A guest piece from a group of young Iowans on Cory Booker’s gun stances.
It would have been shocking if it wasn’t so predictable.
A couple weeks ago, Donald Trump met with Wayne LaPierre and talked about the NRA — an organization that was a Russian asset during the last presidential election — supporting Trump in the 2020 election. In that same conversation, LaPierre asked Trump to “stop the games” over gun control legislation.
Putting the blatant corruption aside, it has never been so obvious that the lack of movement on common sense gun reform comes from the NRA and the corporate gun lobby’s stranglehold over the Republican Party.
We need a bold leader to defeat Trump, defeat the NRA, and put this country back to work for the people. We need someone who, unlike the current Republican Party, is unafraid to stand up to powerful interests and refuses to give up on difficult problems.
That leader is Cory Booker. Cory isn’t one to sit on the sidelines and let others lead the charge. He’s been leading the way on gun reform during this 2020 presidential race. Cory dealt with the gun violence epidemic as the chief executive of a major U.S. city, one of the many reasons he was the first to introduce his plan to end gun violence — which “set a high bar for the rest of the Democratic field.”
The cornerstone of the plan is Cory’s proposal to create a federal gun licensing system, one that initially drew criticism from other 2020 contenders but has now been adopted by many of those same former detractors.
It’s truly remarkable for a candidate like Cory to have made such a big impact on the conversation around guns already in this race. Cory has created consensus about this tough issue amongst his political rivals, just imagine what he could do as president. His unique message about uniting around our shared values to achieve great things as a nation provides a pathway to building the bipartisan consensus on common sense gun reform that has eluded us as a nation for far too long.
Cory’s dedication to gun reform comes from firsthand knowledge of the immediate carnage and destruction shootings in our communities inflict, but he also understands the broader, long-term impact gun violence has long after the police lights have faded and loved ones have been laid to rest.
He knows that a shooting in a neighborhood drives away businesses and homeowners because people feel less safe. He knows that the trauma experienced by witnesses leaves unseen scars for years, like children in his neighborhood with PTSD who hide from fireworks on the Fourth of July.
And, most importantly, he knows that we all lose when a bright young life, full of potential is cut short.
Cory doesn’t take on this fight to score political points or because pollsters tell him it’s a good message; he’s in this because it’s personal.
When a mother at the 2020 Gun Safety Forum told Cory about her son’s accidental shooting death, Cory didn’t respond with platitudes and half measures — he shared his own pain of losing someone dear to him to gun violence and let her know she wasn’t alone in this fight.
Cory isn’t afraid to take bold stances on gun reform because he knows the pain and urgency of this fight. If you, like us, want to protect our communities and our future from the epidemic of gun violence, Cory Booker is your candidate.
By Nick Pryor, Ellie Miglin, Ireland Larsen, and Landra Jo Reece, Iowa Democratic Party Central Committee member
Photo by Julie Fleming