Here Comes Bernie With Or Without His Guns.

              Now that Crazy Bern seems to be moving into a commanding lead in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination, a lead that may well get him near to the brass ring on Super Tuesday, which happens to be just one week away, his record on guns and gun-control laws comes up because he has always been pictured as being too ‘soft’ on guns.

              The image of a pro-gun Bernie was used by Hillary in 2016, even though when she campaigned against Obama in 2008, he was the gun-control candidate while she waxed lyrical of going out hunting with her father in the woods. How much reality was there behind her attempts to appear comfortable with 2nd-Amendment ‘rights,’ God only knows. But she had no trouble jumping to the other side of the fence once she discovered that her 2016 primary opponent was himself something of a pro-gun guy.

              What vote was used in 2016 and again this year to paint Crazy Bernie as a stooge of the NRA?  The first pro-gun vote he cast was against the Brady bill, the second time he voted in favor of the PLCCA which immunizes the gun industry from class-action suits. In both instances, Bernie justified his vote on the fact that he represented a rural, gun-owning state. In fairness to him, it should be noted that Vermont’s Democratic Senator, Pat Leahy, also voted against the Brady bill.

              I happen to think that this attempt to paint Sanders into a corner over his record and views on gun control is a dead duck before it ever gets off the ground. To begin, if Bernie has flip-flopped on certain gun-control measures, how do you compare what he has done this year to what Hillary did in 2016? When she ran against Obama in 2008 she sent mailers around before the Indiana primary accusing her opponent of being ‘soft’ on ‘gun rights.’ In 2016 she not only went after Crazy Bern for being pro-gun, she made gun control one of the building-blocks of her entire campaign. If anyone in Gun-control Nation found her shift from pro-gun to anti-gun a little difficult to believe, all I can say is they voiced their concerns in a very quiet way.

              Where does Bernie stand right now on guns? He’s in favor of universal background checks, red flag laws, and co-sponsored the current assault rifle ban which will go nowhere at all. He is also a co-sponsor of Dick Blumenthal’s bill (S. 1939) to repeal PLCCA. At various campaign stops, Joe has gone after Bernie for voting against the Brady bill in 1994.  Criticizing someone for a vote cast twenty-five years ago is like using the Paleozoic era to define political time.

              What I find most interesting about the gun issue in 2020 is the degree to which it has become much less of an issue than it was in 2016. There was a little dust-up from Gun-nut Nation when Beto O’Rourke proposed an assault weapons buy-back plan, but when his campaign ran out of gas and money in November, the issue was politely shelved.

              There have been two federal gun laws passed in my lifetime: GCA68 and Brady in 1993. Both laws came about because a liberal President from a Southern state was able to count on blue majorities in both the Senate and the House. It should also be remembered that the genesis of both laws was the successful assassination of one President and the unsuccessful assassination of another. I’m not a Trump fan by any means, but I certainly wouldn’t want to see him shot. For that matter, the odds that both houses of Congress will return blue in 2021 is far from assured.

              No Democratic Presidential candidate will say anything about gun control other than supporting the standard legislative proposals that have been flopping around now for more than twenty years. So, if anyone in Gun-control Nation thinks they should decide how to vote because of how the candidates differ on guns control, they might want to think again.

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4 thoughts on “Here Comes Bernie With Or Without His Guns.

    • If he doesn’t take a dive the country will him the diving-board in November. He just lost Florida with his comments on Cuba.

      • Oh I’ll be voting for him in the Primary because I think Trump Vs Sanders is the logical conclusion to the current political zeitgeist. It’s not my PERSONAL feelings on politics, but ignoring the popular opinion of the people is what Hillary did.

  1. I happen to think that if Sanders is the candidate, this election could mark the very first time that Americans will be asked to decide whether their tax money should go to pay for social services needed by the middle class. Until now, both parties have argued that the role of government is to provide services for people who can’t provide for themselves; i.e., the elderly and the poor. So the argument then becomes how much money to give the elderly and the poor.

    We happen to be the only advanced (OECD) country that believes in the efficacy of the free market to deliver social services in the most effective and rational way. So we are the only country where colleges charge tuition, and a college education is rapidly becoming an entry-level requirement for a decent job. We are also the only OECD country that has a private health-care system. We are also the only OECD country that only provides public housing for the elderly and the poor (which is often the same population.)

    Unfortunately, while we still have the highest per-capita income of any OECD country, the cracks in this system are beginning to show. Despite an economy that has been growing now for 9 consecutive years, our adult illiteracy rate is the highest of all OECD countries; our health outcomes are about the lowest (although health-care outcomes are difficult to compare) and the only thing which maintains a decent housing market are the artificially-low mortgage rates thanks to the money-pumping activity if the Federal Reserve. I should interject by the way that Kudlow’s comment last week about how the Fed should never have ‘bailed out’ the economy by buying up the debt may rank is the second dumbest comment ever made by a public official, the first being the 1932 statement by Herbert Hoover who said that he saw no signs of an economic slowdown.

    I’m not going to even consider predicting either the outcome of the Democratic primaries or the November result. And for all I know, a majority of Americans will continue to believe that the private sector should be the primary source for the delivery (read: purchase) of essential services. Fine. If that’s what they want, that’s what they get. But I would like to see one election in my lifetime turn on this issue, one way or the other.

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