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Sorry Liberals, Bernie Sanders Is a 'Gun Nut'

A left-wing pundit attacks the Vermont socialist for being insufficiently anti-gun.

Credit: Senate.govCredit: Senate.govLast month Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. A self-described socialist and outspoken foe of deodorant choice, the greying radical made it clear that he sees himself as the one true progressive running for the White House.

But is he? Not according to left-wing pundit Mark Joseph Stern. Writing at Slate last month, Stern warned his liberal readers to beware Sanders’ siren song. “Before liberal Democrats flock to Sanders,” Stern wrote, “they should remember that the Vermont senator stands firmly to Clinton’s right on one issue of overwhelming importance to the Democratic base: gun control.” How bad is it? This bad, according to Stern:

[Sanders’] voting record paints the picture of a legislator who is both skeptical of gun control and invested in the interests of gun owners—and manufacturers. In 1993, then-Rep. Sanders voted against the Brady Act, which mandated federal background checks for gun purchasers and restricted felons’ access to firearms. As a senator, Sanders supported bills to allow firearms in checked bags on Amtrak trains and block funding to any foreign aid organization that registered or taxed Americans’ guns. Sanders is dubious that gun control could help prevent gun violence, telling one interviewer after Sandy Hook that “if you passed the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, I don’t think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen.” (He has since endorsed some modest gun control measures.)

Such villainy!

In reality, as Stern parenthetically conceded at the end of that overwrought paragraph, Sanders supports plenty of gun control measures, including intrusive background checks and sweeping federal bans on “assault weapons.” Sanders’ one and only sin—or should I say virtue?—is that he’s slightly out-of-step with the anti-gun zealotry embraced by Stern. Will that mild apostasy on gun control hurt Sanders’ already-slim chances in the Democratic primary? I doubt it, but I guess we’ll find out.

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  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Probably the most sensible thing he's ever said was when he stated that he thought there was an undercurrent of elitism when it comes to gun control.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    Come on, that's not true! Just read this from Mark "Is Obama a Lightworker" Morford:

    You’re a scared white person, almost certainly male. You do not live in a major city, or near a university or intellectual hub of any note, nor have you ever traveled very far from your home town, much less out of state or anywhere further than, say, Mexico. Once. And that was enough.

    You do not read complicated books. You do not like new or weird things. You watch lots of TV, mostly Fox News, which rejoices in showing you endless images of angry foreigners and minorities in pain: tear gas explosions, fights in the streets, looting, this time involving sad, small-town black people in Ferguson, all of them protesting the acquittal of that murderous white cop.

    See? No elitism there. Just calmly presented facts and reason.

  • Viscount Irish, Slayer of Huns||

    "You do not read complicated books. You do not like new or weird things. You watch lots of TV, mostly Fox News, which rejoices in showing you endless images of angry foreigners and minorities in pain: tear gas explosions, fights in the streets, looting, this time involving sad, small-town black people in Ferguson, all of them protesting the acquittal of that murderous white cop."

    I have a vague suspicion he does not watch Fox News because this is not quite my experience with them.

  • Viscount Irish, Slayer of Huns||

    Also, how does one get a job writing for an American newspaper these days? I ask because I legitimately think I'm a better writer than like 90% of the people currently working in American news media and I'm really, really confused as to how any of these people keep their jobs given their obvious incompetence in the job they've been hired to do.*

    *Citizen Nothing obviously excepted from this gross generalization. I'm sure his work for his newspaper is just wonderful

  • lap83||

    Luck or networking. But that's not where the money or demand for writing is anyway.

  • spqr2008||

    And these are the kind of things said to my face and where I could hear about me and my parents because we were slightly more conservative than the crazy left wing orthodoxy of my Unitarian Universalist Church growing up, and our church was the much more conservative of the three UU churches in town. I wonder why I'm completely skeptical of almost anything the left advances to exert control over us?

  • Derpetologist||

    Let's see how well I can play this game:

    You're a smug white liberal, almost certainly under the age of 30. You live in a major city where you work a menial job to pay off student loan debt for your worthless degree. You rarely interact with anyone who doesn't share 99% of your views. You think you are an expert in world affairs because you spent a semester in Spain.

    You do not read books; you cannot do math. You get all your information from Facebook memes and The Daily Show. You do not like Christianity, the South, guns, cars, the military, or Wal-Mart, for you associate these things with rednecks. Almost everything you read or watch involves the crimes, real or imagined, of conservative politicians, pundits, and entrepreneurs. You live in a constant state of outrage.
  • GILMORE||

    (robust applause)

  • lap83||

    "You rarely interact with anyone who doesn't share 99% of your views. "

    Soo not true, frequently they accept invitations for free meals from older, conservative family members so they can lecture them about politics and ask for money (I'm looking at you, brother in law)

  • B.P.||

    Wait, allowing firearms in checked bags on Amtrak was controversial? Click through to see Frank Lautenberg's absurd argument.

