Shortly before President Donald Trump was set to visit Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, in the wake of two mass shootings that shook both cities, 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Tim Ryan vowed to take action on the gun control issue.
The deadly shooting massacres took the lives of 31 people and injured dozens more. At least one of the attacks was reportedly racially motivated, according to federal authorities.
In an announcement on Wednesday, Ryan revealed that he will lead a caravan of people to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky and urge him to take action on passing gun control legislation.
“Tomorrow, I am leading a caravan in my official capacity as a congressman, working with Moms Demand Action, to start in Youngstown and go to Akron, and Columbus, and Dayton, and Cincinnati and pick people up along the way, and we’re going to Louisville, Kentucky,” Ryan told a CNN reporter.
The Ohio lawmaker referenced two gun safety bills passed in February by House Democrats that strengthen universal background checks.
Democrats argue that stricter background checks will lead to fewer guns in the hands of potential criminals and potentially mitigate the number of future mass shooting events.
Ryan, along with a growing number of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, is demanding that McConnell cut short their August recess in order for the bills to be debated and potentially passed.
Democratic presidential candidate and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan says that he will lead a group to Sen. Mitch McConnell's home state of Kentucky, urging the Senate majority leader to "get off your ass" and advance gun control legislation. https://t.co/GOjhqQi7tJ
— CNN (@CNN) August 7, 2019
Pressure from Democrats on McConnell to pass the bills has mounted in recent days, with calls from Sen. Chuck Schumer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to end their recess and take action.
Ryan doubled down on his call, blasting McConnell for not acting swiftly enough in the wake of the tragedies.
“Get your culiones, OK, grab ’em, and do something, because the American people are fed up with you stonewalling everything,” Ryan said.
“People are dying on the streets just a couple hours from your house, and you’re sitting there doing nothing.”
He later added that people were “fed up” with his inaction on the issue and demanded the Majority Leader “get off [his] a**.”
Ryan is widely thought to have little chance of winning the Democratic nomination, mostly due to lack of party support. He was one of seven candidates who didn’t garner a single vote from survey respondents in a New Hampshire poll, according to The Week.