Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders: Defensive on Guns, Half a Cheer for Rand Paul

|

Interesting cover story interview in recent Rolling Stone with the new American "democratic socialist" poster boy, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

One interesting point, especially as he's been scrambling to sound anti-gun as repetitively as possible post-San Bernardino, as Robby Soave documented here last week.

In the RS interview, conducted before that attack, he's more defensive about not being tough enough on guns and gun dealers for the modal Democratic Party voter, or RS reader:

RS: Why did you vote in 2005 to strip – from gun victims and the states that pick up the cost of gun violence – the same right to sue these gun companies? Didn't ending the threat of lawsuits remove any impetus to have safer products, or to clean up distribution networks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals?

Sanders: ….I come from a state that has virtually no gun control and, thank God [knocks on wood], has a reasonably low crime rate, OK? That is the culture of my state….

I had voted for instant background checks, to do away with the gun-show loophole. That's a pretty strong record for somebody that comes from a state that has no gun control. Every one of those votes was opposed by a lot of people in my state….

Now this legislation. We have a lot of gun stores in Vermont, small shops. If Mr. Smith, the gun-shop owner, sells you a gun legally, you have your instant background check, you get the gun. Then you flip out and you shoot your wife. It happens. Should the gun-shop owner be held liable for selling you the product?

RS: I would think the courts could make that determination.

Sanders: No. Well, let me make it: I don't think he should. I honestly don't think it should any more than if you picked up that table and banged me over the head and killed me. Would you hold that person [who sold the table] liable? We know what guns do. Guns have the capability of killing people. But I do not believe that somebody who lawfully sells a gun to somebody else should be held responsible if somebody uses that product wrongfully….

Sanders also had surprisingly a couple of nice things to say about, alone among Republicans, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.):

I would say Rand Paul, on occasion, comes out and says something that is sensible. On the other hand, what did he recently say? That I'm like Pol Pot? So we don't want to overdo it here in expressing great sympathy for Rand Paul. But he has shown a consistent attention to the invasion of our privacy rights both from the federal government and corporate America. And he is much [more] reluctant than his colleagues to get us into another war. On those two issues, he has stood above the other Republican candidates.

Otherwise, the interview is mostly Bernie being Bernie, talking up nationalized health care, more stringent price controls on drugs, forcing the economy away from coal through taxes and other means, publicly financed elections (to ensure no incumbent ever loses again in history, though he doesn't say that's the motive, and I've always wondered what good supporters of it expect to accomplish from their own perspective minus an absolute ban on any political speech whatsoever not directly paid for out of those public funds), a $15/hour national minimum wage, breaking up big financial institutions and arresting CEOs (for what statutory violations he seems unsure), and other things he thinks are good ideas, damn the cost.

He also, on the more positive side, says he'd pardon more nonviolent drug offenders as president.

Mostly, Sanders continues to stake out his real ground, which isn't necessarily classical socialism of the "government control of the means of production" variety, but really just a superexpensive welfare state based on the principle that, hey, some people are really rich, tax 'em up the wazoo, it'll all work out.

The principle that anyone with more money than me should have some of it taken from them to give things either to me or people with less than me seems to absolutely light many people's souls on fire, so I'm not counting Sanders' chances out.

Advertisement

NEXT: Trump's Supporters Okay with Him Going Third Party, World Leaders Condemn Him, Is He Voldemort? P.M. Links

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. ….I come from a state that has virtually no gun control and, thank God [knocks on wood], has a reasonably low crime rate, OK? That is the culture of my state….

    He’s right here, the culture of his state is conducive to a low crime rate. Lack of urban centers and little if any gang related activity, hence, low crime rate.

    1. for some reason, this malicious truth is conveniently ignored.

  2. Question: Who still reads Rolling Stone?
    Answer: Brian Doherty. Brian Doherty still reads Rolling Stone.

    The principle that anyone with more money than me should have some of it taken from them to give things either to me or people with less than me seems to absolutely light many people’s souls on fire, so I’m not counting Sanders’ chances out

    This is very true and very sad.

    1. Also, I like how the baby boomer generation’s magazine scored an interview with an old, white man running for president.

      What is this, 2004?

    2. Not very smart, since clearly the majority of people are going to lose big that way.

    3. Johnny Fuckerfaster.

  3. Ok, what I got from this is that #feeltheBern wants Rand to win. I’m good with that.

  4. The principle that anyone with more money than me should have some of it taken from them to give things either to me or people with less than me seems to absolutely light many people’s souls on fire.

    Bernie goes as ‘naked envy’ for Halloween every year.

