Mayor Pete Buttigieg expressed his dissatisfaction with the concept of carrying a gun after serving in Afghanistan.
“Over time, I realized having a gun made me feel smaller, not bigger,” he said during a conversation about guns with a BuzzFeed reporter as part of his bus tour in Iowa.
The mayor was asked about his feelings on guns as a veteran who served in Afghanistan in the Navy Reserves but apparently did not engage in combat.
Earlier in September, Buttigieg criticized men who had their “sense of manhood wrapped up in owning a gun.”
“[I]f it gets to where your sense of manhood is wrapped up in owning a gun, I think that’s where our culture is on the wrong track,” Buttigieg said in an interview with TMZ Live.
Buttigieg has expressed support for an “assault weapons” ban on some semi-automatic rifles but has resisted the more aggressive promise from Beto O’Rourke to take away AR-15s and AK-47s from gun owners with a nationwide mandatory buyback program.
In August, the South Bend mayor called for a new ban on semi-automatic “assault weapon” rifles and a ban on any ammunition magazines over ten rounds.
“As a veteran, I know that military-grade weapons have no place in our neighborhoods,” he wrote.
Although he disagreed with O’Rourke’s approach, he said that Democrats should work to pass whatever they could on gun control.
“When even this President and even Mitch McConnell are at least pretending to be open to reforms, we know that we have a moment on our hands,” Buttigieg said in an interview with CNN. “Let’s make the most of it and get these things done.”
“Well, shit, that is not enough,” O’Rourke responded to Buttigieg, calling it a “life and death” issue.