common sense gun safety legislation. It is long past time to pass it in the Senate. The question to ask: Whose side are you on? The NRA’s or the people’s.”

“Yesterday was a dark day. From El Paso to Dayton in less than 24 hours, we simply cannot go on like this. I mourn for the lives lost and the families devastated. Inaction is unacceptable. No more talk. The time for passing legislation is now. I’m ready to go back tomorrow.”

“After Parkland I went to the White House and sat across the table from President Trump to make the case for strong gun laws. I kept track. Nine times he said he wanted universal background checks. Nine times. Then the next day he met with the NRA and folded. No more folding.” (4 tweets)

Wayne Messam: “This is the 3rd mass shooting this week in America. Will it take a daily mass shooting for America to act to reverse this disturbing trend? Inaction is complicity.” (1 tweet)

Seth Moulton: “Absolutely heartbroken to hear the news out of El Paso. 

We cannot allow this to keep happening in America. Citizens don’t need guns to protect them from government—they need the government to step up and protect them from guns.” (1 tweet)

Beto O’Rourke: “Truly heartbreaking. Stay safe, El Paso. Please follow all directions of emergency personnel as we continue to get more updates.”

“Mi corazón esta con El Paso en este momento. Tengan cuidado. Por favor todos sigan la instrucciones de los equipos de emergencia.” [Translation: My heart is with El Paso right now. Take caution. Please follow all instructions from emergency teams]

“I am devastated by what has happened in El Paso today. Our strength is with the families who are grieving. Our thanks to EPPD. Our commitment is with those who will change this country so that this doesn’t happen again. This beautiful amazing courageous community will overcome.”

“El Paso is one of the strongest places in the world—and if there were ever a moment to be strong, it’s this one. Strong for one another, for the families who have lost somebody, and for the first responders. Please go to epcf.org/victims to support our community.”

“If you have loved ones unaccounted for, you can go to a Reunification Center for Families at: 

MacArthur Middle School

8101 Whitus Dr, El Paso, TX 79925”

“You can also donate blood at:


424 S Mesa Hills Dr, El Paso, TX 79912 

and 133 N Zaragoza Rd, El Paso, TX 79907”

“CORRECTION: Address to donate blood is 1338 N Zaragoza Rd, El Paso, TX 79907. You can also donate at 424 S Mesa Hills Dr, El Paso, TX 79912.”

“Si necesitas ayuda, pero tienes miedo de contactar a las autoridades en El Paso, @HopeBorder ayuda a todos sin importar su estatus migratorio.” [Translation: If you need help, but are afraid of contacting authorities in El Paso, @HopeBorder helps all regardless of immigration status]

“Any illusion we had that progress is inevitable—or that the change we need is going to come of its own accord—is shattered in moments like this. It is on every single one of us to meet this moment with everything we’ve got as a country. We will make this right.”

“This community is bringing more food than anybody can eat & is donating more blood than we could have expected. We need to change our laws so it’s harder for something like this to happen again—but we also need to stand up to the hatred & racism that leads to events like this.”

“Ofrezco mi más sentido pésame a las familias de las víctimas. Tenemos una comunidad muy fuerte y estoy muy orgulloso de El Paso.” [Translation: I offer my deepest condolences to the families of the victims. We have a very strong community and I am very proud of El Paso]

“President Trump’s racism does not just offend our sensibilities; it fundamentally changes the character of this country. And it leads to violence.”

“Love you, El Paso.”

“My heart is broken. For El Paso. For Dayton. For everyone who is impacted by the 40,000 gun deaths in our country every year. It’s on each and every one of us to end this crisis—and together, I still have faith that we will.”

“El Paso is a community that shows up for one another—on our best days and our worst. I met Rosemary’s family on the plane back to El Paso. They asked that we visit her and share her story. She was shot in the chest but is doing well after surgery. She’s strong—just like our city.”

“A victim’s wife asked me, “How do we change this?”

In addition to universal background checks, a ban on the sale of weapons of war, & red flag laws, we have got to acknowledge the hatred and open racism we’re seeing on Fox News, on the internet, and from our Commander-in-Chief.”

“El Paso is one of the strongest communities on the planet. Everyone donating blood, bringing food to University Medical Center, & rallying for those families makes me so inspired—and they’ve got to compel us to do everything possible to make sure this does not continue to happen.”