    1. Do they realize that makes Sanders and his supporters horrible people?

      1. why would they think that? Consider who you are talking about.

        1. Who is he talking about?

          1. I thought it was Sanders supporters but now I haz a confooz.

      2. Always remember, the first people to mewl “CORPORATE GREED” are themselves the greediest cunts known to man.

  5. OK, I now understand why Trump articles – this plus Clinton article above will probably get as many comments in total as a Trumpythread will accrue in two minutes.

    Good Libertarians do as market forces command, after all.

    1. ^ This.

      Reason: Clinton Sucks

      Commentariat: Yup

      Reason: Sanders Sucks

      Commentariat: Yup

      Reason: Trump Sucks

      Commentariat goes into apoplectic 500+ comment spitting contest

      1. Think it’s more to do with articles saying Trump sucks AND this thing that libertarians disagree on make him a racist!!!

        Toss out a couple of articles on how Trump sucks because of gun control or drug prohibition or any number of reasons libertarians would be unanimous in opposing him and you’ll see the same thing. Whereas with guys like Bernie and Jared Polis you have a fair number of “he’s not libertarian but isn’t it cool how sympathetic he is to it”-type articles hyping the few points where they kind of, sort of agree with the libertarian stances.

      2. More like:

        Clinton Sucks

        Sanders Sucks

        OMG TRUMP IS THE WORSTEST FASCIST CANDIDATE IN THE HISTORY OF RACISM AND BIGOTRY!

  6. On the other hand, what did he recently say? That I’m like Pol Pot?

    Rand’s still the man.

  7. the same right to sue these gun companies? Didn’t ending the threat of lawsuits remove any impetus to have safer products, or to clean up distribution networks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals?

    Explain in detail how allowing “victims of gun violence” to sue gun manufacturers would lead to ‘safer products, clean up distribution networks and keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Show your work.

  8. nationalized health care, more stringent price controls on drugs, forcing the economy away from coal through taxes and other means, publicly financed elections (to ensure no incumbent ever loses again in history, though he doesn’t say that’s the motive, and I’ve always wondered what good supporters of it expect to accomplish from their own perspective minus an absolute ban on any political speech whatsoever not directly paid for out of those public funds), a $15/hour national minimum wage, breaking up big financial institutions and arresting CEOs (for what statutory violations he seems unsure),

    So, to add something vaguely substantive to the thread, how the fuck is this not a cause for pants-shitting? This is straight-up Soviet experiment Phase One, with some Phase Three thrown in for good measure (arresting kulaks and wreckers).

    1. He..*gazes at shoelaces* means well.

      1. Well, yeah, he’ll wreck the economy and piss on what’s left of the Constitution, but at least he won’t close the borders to “Syrian” “refugees”.

  9. Oh speaking of socialist engineering, for those not keeping score at home, here’s some serious old-school lefty corruption of the type that makes you wonder why all these people aren’t on the 6 o’clock news in leg-irons and orange jumpsuits.

    Filed under: Trump is just a theory, but this is really happening, right the hell now:

    Why was Seattle denied federal funds to expand bike sharing?

    Pishue isn’t quite sure why Seattle was denied the grant. He can speculate, however. He said he is still looking through Seattle’s application, but so far, he believes the numbers and figures the city submitted in its application were off.

    “Looking at the numbers, they just seem a little exaggerated,” Pishue said. “Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle Department of Transportation planned to spend $93 million on bike sharing over 20 years, but would receive over $300 million in benefits ? over $200 million of that comes from healthcare savings.”

    The city calculated healthcare savings would total $222,721,879 over 20 years. It was the largest assumption it made. A casual user of the system, who is also “physically inactive,” would receive about $560 in health savings, the city estimates. If they use the services 2.2 times, that’s more than $250 in medical savings per trip, according to Pishue.

    Another financial benefit, emissions reduction, totaled 2,421,933. Vehicle crash reduction was $18,457,506. Travel cost savings was $103,049,370.

    1. Seattle’s assumption: Biking makes people healthier, and healthier people spend less on healthcare cost. The city took into account annual and casual bike share users, and factored in the percentage of inactive adults in society, how many are shifting from other forms of transportation, and more.

      “What I noticed is that the city didn’t calculate that half of the new bikes they plan are electronic bikes,” Pishue said. “So they assume that electronic bike riders get the same benefits as regular bike users.”

      “That does sound like an attempt to criminally defraud tax payers,” he said. “That is such a ludicrous assertion on their part, and calculation, I’m wondering if that is even legal to use numbers like that and try to scam federal taxpayers.”

      http://mynorthwest.com/76/2862…..ke-sharing

      1. Yes.

        Shit, I wish I could get paid $250 to ride my bike to work.
        Sounds like a job for President Bernie. Somewhere in his 5 year plan.

