San Bernardino Shooting

Bernie Sanders Wrong About 'Epidemic' of Gun Violence, Demands Gun Control

San Bernardino shooting brings out Sanders' inner gun restrictionist.


Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders is rapidly becoming as bad on gun rights as he is on so many other issues: in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, he is calling for an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, and other restrictions on firearms.

The Vermont senator and self-described Democratic Socialist was once viewed as somewhat libertarian on select gun issues, but he's lurched leftward—probably in an attempt to avoid ceding ground to his rival, Hillary Clinton, who has always been reliably anti-gun.

On Thursday afternoon, he fired off a series of Tweets elucidating his shifting views:

It's probably true that there has been a slight increase in mass shootings in the United States (although that depends a great deal upon how "mass shooting" is defined), but it simply isn't the case that gun violence has "reached epidemic levels." As Reason's Nick Gillespie noted earlier, violent crime has plummeted since the early 1990s. If we've currently reached epidemic levels of gun violence, what were we enduring in 1995, when the violent crime rate was double what it is now? How can we "reach epidemic levels" if things are actually getting less bad? Even a single mass shooting is a tragedy, and it's worth discussing whether stricter gun laws would make such a thing less likely, but gun control activists can't pretend the country is getting much more violent. The facts suggest the opposite.

Nor does it seem to be the case that the policies Sanders now supports would have actually prevented San Bernardino, since many of them were already in place. Indeed, the state of California already bans assault weapons and requires universal background checks, according to Reason's Brian Doherty.

Sanders says "we need sensible legislation that prevents guns from being used by people who should not have them." But the policies he advocates would make it more difficult for everyone to have guns, not just the people who shouldn't have them.

NEXT: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Wants to Toughen California Gun Laws Via Ballot Initiative

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  1. I stopped reading after Bernie’s 1st tweet. He say anything incredible or noteworthy in the other 75?

    1. Sensible….yada yada yada….90% of Americans support……blah blah blah…..epidemic levels……..something something something……high capacity magazines…….

      Nope. His tweeter feed is on shuffle and repeat. Nothing new.

      1. Too bad he missed the “40% of guns are sold at gun shows without a background check” statistic. Along with the “~90% of Americans” and “350+ mass shootings”, they make up the holy trinity of made up gun statistics.

        He could have given us a damn hat-trick at least!

        1. He never fails to disappoint.

  2. So, we should have a new background check for the right to keep and bear arms – a background check so strict that you can flunk it even if you’ve passed the background check for being a government health inspector.

    No, that won’t impact 2nd Amendment rights.

    1. /sarc

  3. How many mass shootings in Vermont over the past decade?

    1. Bernie seems blissfully unaware that his home state’s constitutional carry does not result in mass shootings.

      1. I think he’s aware. He’s just required to flip flop because he’s courting retards.

      2. Yeah, the cities with the strictest gun control laws also have the highest rates of gun violence, while the states with more relaxed laws tend to have less, but we can’t let that interfere with The Narrative! C’mon, WTF, there is power to be seized here!

    2. One this year.

      Committed by a woman distraught by her child being taken away.

      1. I guess you missed where ‘mass shooting’ is defined as 4 or more people shot…
        Only 3 there in that incident.

  4. I think it is sickening and senseless when those with influence immediately use a tragedy to further their own ambitions or causes.

    1. Never waste a crisis – and if it isn’t a crisis, make it one!

      1. See, for example, Yale.

      2. It’s like like they’re always stuck in second gear, and after a tragedy they do not even wait a day ( or a week, a month, or even a year) to up-shift.

        1. After Newtown, the left was totally jacked-up for finally getting some real federal infringements on the 2A.

          They got bupkis (unless you live in NY, but that’s my problem). I think they are so infuriated that whenever any opportunity arrives to shriek even louder they jump on it. Ends justify the means.

          1. To them, those kids died for nothing if they didn’t get any erosion of the 2nd Amendment out of it. They might as well have not been killed at all.

          2. CT and MD also got new, more restrictive laws; other states may have as well.

            1. Absolutely true, but what the gun grabbers want is federal action.

  5. This will all be solved when engineers design a gun trigger that can’t pull itself.

    1. I know, right? It’s like, why can’t we just control all these guns?

  6. Market bombings are widespread in the ME and have a much higher death toll than US shootings.


  7. So, have I just not been paying attention, or did this “350 mass shootings” shit start yesterday? I know that the source of the stat has been around longer than that, but I never heard anyone say it on mainstream news until yesterday as far as I can remember.

    1. Yep, the hoplophobes are going for the “Big Lie” propaganda in a bid to get people on board with their sad little agenda.

    2. Look. It feels like there’s been hundreds of mass shootings. Who cares about silly things like facts. It feels true so it must be true.

