The only problem? Senator Sanders doesn’t quite have the record to show for it. In fact, it’s the opposite, and BuzzFeed contributor John Stoehr recently took him to task in piece published last week.
Sanders, who comes from state with a gun ownership rate of 28 percent, has voted to give gunmakers wide-ranging legal immunity. In 2005, he voted in favor of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which prevents victims of gun violence from suing gunmakers and sellers. For years, such a gun liability bill was the number one legislative priority of the National Rifle Association. Wayne LaPierre, the association’s chief executive officer and the target of every Democrat today, said that the bill left the Second Amendment “in the best shape in this country that it’s been in decades.”
What’s more, the signing of the PLCAA came just a year after the Bush administration allowed the now much discussed 10-year assault-style weapons ban introduced by Clinton to expire.
As Stoehr reminds us, the issue of guns became a sudden obstacle for Sanders during his 2016 presidential run, and his position was anything but clear. On some days, he stood by his controversial vote, saying to the New York Daily News, “Do I think the victims of a crime with a gun should be able to sue the manufacturer? No, I don’t.”
Other days, Sanders appeared on the other side of the issue: “I think we should take another look at that legislation and get rid of those provisions which allow gun manufacturers to act irresponsibly.”
With the Parkland shooting, however, there has been a definitive change in the atmosphere, and there is real pressure from the left for Democratic legislators – and even some Republicans as demonstrated in Florida – to act. For Democrats mulling national office, even the slightest hesitation on punitive gun control measures will drive their base (and the main stream media, no doubt) into a frenzy and spell a merciless end to their candidacy.
It’s probably safe to assume which side of the fence Sanders has at last come down on, but it doesn’t take much for voters to see from which side he came.