Election 2020 Debate
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., center, makes a point between Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and businessman Tom Steyer during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, hosted by ABC News, Apple News, and WMUR-TV at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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By Larry Keane

Call it gun control brain freeze. The Democratic presidential candidates pained themselves into contortions on the New Hampshire debate stage last week in what was clearly symptomatic of sucking on the straw of the same ice-cold talking point concoctions.

It hurts the head just thinking about it.

Democratic candidates were finally forced to take questions on their plans for gun control. None of the answers were original and offered only ignorance of facts, vilification and double-speak.

It would have been preferable to have a carnival barker at the far end of the stage shouting out the answers for them. Except they did it themselves, harping for a ban on modern sporting rifles, continuing to conflate the semiautomatic rifle with the military’s M-16.

Sen. Sanders Changing Views on Rights

Bernie Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took the first question about how he was once pro- but is now anti-gun and how did he reconcile his conversion. Sen. Sanders’ answer was simple.

“The world has changed,” he said.

Sen. Sanders explained that law-abiding Americans should be forced to surrender fundamental rights over crimes committed by individuals. Sanders argued that since he and other gun control advocates can’t bring themselves to hold the actual criminals responsible for the crimes they commit, then the rights of all Americans aren’t worthy of Constitutional protections. They should be altered, chipped away and rewritten to match popular moods. This, of course, doesn’t make them rights at all, but privileges granted by a ruling mob, only to be yanked when the winds shift and the group thinks differently.

On Sen. Sanders’ list of changes, he said he’d end the “straw man provision.” Sen. Sanders should already know that lying on a background check form by stating the firearm is for you when it is really for someone else is already a felony punishable with a $250,000 fine and 10 years in prison.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has partnered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for 20 years to educate retailers and warn the public of this danger through the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy program.

Former VP Biden: Sue the Industry

Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Former Vice President Joe Biden tried to burnish his credentials as being a “middle ground” guy by saying he was from a “major gun owning state,” without clarifying if that was Pennsylvania, where Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is calling for more gun control even as he slashes budgets for school security, or Delaware, where the former vice president was once a senator and from which he proudly laid claim to authoring the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.

His answer to confronting criminal misuse of firearms, though, was as predictable as it is wrong. It’s hardly surprising, since he previously called the firearms industry the enemy.” He again attacked the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

“First thing I’ll do as President is work to get rid of that,” said the former vice president. “We ought to be able to sue the gun industry.” By that logic, GM and Ford should get ready to defend themselves against lawsuits for drunk driving crimes. 

Sen. Warren: More Gun Control to Fix Failed Gun Control

Elizabeth Warren
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a town hall meeting at Grinnell College, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) admitted that every other attempt at gun control failed and what’s really needed is more gun control.

“We need to think of this problem not as one and done or three things and done,” Sen. Warren explained. “We just keep coming back. We treat it like the public health emergency that it is.”

Sen. Sanders agreed. He said reinstating the failed ban on semiautomatic rifles was just the start.

“We make certain that we end the sale and distribution of assault weapons in this country, and we go further,” he said. “We go further, but at the bottom line is I will not be intimidated by the NRA.”

Except there are two immediate problems with those argument. First, it admits that every gun control law shoved down the throats of law-abiding Americans is a failure. That would suggest each candidate is only offering a circular path and leading to unending calls for more gun control until confiscation happens.

Second, it ignores the fact crime fell even after the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban expired and sales of the most popular centerfire rifle climbed to more than 17.7 million in circulation today. The FBI just reported the 2019 preliminary reports showed crime continues to fall. Violent crimes fell 3.1 percent while property crimes fell 5.6 percent. Those aren’t off years. Those are continuing trends over several years of falling crime rates. 

Mayor Pete: Go After Criminals, Except Not for Guns

Pete Buttigieg
Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

But Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former mayor for South Bend, Ind., accidentally made sense. Except he didn’t know it and won’t admit it. Buttigieg was defending against accusations his policies on drug enforcement were racially imbalanced. He countered that South Bend law enforcement focused “cases where there was a connection to the most violent group or gang connected to a murder.”

So, Mayor Pete would go after those who commit the crimes in the name of drug enforcement, but when it comes to guns, the law-abiding must surrender their guns and their rights.

That’s gun control brain freeze. It’s what happens when you drink up the gun control too quickly. None of it makes sense and it just hurts.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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      • I don’t know where you get your information or by what standard you make that NH vs. TX comparison, but I disagree with claim that NH is superior to TX in Second Amendment compliance, let alone “by a long shot.”

