Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has unveiled a plan to fight hate crimes and gun violence.
The plan classifies white supremacist violence as an organized crime problem and will also create federal domestic terrorism offices that will help in combating hate crimes and gun violence in the United States.
Nearly after two weeks, O’Rourke hits the campaign trail again in his home city of El Paso, Texas, where a white gunman targeting Hispanics murdered 22 people in a Walmart store on August, 3, 2019.
The former congressman unveiled his plan the day after he made a speech recalibrating his presidential campaign.
He declared on Thursday that he intends to highlight the plight of immigrants and confront what he characterized as Republican President Donald Trump’s racially charged and divisive rhetoric.
He said the U.S. government should treat violent white nationalists as seriously as international terrosists.
“The terrorist attack on El Paso, fueled by the racist rhetoric of Donald Trump, was not only an attack on America, but an attack on the aspirational ideals of this nation,” O’Rourke said in a statement before his plan was due to be released on Friday.
“It’s time for bold solutions… without fear of political ramifications so we can finally start making progress and saving lives.”
If elected president, O’Rourke’s in his plan says he would ensure that the FBI and the Department of Justice prioritize neo-Nazi and white supremacist violence, and he would create dedicated domestic terrorism offices inside the Department of Homeland Security and DOJ.
He further said he would hold internet companies and social media platforms accountable for hosting hate speech and the amplification of domestic terrorism, take on the powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby group, and implement a mandatory national buyback program for banned assault weapons and a voluntary buyback program for handguns.
The 46-year-old is one of many in the field of 23 Democratic candidates competing to become the nominee to take on Trump in next November’s election who have decried what they say is the president’s divisive and inciteful rhetoric about undocumented migrants.