00:49 GMT +322 September 2019
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    A Virgin Mary painting, flags and flowers adorn a makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019

    Democrats Start Party Fundraising Campaigns Off Mass Shootings in El Paso, Dayton

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    The Democratic National Committee is fundraising off the weekend's tragic mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, seeking donations in an effort to "prevent gun violence and save lives."

    The DNC sent an email to supporters on Monday, signed by former Rep. Gabby Giffords, encouraging donors to “split” a donation of $10 to $200 between the DNC and Giffords’ PAC, which is focused on preventing gun violence.

    “…If Congress—specifically Mitch McConnell and Republicans in the United States Senate—fail to take action, then we must act to replace them. Because until we act, shootings like these threaten to take even more lives and tear apart even more communities,” Giffords added in the email.

    Giffords survived an assassination attempt in 2011 outside a Tucson, Ariz., supermarket where she was meeting with her constituents. She suffered significant brain injuries and since recovering has become one of the country’s most outspoken gun-control advocates.

    When asked about the email, DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said: "Our goal is to end gun violence once and for all. The way to do that is by helping organizations like the Giffords PAC and by electing Democrats up and down the ticket who will work day in and day out to pass the reforms we need to protect our families and our children. That's the only way to ensure change."

    On Sunday afternoon, 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., also sent out a fundraising email citing the shootings, with the subject line: “No more thoughts and prayers,” urging supporters to split their contributions between Giffords, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

    The move came after US President Donald Trump’s Monday morning address to the nation from the White House, in which he called for reforming mental health laws along with the passage of so-called “red flag laws” to take guns away from those deemed a public risk. The president also unequivocally denounced white supremacy, responding to reports that the shooter in El Paso wrote a racist manifesto. Although Trump did not call for explicit changes to gun regulations beyond the so-called "red flag laws," he indicated he is open and ready to listen to ideas "that will actually work," adding in his statement that “mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun."

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    US gun laws, gun laws, Gabrielle Giffords, US Democratic Party, Democratic Party, shooting, USA, El Paso
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