SocraticGadfly: #BernieSanders, gun nut

May 06, 2015

#BernieSanders, gun nut

Sen. Bernie Sanders
I already knew, and have blogged that, the new darling of the left wing within the Democratic Party, loves him some sucking at the teat of the military-industrial complex, complete to the point of wanting an F-35 squadron in one of the geographically smallest and least populated, not to mention safest, states in the union.

This, though, is even worse.

Sanders apparently deplores gun control in general. His arguments of why he doesn't think good gun control can work are almost gun nut talking points.

And, it's not just gun control, but far worse.

As the story notes, Sanders voted a decade ago to let gun manufacturers off the hook of state liability and tort laws.
But Sanders’ vote for a different kind of pro-gun bill is more puzzling—and profoundly disturbing. In 2005, a Republican-dominated Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). This law doesn’t protect gun owners; it protects gun manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers. The PLCAA was the No. 1 legislative priority of the National Rifle Association for years, because it shields gun makers and dealers from most liability when their firearms are used criminally. It is one of the most noxious pieces of pro-gun legislation ever passed. And Bernie Sanders voted for it. (Sanders’ campaign has not replied to a request for comment.)
When you're to the right of Hillary Clinton on a major issue, you're pretty bad.

(Update, Jan. 17, 2016: Sanders now says he would support overturning that law. That said, his caveat for small gun sellers is a fig leaf just as it's always been, and his claimed 2005 — and ongoing — opposition to child gun locks is tone-deaf, indeed. Beyond that, announcing this the day of the third Democratic presidential debate you're being Just.Another.Politician.

Here's the nut grafs:
Campaign aides said the decision was not a flip-flop, arguing that Sanders backed the 2005 law in part because of provisions that require child safety locks on guns and ban armor-piercing ammunition. 
"Those were important provisions that I did support," Sanders said in a statement.
 Umm, nice try, nice fail, at the caveating. And, actually, this makes things even worse.)

As for gun control laws themselves? I challenge Sanders to tell a Sandy Hook parent he or she is an "elitist," per this statement.
(A) close friend of Sanders once said that the senator “thinks there’s an elitism in the anti-gun movement.” 
I urge people to click that whole link on that story. Sanders even voted against the Brady Bill, for example. And, it also details Sanders' handicaps as a campaigner. He may have survived them, or even done some judo with them, in Vermont, but he'll likely flop on a national state.

And, Sanders' gun nuttery doesn't end there. He also supports pilots packing heat on commercial planes, even though the vast majority of airline pilots opposed that one. That's one of several ... interesting ... positions on his past voting record. And favors loaded guns in National Parks. He actually, to give him a small kudo, inconsistently voted to ban high-capacity magazines. But, despite his generally being a gun nut, the NRA still gave him an F. So, Bernie, your idea of working-class white populism, which this is all part of, probably doesn't have a lot of traction.

Sorry, Bernie, but even though I don't have to abstain from a Democratic primary in Texas to make sure Greens get on the ballot, I'm not voting for you. I am not voting, period, for a gun nut.

I'm ... I'm seeing a more populist Joe Manchin. Or an updated, less religious, William Jennings Bryan.

I don't care if you don't own a single gun yourself; with this voting record, and such comments, you're a gun nut.

1 comment:

PDXAlliance said...

Bernie on Guns
Bernie likes Guns, but Gun Control? Not so much…
He sides with the manufacturers… and against victims.
Now I think every American has a right to purchase a gun, but gun manufacturers have a responsibility to step up to the plate when their products are defective. But Bernie gave them a get out of jail free card. Here is an interesting and scary piece by Mark Stern, writing for Slate:
Tim Flanagan, associate editor at ThePeaceresource

“When Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders jumped into the 2016 presidential race, he was widely hailed as a far-left socialist who would appeal to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. A liberal challenge to Hillary Clinton, said Politico. True progressives’ liberal alternative, trumpeted FiveThirtyEight. But before liberal Democrats flock to Sanders, they should remember that the Vermont senator stands firmly to Clinton’s right on one issue of overwhelming importance to the Democratic base: gun control. During his time in Congress, Sanders opposed several moderate gun control bills. He also supported the most odious NRA–backed law in recent memory—one that may block Sandy Hook families from winning a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the gun used to massacre their children.”