(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), one of many Democrats running for his party's presidential nomination, says gun control will restore freedom to the American people.
Booker told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Wednesday night that in Newark, New Jersey -- where Booker once served as mayor -- people would show him bullet holes in their windows:
"It creates an environment so crippled by fear and trauma that on the Fourth of July in communities like mine across this country, you have people who hear fireworks, and parents will tell you, their children dive for cover. They cower. They hide.
"We've created such a culture of fear that's now penetrating all types of communities where we say the best we can do to our children now, when they go to school in September, is we can't protect you, so we're going to teach you how to duck for cover, shelter in place," Booker said.
"That is a society that has surrendered basic freedoms. Freedom from violence. Freedom from gunfire. Freedom to live without this kind of constant cortisol in the back of your brain being released that undermines our quality of life. We are losing our well-being as a nation because so many of these guns now are on our streets, so easily gotten by people who intend to do massive amounts of harm."
Booker, discussing the then-ongoing police standoff with an armed criminal in Philadelphia, seemed to suggest that gun control laws would prevent bad guys from getting guns:
"I've seen some of the most courageous officers, when I was mayor, run into buildings where they have no situational awareness, encounter weapons that have no business being on our streets, in the hands of people who would never have been able to get them if we had the most common-sense background checks," Booker said.
"Unfortunately, in our cities all across America, we see officers in situations of danger they should not be in and would not be in if we were a nation that had sensible gun safety laws."
The National Rifle Association argues that universal background checks and other gun control measures will affect only law-abiding gun owners, not criminals who get their guns by theft, straw purchases, or the black market.
Booker's plan to end violence involving guns includes:
--Universal background checks
--Regulation and oversight of gun manufacturers
--Ending gun manufacturers' immunity from lawsuits
--Requiring handgun microstamping
--No gun sales until a background check is completed
--Banning assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and bump stocks
--Limiting handgun sales to one a month
--Funding or community-based violence intervention programs and gun violence research
--Taking on the NRA