“Two people, from two countries, speaking two languages—united, not divided, by our border. Together, we form a whole far greater than the sum of our parts: a community I’m so proud to call home.”

“Ayer, una persona trajo su odio y racismo a nuestra comunidad. El Paso es una de las comunidades más seguras porque somos una comunidad de migrantes, gente que viene a mejorar a este país.” [Translation: Yesterday, a person brought their hate and racism to our community. El Paso is one of the most secure communities because we are a community of migrants, people that came to better this country]

“Tonight, El Paso is standing up against hate, in memory of the lives lost yesterday, and with the resolve to stop this from happening again. 

Join us:

6pm: Silent March from Houston Park (Ange St and Yandell Dr) 

7pm: Vigil (1500 Yandell Dr)”

“When hate arrived in El Paso, our community responded with love, strength, and courage. Today, I visited a Vitalant blood donation center in El Paso, where lines have stretched around the block. They told me they were so grateful—and reminded me they need donations year round.” (21 tweets)

Tim Ryan: “Absolutely devastated. My heart breaks for the El Paso community. 

We cannot allow this to be the norm. We need action to #EndGunViolence.”

“I’m heartbroken. I’m angry. This is the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. 

My prayers go out to Dayton and those affected. And I’m thankful to the First Responders on the scene.

We need gun reform. The House did its job. The Senate needs to do theirs.”

“February 27, 2019: The House passed the Bipartisan Background Check Act.

Do your job. Pass #HR8.” [Tweet in response to Sen. Mitch McConnell]

“White nationalism is the biggest domestic threat to the United States—it doesn’t belong in our country. 

We cannot ignore this any longer. We have to call it out like we see it.” (4 tweets)

Bernie Sanders: “Everyone in America, myself included, is devastated by the news of this latest attack in El Paso. Sadly, after each of these tragedies the Senate does nothing. That has got to change.”

“Another mass shooting, another horrific day for America.

Multiple news organizations have reported the gunman shared a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto. If true, let us be clear: this would be yet another white nationalist domestic terror attack. 1/”

“After every tragedy the Senate, intimidated by the NRA’s power, does nothing. This must change.

We need a president and congress that listen to Americans, not the ideology of a right-wing extremist organization.

We must pass common sense gun safety legislation. 2/”

“We must come together to reject this dangerous and growing culture of bigotry espoused by Trump and his allies. 

Instead of wasting money putting children in cages, we must seriously address the scourge of violent bigotry and domestic terrorism. 3/”

“We must treat this violent racism like the security threat that it is. That means investing in law enforcement resources to combat the growing population of white nationalists who are engaging in violence. 4/4”

“Mitch McConnell should bring the Senate back into session immediately to pass HR 8, the gun safety bill that has already passed the House. That’s a first step to addressing our serious gun violence epidemic.”

“If you have had ENOUGH of the epidemic levels of gun violence in this country, consider making a donation to @GiffordsCourage, one of the organizations leading the fight to change our gun laws:”

“Mr. President: stop your racist, hateful and anti-immigrant rhetoric. Your language creates a climate which emboldens violent extremists.”

“There are more than 5 million assault weapons out on the streets of America, which is more than the U.S. military has. That is insane. We must ban the sale, distribution and transfer of assault weapons in the United States.” (9 tweets)

Joe Sestak: “A tragedy in El Paso. Not just “another one” – for each is separately searing to loved ones. We must stop the violence. We must. American families are hurting. We all are hurting. This. Must. Stop.” (1 tweet)

Tom Steyer: “Praying for El Paso. We need gun control NOW”

“We must break the @NRA and gun manufacturers’ stranglehold on our lawmakers. There’s no reason it has to be this way.”

“This didn’t “just happen.” This president’s rhetoric is stoking white nationalism and violence. The Republicans are refusing to stand up to the NRA and gun manufacturers and protect us from these well armed violent extremist. This is a toxic brew of racism and failed government.”

“We have have to change this. We should not wait for the gun manufacturers to come to their senses. We don’t have time for that.”

“This government should be of, by, and for the people. It is intentionally failing to work so it can serve its corporate partners. It is time for the people to take back control.”