      1. I don’t think that that number is totally made up. I think it is mislabeled.

        1. USA today ran an article showing the various definitions of “mass shooting”. The FBI defines “mass killing” to involve multiple deaths by any weapon. The loosest definition includes any shooting where more than one person was hit by a bullet.

          The range of definitions gives you any where from a dozen mass killings to 300+ mass shootings.

          1. in the loosest definition, a murder/suicide by handgun is a mass shooting.

            1. To be fair, all bullets have mass. So until energy weapons become more commonplace…

              1. Mass-equivalence shootings?

    3. The idea is to manipulate the definition until you end up with a scary number. This definition includes just about any gang shootings.

      Surprisingly, Mother Jones did a superb article about the subject, complete with a spreadsheet and pivot table.This is the way real reporting should be done.…..-full-data

      1. Same thing with hunger. Or poverty. Or sickness. Or anything else that “requires government action.”

        1. It is not that there isn’t a criticism to make. It is just that the criticism isn’t very interesting or important.

          1. Wow, you are colossally butthurt over this.

            Sad. We got a new Bo on our hands.

    4. Yes, it started yesterday.

      1. It’s like they had it all ready to go and were just waiting for the opportunity.

    5. His numbers while wrong, tell an underlying truth. Unless you deny the underlying truth the numbers were presented to prove, what the hell difference does it make that the numbers were not completely accurate?

    6. So, have I just not been paying attention, or did this “350 mass shootings” shit start yesterday?

      Close your eyes for a moment, and remember back to the rise-and-fall of homelessness between the years 1988 and 1992.

    7. Don’t forget this part.


    8. Oh, good. It’s not just me.

    9. In about 2013 (that’s when their data set starts), Reddit’s GunsAreCool forum decided to use the definition of 4 or more people (including the shooter(s)) wounded or killed by guns to track mass shootings. This caught on amongst the gun control crowd and I guess the media caught onto it yesterday.

      1. It’s not “wounded or killed by guns” it’s one person shot and at least 3 other people injured within 2 weeks by pretty much any means (including car accidents and cops firing tasers).

        For example, this is #111 of this year’s “mass shootings.”…..ton-114076

        Full (slightly dated) analysis that includes which ones they are counting that were pellet guns can be found here. http://www.thetruthaboutguns.c…..out-facts/

        1. If you waste time at the ‘tracking’ site, you’ll find they spend most of the opening page justifying/excusing manipulating the definitions of whatever to hype their number.
          They are not only biased and lying shits, but blatant about it.

    10. The new “mass shooting” idea is the statistical equivalent of “assault weapons”.

  8. You have to enjoy that (as Soave is likely correct) policy shifts are being made based not only random and isolated events but also on obtaining primary votes. What’s a Bill of Rights up against the horse race to the White House?

  9. can you maybe stop with the semi hard-on over Bernie being somewhat or possibly or plausibly kinda sorta libertarian on some issues? Just stop. The guy is what he is. That, on certain days, he may side with you on one issue hardly makes up for the laundry list in which he is the antithesis of your belief system.

    1. The gulag residents will receive a generous ration of pot and ass sex. Hail Bernie!

    2. The Vermont senator and self-described Democratic Socialist was once viewed as somewhat libertarian on select gun issues

      Yes, what a ringing endorsement. Robby the crypto-socialist has been smoked out. Damn his commie hair.

      1. it’s still silly. “hey guys, he’s on our side maybe kinda sorta every once in a great while. Never mind the parts where he hates us.” Just because a guy rides one of your hobby horses doesn’t make him worth supporting.

        1. was once viewed as somewhat libertarian on select gun issues

          Maybe read that again.

        2. hey guys, he’s on our side maybe kinda sorta every once in a great while

          Well, he kinda, sorta was on guns. When he only needed votes from people in VT.

  10. “We need sensible legislation that prevents guns from being used by people who should not have them.”

    Let’s just cut through the bullshit. Here is my legislation:
    “All bad things are hereby forbidden. Anyone caught using bad things will be considered bad people. All bad people go to jail.”

    There solved the problem!

    1. BRILLIANT!!!!

  11. Has anyone else noticed that Leftists all parrot the same arguments and (usually flawed) statistics using the exact same language?

    I know they all get their talking points from the same source, but you’d think they’d at least have sufficient critical thinking skills to change the wording a bit.

    1. It’s so much easier to just re-tweet it though.

    2. Bernie-bots are worse than Paul-tards. In ways beyond just being wrong.

  12. “sensible legislation”

    I didn’t realize that murder wasn’t against the law in most jurisdictions already.

