Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang grew visibly emotional while discussing gun safety at an Iowa town hall on Saturday, after a mother described how her 4-year-old daughter was killed by a stray bullet as her other son looked on.
The discussion came just days after two back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio killed a total of 31 people in a single weekend. The town hall was hosted by the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety.
The woman noted that many children across the county unintentionally shoot themselves or others using guns in their own households.
“As president, how would you address unintentional shootings by children?” she asked.
Yang stepped off the stage to embrace the woman, before returning, giving an impassioned answer.
“I have a 6- and 3-year-old boy,” he said, breaking down in tears. “I was imagining it was one of them that got shot, and the other saw it. I’m so sorry.”
He continued: “The biggest downside of running for president for me has been that I don’t get to see my family very much … that scene that she described — I’m sorry, it’s very affecting.”
Yang went on to explain one of his policy proposals to help gun owners upgrade their guns and “personalize” the weapons to make them only usable by their owners — not by children or anyone else.
He added that he wanted to persuade Americans to upgrade their guns free of charge in an effort to make children safer.
“You’re right that when there’s a gun in the household, you’re more likely to have a child get shot or the owner get shot than to kill, let’s say, an intruder into the house. Those are just numbers. Those are just the facts,” Yang said. “If we can convince Americans that personalized guns are a good idea then again, if the child gets ahold of the gun then they can’t do anything with it. Then it just becomes a very heavy, expensive prop.”