  • Rhywun||

    one issue of overwhelming importance to the Democratic base politicians: gun control

    I'm skeptical that "the base" are anything more than indifferent to gun control.

  • tarran||

    Come to the festering swamp that is the People's Democratic Republic of Massachusetts.

    The base loves gun control. They think scary Texans are giving guns to irresponsible black people from Dorchester who are then going to commit crimes that endanger the members of the base and their precious-snowflake children.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    My local news was breathlessly reporting on that law's passage. I'm half glad that the talking heads are apparently unaware that our state already allows open carry, and without a permit.

  • Pathogen||

    "I'm half glad that the talking heads are apparently unaware that our state already allows respects our right to open carry, and without a permit."

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Very true and important to remember. Living in a state where it feels every not permitted is forbidden, it's easy to fall into that trap.

  • Derpetologist||

    I heard a similar tale of woe when I lived in Chicago. The progs there would say that gun control would work in Chicago if only they could shut down those evil gun peddlers in Indiana.

    You see, evil racist white people buy guns in Indiana and then bring them into Chicago, where the guns are later stolen by misguided urban youth. This all compounded by deep budget cuts in after school programs which hit minority at-risk children the hardest.

  • Swiss Servator, Kaffee bitte!||

    And those Teathuglican suburbs.... because GAT GUNS in East Dundee IL exists....GANGZ IZ ARMED!!!!

  • Rhywun||

    The base loves gun control.

    Not buying it. You may think that because that is the story that the media spins but guess who controls them? I live in a blue city and everyone I talk to in person is either indifferent or mildly pro-gun. There is no clamoring of the masses for gun control.

  • John||

    There is a difference between supporting gun control and voting on it. I live in a blue city too. And if you asked, most people I know would say they support gun control in some form or another. Very few of them care enough about the issue to change their vote based on it. The ones who support Sanders are not going to stop supporting him over gun control. It is just not that big of an issue to people outside of a few dead enders, the media and paid activists.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    one issue of overwhelming importance to the Democratic base: gun control.

    Another case of "Nobody I know" -ism, I suspect.
    Despite a lot of overheated rhetoric from both sides, there are plenty of well-armed Democrats out here in the vast flyover wastelands. I know quite a few self described socialist/progressives, lesbians and two time Obama voters who own multiple firearms, and know quite well how to use them.

  • jester||

    It's about control. Everything must be controlled. Not just guns. Everything.

  • ConstitutionFirst||

    Money.
    Power.
    Societal Control.

    The Left's agenda in a nutshell.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Note that almost all of the comments oppose the author.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    as Stern parenthetically conceded at the end of that overwrought paragraph, Sanders supports plenty of gun control measures

    For hard core dead-enders like Stern, anything short of house to house confiscation is kowtowing to the NRA.

  • Restoras, BHS||

    Isn't VT a gun-friendly state, and has been for a long time? Seems like Bernie just knows to not upset his constituency over something that will do him nothing but harm?

  • Cdr Lytton||

    As long as those guns aren't made by corporations.

  • John||

    That or maybe he actually believes it. Not everyone is a partisan robot. Just because Bernie is stupid doesn't mean he can't think for himself or do something besides mouth party talking points.

  • John||

    Serious question, is there any issue the Democrats will tolerate any dissent on? It really is more of a cult than political party these days.

  • tarran||

    It's the price they pay for *dismissing out of hand* all those who disagree with them as acting out of evil, self-interest, or stupidity.

    It's one thing to read someone's argument and conclude that they are full of shit. It's another to refuse to hear.

    How many times on this board does one observe the scenario where one commenter references a heated argument he or she had with another commenter and write "I've been thinking about what you said, and I now think you are right?" That sort of thing can't happen if one refuses to even consider an argument.

    It's the big reason I refuse to filter Tony. He's wrong 99% of the time, occasionally he posts something I agree with, and occasionally proving to my satisfaction that he is wrong has been a quite educational experience for me.

  • Rhywun||

    The Democratic party would not be where it is today (nearly total lock on urban and/or minority voters + the labor vote) if they tolerated any dissent.