        NH does have an important advantage in that they offer constitutional carry, meaning open or concealed carry without a license. That is big. However, they do also offer a license for reciprocity sake; but NH’s license is not recognized by as many states as that of TX. I don’t just mean the obvious fascist jurisdiction like NY, CA and D.C., but real places, including NB, SC, MT, AZ, and TX. Sorry, New Hampshire travelers, your license is no good here.

        On pretty much everything related to carrying/owning and state preemption, the two states are identical. NH’s problem is that they’re trending hard toward the antis, while TX is racing to expand freedom. NH’s legislature has landed two bills on Gov. Sununu’s desk (3 day waiting periods and elimination of private transfers), which fortunately he did not sign. That means that MAJOR NH 2A rights are hanging by a thread only one election away.

        In Texas, Gov. Abbott probably set a record in 2019 when he signed 10 separate pro-­gun bills into law. One of the bills allows school employees to keep guns locked in their cars on campus parking lots. Overall, both states are strong, though neither has a commanding lead over the other. Guns & Ammo ranks Texas in the top 10, while ranking New Hampshire #17, in terms of firearms freedom.

        Really, the knock against Texas doesn’t stem from genuinely being weak on firearms freedom, but rather for not in real life living up to the image that people maintain from watching T.V. black & white westerns decades ago when they were kids. Those childhood fictions become remembered as facts later on in life. The myth that Texas was ever a firearms Utopia crashes into reality and in turn gives rise to the counter myth that Texas is somehow now a firearms Gehenna. Both are B.S.

        • I carry a firearm in any state I so choose, supposedly legal or not. Why??? Because my Government says I have the Rightti to Be Armed. These states circumventing the 2a are wrong. Oh and btw I’ve been arrested for carrying a concealed firearm, I just don’t talk the talk,

        • by a long shot, for now. reciprosity not being recognized by other locales in no way reflects upon state’s rights. i live in hell, but i ain’t butt hurt about it.

          and all those dang hopfuls are a bunch of, “lying dog faced pony soldiers.”

      • It won’t be for long. NH doesn’t have the strategic depth or population to absorb a suddenly influx of liberals. So, when, yes when, about 50,000 New Yorkers and Massholes suddenly take up residence in NH, it’ll fall hard, and fall fast. Assault weapons bans, no open or conceal carry, red flag laws, confiscations, the works. Meanwhile in Texas, people will still be buying ARs and open carrying to their hearts content.

        • And hopefully we can get a governor that will insist on constitutional carry instead of settling for ” I got mine “. Permits mean a priveledge, constitutional carry recognizes the right.

      • Don as the article states, the real criticism from the twin peaks shootout is and should be aimed at the knee jerk reaction the local, regional, and state politicians had After the fact. The police on the scene in the moment shut down a dangerous situation with lethal efficiency. In some cities, the altercation may have erupted in to total chaos and rioting.

        I don’t even think arresting all those people was a mistake. It was the unconstitutional bail amounts, and the game of Texas hold-em that was and is unacceptable.

        Criminals take note, Texas cops are usually people of the gun and they know how to shoot. Waco is only one of many examples of that.

        • Waco,? Waco Kansas? their sheriff carrys a pitchfork not a gun, his surefire flashlight is a kerosene lantern, “she’s sure to fire if you turn the wick up and get the match just right”. He never polishes his boots because there made out of rubber, cant run worth a diddle but he never has to chase anybody because all the citizens are to damn drunk to stand up. ,,,,,This is a true story: My girlfiend fell and thought she busted something,9 11 the ambulance showed up and so did the sheriff, he was driving a front end loader, she laughed and said”gee I only weigh a hundred and eight pounds, do you really think you need the front end loader?” No sht

      • 100% agree. From the late 1800’s up until the late 1990’s Texas was only gun friendly if you were connected. The laws on the books were very restrictive and selectively enforced. Long guns were generally ok, but that was about it. At the turn of the 20th century, Texas was working hard to loose the gun slinger image, and the laws reflected that.

        • A lot of that is a remnant of the war of northern aggression and subsequent yankee occupation. All of the confederate states had their constitutions forcibly rewritten after the war and state equivalents of the 2A were removed or heavily watered down. It’s taken them a long time to get back.

  1. About 1.5 million +/- here in the Granite state. No one here wants their gun control bs, no one. Anyone however moving up from nanny state MA is all for it. Sununu vetoed the shitty bills they tried passing last year and they are bavk to try again, vote people, call and email your reps, show up on the day they discuss these toilet paper bills. We Will Not Comply.

  2. I was visited by a Bernie canvasser today. A gun owning, MSR enthusiast of all things. He tried really hard to convince me Bernies new anti gun rhetoric was just to appeal to the Dem base and that he wouldn’t pursue gun control if he won.

    I said I wasn’t willing to take the risk.