        1. You’d get over $500 to ride your bike one block, twice. Twice.

      2. Excellent find. What a crock! Government statistics are so flippin’ far off, how are these people not brought up on charges of fraud?

        Drift;
        Wasn’t it a few years ago we had government commercials telling us all to change just one bulb in the house from incandescent to CFL and we would miraculously reverse climate change? So now here we are, and everyone in almost every type of building has ditched the incandescents for CFLs and the even more efficient LEDs…. and yet DOOOOOOOM!!! MOAR CLIMATE CHANGE!!

    2. What happens when a company does not attract enough customers interested in its services? In the real world, the company simply fails. In Seattle, the city government takes it over and uses taxpayer dollars to expand the service no one wants. The Seattle Times reports,

      “Seattle transportation director Scott Kubly is working on a city takeover and expansion of the underused Pronto Cycle Share network ? in hopes a broader coverage territory will make the bikes more useful.

      Note the Seattle times uncritically calls this failed experiment “underused”.

      I worked for a company whose principal product was “underused”. I didn’t have the SDOT executive– a former director of bike share company Alta attempting to line my pockets with a bailout.

      1. Thanks, Paul. Keeping an eye on idiocy to the south will at least warn me what to expect when it migrates up here in about five years or so.

        1. I can’t imagine Canadians falling for something this stupid. Thankfully, the feds didn’t fall for it, but the people of Seattle are A-ok with this.

          1. Bike-share scheme? Idiots on Vancouver city council are rearing to go. We’d already have it, but, funny story:

            City council approved the bike share program in July 2013. It was initially expected to launch by early 2014, but issues with its bicycle supplier, Bixi, and the company that was contracted to run the program, Alta Bike Share, have delayed the program.

            In early 2014 it was announced that the company that owns Bixi owed $50 million to various creditors, including the City of Montreal, and the company was headed for bankruptcy.

  10. Why did you vote in 2005 to strip ? from gun victims and the states that pick up the cost of gun violence ? the same right to sue these gun companies? Didn’t ending the threat of lawsuits remove any impetus to have safer products, or to clean up distribution networks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals?

    And this is why RS is a cheap hack rag.

    PLCAA does not prohibit lawsuits against corrupt distributors, who actually do illegal things.

    Nor does PLCAA prohibit suits for defective or unsafe products, using the same version of “unsafe” that applies to kitchen knives, chainsaws, and motorbites: unsafe in normal, lawful use.

    If someone sells a gun that blows up in your hand because it’s badly designed and made? You can still sue them, and win.

    PLCAA bans exactly what RS wants, though, which is “suing gun makers because a third or fourth or fifth party eventually got a gun and used it to do something illegal”.

    (RS ought to know that we have an entire Federal bureaucracy with the job of “regulating and inspecting gun dealers”, called the BATFE… )

  11. Mostly, Sanders continues to stake out his real ground, which isn’t necessarily classical socialism of the “government control of the means of production” variety, but really just a superexpensive welfare state based on the principle that, hey, some people are really rich, tax ’em up the wazoo, it’ll all work out.

    There’s another word for this kind of socialism. You know, the kind of socialism that doesn’t own the means of productions but directs the results of production in the national interest?

    1. Swe…Swedish Socialism?

      Norwegian?

      I think it’s one of them Germanic nations, anyway. I’m sure they are all happy, healthy, 180cm tall and blonde, all from the socialiasm whose name escapes me.

  12. It is a depressing fact that, outside of Rand Paul or maybe Ted Cruz, the best outcome for libertarians in this election cycle would be Bernie Sanders as President with a Republican Congress.

    1. Gridlock may be a good thing, but remember that the next president will likely fill a couple of supreme court positions.

  13. Sanders continues to stake out his real ground, which isn’t necessarily classical socialism of the “government control of the means of production” variety, but really just a superexpensive welfare state based on the principle that, hey, some people are really rich, tax ’em up the wazoo, it’ll all work out.

    Public health care system, public retirement system, public education system, stick it to the bankers, tax investment incomes heavily, keep out foreign workers, but let the middle class keep their private property. Yes, Sanders isn’t a socialist of the classical variety, he is one of the national variety. Read the NSDAP 25 point program and compare.

  14. Is this real?

    Does that magazine still exist? Printed on paper and mailed out and everything?

    I thought by this point it’d be owned by a gaggle of Vineyard Vines-clad, floppy-haired Virginia teenagers.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.