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Senator Kamala Harris has been making waves in the US for her impassioned speeches about healthcare and gun control after she announced her intention to run for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2020.

The aspiring president appeared at a CNN town hall in Des Moines, Iowa, where she launched into a scathing rhetoric about Congress and gun control.

In response to a question about gun control from a member of the audience, Harris was brought to her feet as she launched in to a fervent speech in which she argued congress needed to do more, and vote-in legislation to ban assault weapons and introduce universal background checks of potential gun owners.

What can be done to end gun violence?

"It makes perfect sense," she began, "that you might want to know, before someone can buy a weapon that can kill another human being have they been convicted of a felony where they committed violence? That’s just reasonable."

You might want to know before they can buy that gun, if a court has found them to be a danger to themselves or others. That’s reasonable.

I’m going to be very blunt about this.

She talked about the 2010 shooting of then congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, and accused congress of “not acting” to tighten gun control laws.

“Here’s what I think,” she advised. “This is going to sound very harsh.”

I think somebody should have required all those members of Congress to go in a locked room – no press, no one else – and look at the autopsy photographs of those babies. And then you vote your conscience. This has become a political issue.

She added: “There is no reason why we cannot have reasonable gun safety laws in this country."

We’re not waiting for a good idea.

We have the good ideas – an assault weapons ban, background checks.

We are not waiting for a tragedy – we have seen the worst human tragedies we can imagine.

What’s missing is people in the United States Congress to have the courage to act the right way.

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