    Then I asked the Bernie bro how he’d feel if Bernie did pursue it not caring about him of his buds because Bernie got their votes already. Head shaking sad face was the response.

    It’s easy for me. I’m a single issue voter. I feel bad for these guys who have to rank what’s important to them and essentially trade away rights for gibs.

    • I think it’s important for these people to preach to the choir during the primaries…it’s what they do afterwards that counts…

  3. New Hampshire isn’t the most gun-grabby of states but it looks like they don’t have anyone reasonable to choose from (i.e. anything like the Blue Dog Democrats of old)

    • NH is the LEAST gun grabby state.

      Although with MA residents moving there in droves, that could change.

      But at this point NH is constitutional carry, open or concealed. Has no magazine, gun, or ammunition restrictions.

      It really doesn’t get any better.

      • There are a lot of states like that. In fact most of the southern and western states are like that. I admire NH for holding out but you seem borderline obsessive about how goddamn perfect NH is.

      • New Hampshire is certainly not tops on Second Amendment Rights. That would be Arizona, A state where I can recall a lot of open discussion of forming a State Militia to set up border entry points on the interstate highways. Not on the southern border but on the western one. Not to keep out illegal aliens but to deny entry to Citizens of California.

        That was 36 years ago 🙂

  4. We have Trump, stack those judges Donnie-Boy! All others are fails. Demmiecommies in NH are trying to make it VA 2.0 . Should have seen all the frothing lemmings from MA on debate night, brain dead husks. Live Free or Die, can’t handle Liberty, stay in taxatwoshittes.

  5. “The world has changed,” he (Sanders) said.

    Yep, sure has changed, at least the USA has changed. The media is more leftist. An avowed socialist, who honeymooned in Soviet Russia, is running for US President. And crime has changed. = There is a lot less crime.

    The Democrats rant about “evil” guns, but the facts tell a far different story than the candidates (or their lying twin, the media). Crime overall is down over the past 35 years and appears to be continuing that downward trend. There are at least 75,000,000 MORE firearms in private hands in the US than there were 35 years ago, and firearm involved murders occur less than HALF as often as they did in 1985.

    Democrats and the media decry the “epidemic” of school shootings, yet statistics prove incontrovertibly that all crimes in schools are down and schools have never been safer. Particularly notable is the clear FACT that school shootings actually occur now less than half as often as before 1985. The FBI statistics and reports from CDC and NHC, prove that democrats, Moms Against Common Sense, and the media are either lying, idiots, oblivious, suffering from some strange psychosis, or maybe – suffering from all four.

    • There is a lot less crime than 30 years ago

      But statistically significantly more than 5 years ago. Things are going in the wrong direction but it has no causation to guns.

    • Seems to be the Ace in the hole card for sure. I think Bernie is trying for a chicken in every pot, I’ve no clue about the others.. I don’t vote myself because it’s all Illuminati and the Space Aliens anyway.

  6. They have convinced themselves that gun control is a winning strategy.

    But they also have Bloomers and Soros pouring money into their campaigns to buy votes, and it works. Just look at Virginia.

    Then there are their standard methods of “finding” enough votes to win close elections.

    I am not placing bets on the November elections.

  7. These “Assault Candidates” are a greater threat than our firearms. My rifles are all sitting quietly, assaulting no one. Meanwhile; these “Assault Candidates” are continuously and aggressively assaulting our civil rights, everyday. They are the biggest threat to this nation.

    • “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
      ― Taylor Caldwell, A Pillar of Iron

  8. How long before We the People wake the F쩧 Up and realize the DemoCRAPPic party is not but a militant fascist regime that is Authoritarian in nature. And has been actively void 2nd Amendment rights in all if the state’s mentioned! Will any of the citizenry help reform our Rights and hold those architects responsible for suppressing civil rights with long prison terms!

    • Thus site is buggy, I just posted twice with an incorrect web address, make that three iwith this one,,,????! Eff bee Eye,? Sea aye A??? that’s weird, wonder what’s up. Better load the gunms and stick the firecracker fuse in my neutrino blomb

  9. Rest easy, Bernie will provide.

    The People want Communism, and they want it NOW.

    Not just Walmart Communism, but full blown Target Communism.

  10. Note that these same Democrats argue that the criminal justice system is racist and broken.

    One of the regular commenters wrote, “As a Black man, here’s what I say to “woke” SJWs:

    1. The police are all violent, racist sociopaths.
    2. Only the police should have guns.

    Pick ONE.”

  11. “We just keep coming back. We treat it like the public health emergency that it is.” At some point, gun control became a “public health emergency” for King George’s Redcoats. How did that work out for them. History….learn from it or be doomed to re-live it. Shhh….don’t tell the Liberal/Socialists. Let them re-live it.


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