Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton: You Want to Ban All Guns

Michigander Gene Kopf’s 14-year-old Abigail was critically injured during a Kalamazoo Uber driver’s shooting spree. At last night’s CNN debate he asked Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders what they would do to stem “mass shootings.” His daughter’s attacker didn’t have mental health issues and cleared a background check when purchasing his guns. So Mr. Kopf didn’t “want to hear anything about tougher laws for mental health or criminal backgrounds, because that doesn’t work.” A condition that played straight into Hillary Clinton’s anti-Sanders strategy . . .

I also believe, so strongly, Gene, that giving immunity to gunmakers and sellers was a terrible mistake . . . it removed any accountability from the makers and the sellers . . . We should very seriously work to repeal that . . .

Ms. Clinton was referring to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which prohibits lawsuits against gun manufacturers and sellers when criminals use their products to commit crimes. Clinton pointed out that Senator Sanders voted for the bill in 2005. Sanders tried to set the record straight.

If I understand it, and correct me if I’m wrong, if you go to a gun store and you legally purchase a gun, and then three days later you go out and start killing people, is the point of this lawsuit to hold the gun shop owner or the manufacturer of that gun liable?

If that is the point, I have to tell you I disagree. I disagree because you hold people in terms of this liability thing where you hold manufacturer’s liable is if they understand that they are selling guns in an area getting into the hands of criminals, of course they should be held liable. If they are selling a product and the person who buys it legally, what you are really talking about is ending gun manufacturing in America. That’s the implications of that, and I don’t agree with that . . .

[Additional interchange]

But if that is the case, then essentially your position is there should not be any guns in America. Period. Can I finish please? Alright? And you can . . . there are people who hold that view. And that’s fine if you hold it. I think what you do is that you hold those people who have used the gun accountable to try to make guns as safe as possible.

Ms. Clinton responded with a description of Sandy Hook and added . . .

You talk about corporate greed, the gun manufacturers sell guns to make as much money as they can make.

Senator’s Sanders defense of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act drew no applause from the audience. Ms. Clinton’s accusation that gun makers were motivated by unbridled greed raised an enormous cheer.

After the debate, Mr. Kopf offered the above analysis of the candidates’ response to his question. He believes that preventing Americans from keeping and bearing arms is the ultimate solution to “gun violence.” “Right now we have a cowboy attitude. The Wild West,” Mr. Kopf opined. “If people want something for self-defense, I recommend a TASER.”

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