Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) is filling the void left by would-be gun-grabber and failed Democrat presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.
The democratic socialist vowed a the Democratic debate in New Hampshire on Friday night to ban assault weapons if he were to win the presidency — and added that would be just the beginning of his gun control agenda, Breitbart reported. This is coming from the senator who wants to decriminalize illegal border crossings and allow convicts to vote from prison.
Sanders said he wants to “make certain that we end the sale and distribution of ‘assault weapons’ in this country” and go even “further” than that.
Sanders’ gun control pledge
Sanders is being talked up as a possible frontrunner as Joe Biden struggles to recover from an embarrassing performance in last week’s Iowa caucuses. The rise of the Vermont socialist has the Democratic Party and, frankly, the entire country on edge, given his extreme views on health care and other key policy areas.
Although Sanders has focused much of his rhetoric on attacking billionaires, he’s as rabid as the rest of them when it comes to disarming the average person. The Democrat touted his anti-gun credentials at Friday’s debate in New Hampshire, as he riffed on numerous talking points from the gun control lobby, which has worked to designate common rifles like the AR-15 as “assault weapons” that are too dangerous for civilian use, adding:
Under my administration, it will be the American people doing gun policy not dictated by the NRA…we need universal background checks.
Sen. Sanders on his proposed gun policy: “Under my administration, it will be the American people doing gun policy not dictated by the NRA….we need universal background checks.” https://t.co/0GxKJz7e8Y #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/Q7huLTNuPa
— ABC News (@ABC) February 8, 2020
Sanders went on to articulate a sweeping gun control package, including an end to the “gun show loophole” and a total ban on assault weapons, and he hinted that even more sweeping reforms could be in the pipeline if he wins the presidency. As Breitbart reported, Department of Justice figures found that less than 1% of criminals got their firearms at a gun show.
Flip flops on firearms, immigration
Sanders is clearly eager to prove his gun control bona fides, but the uncompromising stance he touted on Friday night is, in fact, a fairly recent evolution. His rivals have not hesitated to point out that Sanders has a checkered record on gun control in rural Vermont, which historically has had fairly relaxed gun laws.
Biden attacked Sanders Friday for voting for a 2005 bill that protects gun manufacturers from lawsuits, as well as for his vote against the Bill Clinton-era Brady Bill, which required federal background checks for gun purchases. Sanders acknowledged that his views have “changed” over the years.
But it’s not the only issue on which Sanders has shifted, despite his much-touted consistency. Just four years ago, Sanders called open borders a “Koch brothers proposal” that cheapens the labor of the working class, but he now advocates the decriminalization of illegal immigration.
Second Amendment under attack
Sanders’ vow comes as an assault weapons ban passed out of a state House committee in Virginia, which has become the national frontier in the battle for gun rights since Democrats reclaimed the state legislature in November. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has pursued an ambitious gun control agenda over the objections of angry citizens across the Commonwealth.
While Sanders wants to make law-abiding citizens into felons for owning “weapons of war,” he has endorsed letting convicted criminals vote from prison. And he wants to make it legal for immigrants to enter the country at any time or any manner they see fit, without fear of criminal prosecution.
Some priorities he has there.