“Our nation is facing a domestic terrorism crisis. Congress should return to Washington immediately to address gun violence fueled by white nationalism.”

“Mr. Trump, after 251 mass killings this year, your racist rhetoric and opposition to common sense gun reforms are unacceptable. If you aren’t willing to call out white nationalism and take strong action to protect American lives, you should resign the Presidency immediately.” (7 tweets)

Elizabeth Warren: “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.”

“Gun violence happens at schools, at places of worship, at work, at malls, at movie theaters, at festivals, and at home.

Gun violence can claim dozens of lives at once—and its daily toll claims dozens.

We have a gun violence epidemic in this country. We need to act—now.”

“We’re waking up to the second mass shooting in as many days. I’m heartsick for the 29 people killed this weekend in El Paso and Dayton—and all the other lives we lose every day due to senseless gun violence. We need to take urgent action to end the gun violence epidemic.”

“In March, I was asked about the increase in hate crimes since the election of Donald Trump. I want to be very clear: White supremacists pose a threat to the United States like any other terrorist group—and we need to use the full force of the Justice Department to go after them.”

“We must treat this like the public health crisis that it is. @SenMajLdr: Bring the Senate back from recess to vote on legislation to address the gun violence epidemic.”

“We need to call out white nationalism for what it is—domestic terrorism. It is a threat to the United States, and we’ve seen its devastating toll this weekend. And we need to call out the president himself for advancing racism and white supremacy.” (6 tweets)

Bill Weld: “Another horrific act brings horrific consequences for Americans simply going about their lives, this time in El Paso. It is well-past the time for a real conversation about preventing senseless mass shootings.”

“Two mass shootings. 29 victims who will never return to their homes and families. What will it take to stop the hate speech, stop the racist rants from the White House, and stop accepting the unacceptable?”

Marianne Williamson: “Prayers for the people of El Paso in this agonizing moment. And prayers for all the rest of us as well, that we might summon up the courage to remove this scourge from our midst. Let us pray and let us act.”

“At a certain point it isn’t about what happened; it’s about who we choose to be regarding what happened. Each of us must rise to the occasion now, committing to the electoral defeat of any politician who supports the NRA. Gun safety legislation must be the cry of our generation.”

“We must outlaw all assault style weapons for civilian use. Even then, there will still be millions of them on the street. Next we need to outlaw the manufacture and sale of the bullets that they carry.”

Andrew Yang: “Oh no. My heart goes out to the families and individuals impacted by the El Paso shooting. We owe them and all Americans common sense gun safety laws. Other societies respond to senseless tragedies – we must do the same. We are better than this.”

“We also need a national mental health initiative. When people – young men in particular – are set to self-destruct there are often signs that go ignored and unaddressed. Millions are suffering from mental illnesses and there is so much more we can do for each other.”

“It looks like this was a hate crime. We should focus the attention of the FBI and law enforcement on hate groups.  These ideas have no place in America. Hate kills, love saves.”

“The Internet is more powerful at spreading hateful and toxic messages and ideas than positive ones. How to counteract this is one of the foremost challenges of the 21st century.”

“And hours later another mass shooting this time in Dayton, Ohio – the death toll could have been much higher. Enough is enough. We need common sense gun laws. We owe it to ourselves, our children and the countless Americans impacted by gun violence to get this right.”

“We need a clear federal domestic terrorism statute. The majority of terrorism deaths in the past ten years have been the result of domestic terrorism. A proper statute would help law enforcement and the FBI investigate and utilize appropriate resources.”

Donald Trump: “Today’s shooting in El Paso, Texas, was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people….”

“….Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas.”

“The FBI, local and state law enforcement are working together in El Paso and in Dayton, Ohio. Information is rapidly being accumulated in Dayton. Much has already be learned in El Paso. Law enforcement was very rapid in both instances. Updates will be given throughout the day!”

“God bless the people of El Paso, Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio.”

“Today, I authorized the lowering of the flags to half-staff at all Federal Government buildings in honor of the victims of the tragedies in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio….”

“….The flags at the White House will be lowered today through Thursday, August 8. Melania and I are praying for all those impacted by this unspeakable act of evil!”
If a candidate listed has an official plan for gun control and I missed it, please contact me and I will make the correction.

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