    1. You’re relying on the layperson definition of “sensible.” As politicians use the word, “sensible” means “submit to the state and give me more power over your lives.”

      1. it’s an extension of common sense. If I favor such legislation and you don’t, then you are clearly lacking in common sense.

  13. Bernie Sanders Wrong About ‘Epidemic’ of Gun ViolenceEverything, Demands Gun Control

    I felt the Bern this morning when I had my morning constipational.

    1. Probably shouldn’t have eaten all that curry last night.

      1. Deport those damn Indians, too. They threaten the American way of pooping.

        1. Hey, if God didn’t intend for us to spend 45 minutes grunting out a football-shaped mass once a week, He wouldn’t have invented bacon cheese fries.




  14. I can’t think of we should consider just getting rid of every gun restriction altogether and try it out for 5 or 10 years.

    Let people possess, carry, manufacture, and allow it every where including planes, trains, churches, schools, etc.

    anyone can have a gun regardless of age, criminal record, health, etc.

    Let’s just treat the 2nd Amendment as if it were engraved in the Koran for 5 to 10 years and see how it goes.

    We might as well because there is not a single law that will stop anyone from obtaining a gun.

    1. What AB said.

      1. Get rid of ALL Gun Laws for a period of ten years.
        No restrictions whatsoever on possession and one can carry anywhere any type of weapon.

        1. I’ll do you one better, get rid of all gun laws until “there is no enemy but peace”.

          It worked pretty well up until Jim Crow laws starting disarming those deemed “dangerous”.

    2. There is not a single law that will stop anyone from obtaining your mom.

      1. I have several mom’s. And, the one in the Dominican Republic is probably un-obtainable regardless of law.

        1. I bet a certain Senator from NJ could.

          1. Corey Booker?

    3. And get rid of all the progs too.

  15. But doesn’t California already have the things that Sanders advocates? How effective were these measures in preventing the San Bernadino outrage yesterday?

    In my opinion, as a lifelong resident, California’s gun control laws went way past “common sense” long ago, yet it appears they cannot prevent horrific massacres. “Cracking down” and prohibition do not work; they only ratchet up the misery level of those who strive to respect and obey the laws, not to mention that gun prohibition and other controls, in particular, leave so many without adequate personal defense.

    A truly American approach to this problem would start by asking, “assuming everyone has at least one gun, what can we do to minimize the motivation and opportunity for gun violence”? That is, we need to order society to be in most harmony with the 2nd Amendment (and all the other provisions of the Constitution and Bill of Rights). Our domestic and foreign policies would be radically different, and I doubt that we would be any less safe or prosperous than we are now, if respect for the Constitution and the presumption of individual autonomy and liberty were the starting point of new laws and policies, and not the pesky barriers that government had to work around or sweep away.

    1. But doesn’t California already have the things that Sanders advocates?

      Only an extremist gun nut would commit the ThoughtCrime of noticing that!

    2. Maybe they should adopt the hyper-strict measures in DC and Chicago?

  16. Y’know, two days ago, it would be pretty racist to deny Syed Farook a gun for some fun at target practice.

    1. If I were a muslim today Named Syed Farook, I’d change my name to Samuel Foley.

    2. And at one point it would have been racist to deny Bryce Williams / Vester Flanagan’s gun rights just because he made co-workers uncomfortable by pointing out their microaggressions.

  17. We need sensible legislation that prevents guns from being used by people who should not have them.

    I agree, but it’s just so hard to disarm the police, bureaucrats, and politicians! They really don’t like it when you take their force away from them.

  18. But the policies he advocates would make it more difficult for everyone to have guns, not just the people who shouldn’t have them.

    It sounds like you’re generously assuming that his definition of “people who shouldn’t have them” is somewhat close to yours. I’m inclined to doubt that; I think he includes people like you and me in his definition.

  19. I’d suggest that Sanders is coming back to what he actually believes about gun control but has suppressed in order to not freak out the Vermont electorate who are less important to him in this race.

    1. THIS^^

    2. I’d actually have a modicum of respect for the guy if he stuck with his old position or at least kept his mouth shut. He was a kook and a moron but at least he didn’t come off as left-wing robot.

      I will enjoy laughing in the faces of anyone who continues to say Sanders is authentic and means what he says. Either he was lying before or he’s lying now, but “authentic” he ain’t.

  20. It’d be a lot quicker to come up with a list of things Bernie Sanders is right about.


    Not much of an article in that, i guess.

    1. Hey, some of us enjoy going through the year with only one stick of deodorant. Don’t other us.

      1. I’m not othering you, just staying upwind.

  21. I still haven’t heard a coherent position on who the hell these “people who shouldn’t have guns” are. Everytime you ask them the Democrats seem to just point to the latest guy in the news and go “HIM!”