  • Rhywun||

    (thread fail, I was responding to John)

  • John||

    It is why they have become so tough to beat at the Presidential level. The right legitimately disagrees on issues. And if one side doesn't get their way, they will stay home or vote the other side. The Democrats at the presidential level are a fucking cult. It doesn't matter if the nominee has fucked over half of the party, is corrupt, and has betrayed every principle the party is supposed to uphold. The party toes the line and votes of them. The fact that Hillary has a shot at winning the Presidency and even if she loses will get well over 90% of the registered Democratic vote, shows just how much of a cult the party has become.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So why do not Republicans become a cult that tolerates no dissent?

  • John||

    Because they don't want to and don't mind losing I guess.

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    - "The Democratic party would not be where it is today (nearly total lock on urban and/or minority voters + the labor vote) if they tolerated any dissent."

    Not to mention Hollywood. Just ask Vince Vaughan.

  • John||

    It is going to be fun to see how they deal with this. Sanders is a bit of a nut. I don't see them bullying him into renouncing his position. If they can't do that, it will be fun to watch them explain how only evil racist rednecks and corporate gun owners oppose gun control while also supporting Sanders.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    allowing firearms in checked bags on Amtrak was controversial?

    Remember the furor over allowing* guns in National Parks? OMG wild west bloodbaths!
    *in compliance with local law for the state in which the park is located. Basically, it just relieved people in (for example) Montana and Wyoming and Idaho from going through a Chinese fire drill of unloading and/or breaking down their truck guns before cutting through Yellowstone, en route from Point A to Point B.

  • John||

    Maybe I am just paranoid, but I don't understand how you could hike through bear country out there without some kind of a firearm. Black bears are one thing. Grizzleys are a different order of dangerous altogether. Without a firearm you are not the top of the food chain out there. Sorry, but I am not buying the "just stand still and don't run or play dead if he attacks you" line of thinking.

  • Rhywun||

    You call for a park ranger to come save you. Duh.

  • Restoras, BHS||

    Is there a pistol round that will actually stop a grizzly? Guessing your typical semi-auto will be gnat bites to a grizzly. You probably need a .30-06 at a minimum?

  • Ivan Pike||

  • From the Tundra||

    Good article. Thanks for the link.

  • Charles Easterly||

    Thank you for the resource, Ivan.

  • John||

    I wouldn't bet my life on it, no. I would want a shotgun or a large caliber rifle. I would, however, think, that a .44 magnum or .45 would do more than just piss of a bear. The problem is that you have to kill the bear instantly or it keeps coming and kills you before it dies. Those things are so big and so powerful, a single swipe of a paw can take your head off.

  • Ivan Pike||

    The problem is that you have to kill the bear instantly or it keeps coming and kills you before it dies. Those things are so big and so powerful, a single swipe of a paw can take your head off.

    You have to anchor it immediately; no shoulders to carry the weight and it isn't going anywhere. But again, you have to be very good under pressure. A head shot or shoulder shot with something large enough to destroy bone. I carry either a 12 ga w/slugs or a 45/70 if I need to carry.

  • John||

    I would hate to have to shoot one. They are awesome creatures. Fortunately, they are not like polar bears and don't usually actively look to attack and eat people.

  • Ivan Pike||

    I would hate to have to shoot one. They are awesome creatures.
    They are, and they taste good too.

    Fortunately, they are not like polar bears and don't usually actively look to attack and eat people.

    Polar bears treat anything on the ice (or land) as food. Especially when the ice is late or leaves early and they are hungry, which has been happening for the last few decades.

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    - "The problem is that you have to kill the bear instantly or it keeps coming and kills you before it dies."

    And you're making this assertion based on...what...exactly?

  • Cdr Lytton||

  • tarran||

    I'd be scared of ending like this: (trigger warning: flaccid male penis).

  • Agammamon||

    You get some mace and put bells on your backpack.

    That way they can identify the remains - the poop smells of pepper and has little bells in it.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    From what I've read, bear spray is a more effective deterrent than a gun. It's also much more forgiving than a large caliber handgun (minimum of 44 magnum) is in terms of hitting what and where you need to hit.

  • DaveSs||

    Some NPS Rangers are still butt-hurt over that one.

    Got stopped by a pair of NPS LEO rangers at Tetons while I was carrying last year.

    After they reluctantly agreed it was legal and my right, they proceeded with the "you scaring people" lecture which I found kinda odd since I hadn't gotten so much as an evil eye from any tourists over the previous few days. I did get an attaboy from a southern cop who was also on vacation there though.

