Andrew Yang, a 2020 candidate for the Democrats’ presidential nomination, became emotional on stage during the Everytown Gun Safety Town Hall in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. He was brought to tears by a question from a mother whose four-year-old daughter was killed by a stray bullet in 2011.
“My beautiful four-year-old daughter was struck by a stray bullet March 2011,” the woman said. “My son, my daughter’s twin brother, witnessed what happened that day. She died two days later. As president, how would you address unintentional shootings by children?”
Yang went to hug the woman and when he returned to the stage, he visibly started crying.
“I have a six and a three-year-old boy … and I was imagining it was one of them who got shot and the other saw it,” said a choked-up Yang. “I’m so sorry.”
He talked about how a big downside to his presidential campaigning is that he doesn’t get to see his family very much.
“That scene that you described — I’m sorry — it’s like very, very affecting,” he said.
“You’re right that when there’s a gun in the household you’re more likely to have a child get shot or the owner get shot than to kill, let’s say, an intruder into the house,” Yang continued. “Those are just numbers; those are just the facts.”
He added, “If we can convince Americans that personalized guns are a good idea, then again if a child gets ahold of a gun they can’t do anything with it. One of my proposals is to actually help gun owners upgrade their guns to personalized guns free of charge.”
Returning to the woman, Yang said, “Your story should not be possible. I’m so sorry.”
Video by MSNBC
The tech entrepreneur’s 2020 campaign website includes a page with a lengthy list of draconian “common sense” gun-related promises. The candidate’s outlined goals are to …
- Create a common sense licensing policy, requiring investment and safety precautions
- Prevent dangerous individuals from owning guns
- Ban the manufacture, sale, and transfer of weapons and accessories that make it easier for individuals to commit mass shootings
- Enhance mental health resources available to people who need help
- Provide deescalation training and mental health professionals to law enforcement agencies to prevent interactions from becoming deadly.
And among 17 gun-related promises that Yang lists on his site …
Invest in personalized gun technology that makes it difficult or impossible for someone other than a gun’s owner to fire it, and ensure that they’re for sale on the marketplace.
–Provide a tax credit for the full value of upgrading a gun to use these systems, or work through the buyback program to allow “trades” of non-personalized guns to personalized ones.
Yang has had trouble raising his stature in the competitive and crowded field of Democrat candidates, but his supporters do see him as a real person who can connect with people. On the other hand, there are cynics who are saying his show of emotion was contrived in order to get media coverage.
You have to admit, Andrew is genuine. I don’t agree with all of his policies obviously, but you won’t find him screaming and attacking people like other candidates. He’s not vicious.
— John Isaac (@John1saac) August 11, 2019
This is tragic but it still doesn’t change the fact that guns are the least death causing issue no matter how sad it is that children die from it. They die from cancer too, but cancer isn’t a top debate topic
— iq (@HonkHonklerx) August 11, 2019
Bill Clinton’s DOJ spent millions tax dollars and did an extensive study on Guns in America. Guns were used at least 80x to save life than to take it. 1.5 – 4 million defensive use of guns. They chose not to publicize the findings. https://t.co/rdurfOWhTk pic.twitter.com/KKu8DWQrsX
— Ken Koh (@kkoh1776) August 10, 2019