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Castro seeks to 'disarm hate' with gun, white supremacy plan

By
Danielle Haynes
Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said he has a personal interest in fighting white supremacy because his family is of Mexican heritage. Photo by John Nowak/CNN/UPI
Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said he has a personal interest in fighting white supremacy because his family is of Mexican heritage. Photo by John Nowak/CNN/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro called for the United States to "disarm hate" in a plan he unveiled Friday to crack down on guns and white supremacy.

His two-pronged approach to ending violence comes less than a week after a shooting in his home state of Texas left 22 people dead. Another shooting one day later in Dayton, Ohio, killed nine people.

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"The gun violence epidemic is devastating families and communities in big cities and small towns, and an entire generation is growing up afraid for their safety no matter where they live," the former U.S. housing secretary said.

As president, he said he would push for universal background checks without loopholes, place limits on high-capacity magazines, invest in a gun buyback program and implement so-called "red flag" laws to take guns out of the hands of people whose family or police believe to be at risk. Castro also called for people to be licensed to purchase a firearm and a renewed assault weapons ban.

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To combat white supremacy, Castro proposed investments in programs to fight radicalization and create educational opportunities to "bridge racial and cultural divides."

Castro, who has Mexican heritage, said he has a personal interest in eliminating white supremacy because he and his wife, Erica Castro, "are raising a daughter and son who both have brown skin."

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"We worry for them and their friends. They should be able to grow up free from fear of hate and safe from gun violence," he said.

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Police said earlier this week they're investigating the El Paso, Texas, shooting as a possible hate crime and domestic terrorism. Though police have given no official cause for the shooting, investigators found an anti-immigrant document the accused shooter posted online.

President Donald Trump condemned racism and white supremacy during a speech Monday from the White House, but critics have accused him of fueling anti-immigrant sentiment during and before his time in office.

Castro said the Trump administration "has demonstrated it does not take hate and domestic terrorism seriously."

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