Beto O'Rourke makes campaign stop in Newtown for gun prevention roundtable

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A Democratic presidential hopeful made a campaign stop in Newtown for a roundtable discussion on gun violence prevention.

The event with Beto O'Rourke, the Newtown Action Alliance and some community members was held Wednesday evening.

After the mass shooting that left 22 dead at the Walmart in his hometown of El Paso, the former Texas congressman called for an assault weapons buyback program.

"I know that the people in this community understand this better than perhaps any other community in this country. And not just the devastation and the grief and the loss, but what those solutions are," O'Rourke said.

The Newtown Action Alliance Chairwoman Po Murray said her organization supports that assault weapons buyback proposal.

"It's time to get those guns off the streets," said Murray. "One AR-15 damaged our community and with so many out there, it's going to continue to wreak havoc."

But not everyone in town supports the campaign stop by O'Rourke.

"It's really shameful to see all these candidates try to bolster their message and raise money off of our tragedy," said Republican state Senate candidate JT Lewis.

Lewis lost his younger brother Jesse in the Sandy Hook school shooting. He says a gun takeback proposal is unrealistic. Lewis says he is focused on improving school safety and ideas that aren't too extreme.

"Arming teachers falls into the same category as 'Let's take away all your guns,' like Beto O'Rourke said," Lewis said.

Lewis tweeted that he met O'Rourke and had a "very productive" conversation.

Murray says she'd welcome visits from other Democrats hoping to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.

Right now, O'Rourke has met the donor threshold but isn't doing well enough in the polls to qualify for next month's debate.

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