Rep. Cedric Richmond (D., La.) compared banning assault weapons to banning plastic straws during an appearance on CNN Friday evening. He questioned why we "have cities that are banning plastic straws but we can't ban assault weapons" and expressed a hope for widespread support.
"How do you plan to convince the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, to even consider these bills assuming they pass in the House?" host Wolf Blitzer asked.
"Look, we're going to need the help of the American people," Richmond responded. "I believe the will of the American people can overpower obstruction in the Senate by the Senate majority leader in terms of bringing bills to the floor for a vote, assault weapons ban, the high-capacity magazines that hold the ammunition in these assault weapons and semi-automatic weapons. The overwhelming public wants to see that happen."
"Think about it, we live in a country where we have cities that are banning plastic straws but we can't ban assault weapons?" Richmond continued. "I mean, that just doesn't make sense to me. Look, I think banning plastic straws will save the environment. I also believe that banning assault weapons will save the lives of many people: children, mothers, sons, fathers, and the list goes on."
"We've seen that time and time again. And my grandmother always told me: Where there's the will, there's a way," he added.
He then called on the American people to join together in this mission.
"We need the American people to join with us, especially all of these senators—including Mitch McConnell, who's up for re-election—and let them know that this is our will, and if you stand in the way of it, we will get it done with you or without you."
Several Democratic presidential candidates have also proposed assault-weapons bans, with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) calling for a mandatory buyback program, and frontrunner Joe Biden (D.) saying assault weapons should "be illegal, period." Oftentimes however, public polling on bans have been vague in their definition of what qualifies as an "assault weapon."