    I can think of exactly one “common-sense” way to answer that – former violent criminals (which has its own problems, but at least makes some sense). These shooters are essentially never that. All the other things I’ve heard are stupid reactionary BS that would solve literally nothing. (E.G.: “Ban people who have been reported harassing people at abortion clinics from owning guns!” )

    1. There’s no point in a national weapons ban when you have a nation that has more guns than people.

      Anyone, any age, any race, any health condition, any criminal or credit record can obtain a gun illegally.

      Just Legalize It. My position has completely changed on this.

    2. Pass a law that bans all people who WILL commit a violent crime from purchasing a gun. That way, when that person eventually does commit a violent crime, we can lock the seller away for selling to a future criminal.

      1. What about guns that can’t be traced to sellers?

    3. The people who should not have guns are the people who will shoot other people, obviously.

      How you figure that out, they have not a clue.

    4. Here’s one: You can not be prohibited from buying a gun if you are not in this country legally. But, I thought that liberals believe that all people in the country are entitled to the free exercise of their human rights.
      If you are a veteran who has be prescribed drugs for depression – NO SOUP FOR YOU!
      If you are simply “under indictment” – No soup for you.
      Dishonorably discharged, under a restraining order, buying for you youth . . . no soup for you.

      1. Sorry I made a bad edit – you can be prohibited from buying a gun . . .

  22. The hard-left Marxist and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the MSM media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States..

    Second Amendment foes lying about gun control – The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with personal self-defense.Firearms are our constitutionally mandated safeguard against tyranny by a powerful federal government. Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control.

    No matter what any president, senator, congressman, or hard-left mainstream media prostitutes tell you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America..

    These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens’ ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family. Ask the six million Jewws, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the Nazzi death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back.

    American Thinker

    1. Progressives love freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. We just have a different opinion.
      People that want strict laws don’t Hate America, they just have a different opinion on how to resolve this problem.
      It may not be the one you share.

      Me, my views have changed on this topic.

      I supported gun control for many years.

      At this point, I’m a progressive an no longer support gun laws at all.

      As for Nazi Germany, even if Jews were armed, the Germans would had just apprehended them in a more violent way.

      Don’t think your gun will protect you or your family from the Government . You may kill an FBI agent or two, but at the end, the Government will win against you and your family. Regardless of gun laws.

      1. Slim Chance, or No Chance – I’ll take slim every time. Why wouldn’t you?

      2. Plus, given that some LEOs might actually be decent people, they might decide to not enforce dumb laws that are resisted forcefully enough (I know, not likely, but again, a slim chance is better than no chance).

  23. When, if ever, did the senator last view the plethora of gun laws already in existence, be they federal, state or otherwise? That having been asked, what might it be that causes him to opine that “more of the same” would be of the least value to the general citizenry?

    1. That having been asked, what might it be that causes him to opine that “more of the same” would be of the least value to the general citizenry?

      They don’t want “more of the same”. They want a full-on ban and confiscation. They know what they want, and we know what they want, but the mushy middle–where the votes are–won’t go along with it. So they do this dance, where they sell incremental and generally useless “solutions” rather than going all-in. The hope is that they’ll get to the end goal eventually. It’s a Fabian strategy, and while it meets with resistance from time to time, it has generally worked so far.

  24. Captain Benevolent State to the rescue!

    Dah Duh Daaaa!!!

  25. ‘Tis the season for pandering.

  26. Mass shootings are becoming an almost-everyday occurrence in this country. This sickening and senseless gun violence must stop.

    … or The Fuhrer will throw a temper tantrum!

  27. political types don’t do well with the idea that you can’t predict the future.

  28. ” If we’ve currently reached epidemic levels of gun violence, what were we enduring in 1995, when the violent crime rate was double what it is now? ”

    If what we’re enduring is EPIDEMIC GUN VIOLENCE THAT CANNOT BE BORNE BY HUMANS, what do people in… say.. Jamaica… endure every day? Jeeze, their lives must be unbearable hells of endless mass murder carnage! List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

    Jamaica : 39.3 / 100k
    USA : 3.8 / 100k

    I guess Jamaica is 10x the super violence hell that is America. Time to cancel your island vacation. Irie, mon!

    1. Funny thing, if you want to experience all of the Jamaican-level gun violence w/o having to pay for a trip to Jamaica, just visit Chicago sometime. Specifically “gangbanger” territory.

  29. Junior-Moron Chorus sings on-cue from their Director, the Moron-In-Chief.

  30. Another misguided rascal who believes that violence and the threat of force is the answer to violence and threats of force.

  31. One more liberal fascist appealing to his fascist voter base.

  32. One more liberal fascist appealing to his fascist voter base.

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