  • Mick Kraut||

    Sorry Liberals, Bernie Sanders Is a Nut…There fixed that for you…

  • Viscount Irish, Slayer of Huns||

    That's not even the dumbest part of the article. You missed the part where he compares a gun company getting sued because someone buys their gun then uses it to kill someone to car companies getting sued for actual negligence:

    "Because the PLCAA deals with tort law—not a topic of great interest for most Americans—it didn’t stir much outrage when first passed. But the act’s primary purpose is as simple as it is cold-blooded. Every state imposes liability on manufacturers who are negligent in their production and sale of products. If I crash my Prius because its accelerator malfunctions, I can sue Toyota for negligently manufacturing a faulty pedal. If my child dismembers himself with a blender at Sears, I can sue Sears for negligently leaving that blender within a child’s reach. If I get stabbed by a teenager with a switchblade, I might be able to sue the pawn shop owner who illegally sold a knife to a minor.

    If a gun manufacturer made an assault rifle that could slaughter dozens of people in a few seconds, for instance, one of its victims might sue the company for negligently making a gun that could foreseeably be used for mass murder."

    Notice how in the first three cases the person he's talking about suing actually did something negligent related to the product, such as giving it to someone underage or having a faulty car. In the gun example, the gun company has done nothing illegal or negligent.

  • MJGreen||

    Wrong, the gun manufacturer could have made an assault rifle that cannot slaughter dozens of people in a few seconds. Duh.

    (I do love the ignorance that gun controllers always reveal; an assault rifle killing dozens of people in a few seconds? maybe you idiots wouldn't be so frightened of gun ownership if you spent a few minutes researching guns)

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I know some serious back country fishermen who bring a gun. The favore4d round is (no surprise) the .44 mag. I have brought the 1911 with me a couple of times, but I don't really do much "outdoorsman-y" stuff.
    I have also talked to a few legitimately knowledgeable people who tell me bear spray is better than a gun; unless you are an exemplary shot under extreme pressure, a grizzly can take a few rounds and still walk up to you and pull your fucking head off.

  • John||

    That makes sense Brooks. The only time I have ever heard of people getting in trouble with bears are when people are too stupid to live and screw with them or when they somehow manage to surprise one. The bear spray eliminates the possibility of surprising them. They are not like polar bears. They don't actively hunt humans. They are just a major fucking drag to run into.

  • DaveSs||

    Usually its a solo hiker that gets in trouble.

    Two people is safer, but there have still been fatal attacks against two people.

    I've never heard of a fatal grizzly attack where three people were hiking together.

  • John||

    That also makes sense. Even polar bears are hesitant to attack more than one person. And the nut in the Grizzly Man documentary was killed along with his girlfriend. So, that is one fatal attack against two people. But I have never heard of one against three people either.

  • Derpetologist||

    Bear safety tips I was taught as a Boy Scout:

    1. Tie little bells on yourself to avoid startling a bear and pepper spray for defense.

    2. Keep an eye out for bear scat, which usually smells like pepper and has little bells in it.

  • John||

    I have several friends who have spent time in the far north of Alaska. They all say that during the fall when the polar bears are roaming around on land hungry and waiting for the ice pack to come in, you cannot go outdoors alone. If you do, a bear will stalk you, kill you and eat you. Polar bears really don't give a fuck. You are nothing but a weird looking seal to them. They have no natural fear of humans and are happy to eat them as food.

  • tarran||

    I'll bet they were thrilled when Federal limits on clip/magazine capacity were being bandied about by legislators from urban enclaves in the lower 48 states.

  • ConstitutionFirst||

    Any practiced gun owner can swat-out a clip in about one second.
    Are they going to limit the amount of clips I can own next?
    More assaults are committed with knives and clubs, (see the Dorchester Jihadist) yet you can hurt an unlimited amount people with knives and clubs.
    Where are the laws regulating knives and clubs?
    The second amendment is about citizens arming themselves against the excesses of a tyrannical government.
    That one fact goes a long way in explaining the why of government sponsored gun control.

  • lap83||

    I laughed

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Bear safety tips I was taught as a Boy Scout:

    1. Tie little bells on yourself to avoid startling a bear and pepper spray for defense.

    2. Keep an eye out for bear scat, which usually smells like pepper and has little bells in it.

    Most important of all: always bring somebody slower than you.

  • Robert Riversong||

    Odd, then, that Sanders was rated D- by the NRA and F by the Gun Owners of America.

  • ConstitutionFirst||

    The Left cannot call themselves Liberal, democratic or Progressive... they are, in fact, Fascist.
    Agree with them on every point, or they will attack you. By definition; Fascist
    I don't agree with most of Sanders views, he's far too Left for my liking.
    Say what you will about Sanders, he is his own man.
    Wander off the plantation, the party throws you under the bus.
    Doesn't sound like any club I want to belong to.

  • Alan@.4||

    These is likely no satisfying the "loyalty" requirements of the anti gunners. Poor Mr.Sanders.

  • TxJack 112||

    He is from Vermont? Hello?

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