In case you missed it on Tuesday evening’s Democratic Debate, Hillary Clinton is formulating a new strategy to further her agenda for gun control. Going after Bernie Sanders on the gun issue, she said, “Senator Sanders did vote five times against the Brady bill. Since it was passed, more than two million prohibited purchases have been prevented. He also did vote, as he said, for this immunity provision. Everybody else has to be accountable, but not the gun manufacturers. And we need to stand up and say: Enough of that.”
Her reference to making gun manufacturers accountable goes to the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act”, which was passed in 2005 under President George W. Bush, and which she voted against. It was a victory for the NRA, who called it a significant piece of pro-gun legislation. The law shields gun manufacturers from liability from the harm caused by the unlawful or criminal misuse of their products. In outlining her plans for stricter gun control, Clinton called the law dangerous, saying, “It is past time to repeal this law and hold the gun industry accountable just like everyone else.”
Bill O’Reilly pointed out on Wednesday night’s “O’Reilly Factor”, that Hillary Clinton’s proposal is a way for the Democrats to get around the second amendment, saying, “If the federal government allows lawsuits against gun makers that would destroy the industry, as liberal lawyers would sue them into bankruptcy”.
Clinton’s strict views are most likely politically motivated. She is setting herself apart from her main competition, Bernie Sanders, who has not been aggressive on gun control. Coming from Vermont, the country’s most gun-friendly state, Sanders sees gun control as primarily an issue for the individual states. Incidentally, Vermont boasts the lowest incidence of gun-related crime. Clinton’s views were quite different in 2008, when she was running against then Senator Obama for the Democratic nomination. She denounced his comment about small town working-class voters who, “get bitter and cling to guns or religion”. In a speech in Valparaiso, Indiana, Clinton openly disagreed with the remark by recalling her own childhood,
“You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl. Some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It’s part of culture. It’s part of a way of life. People enjoy hunting and shooting because it’s an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter.”
It will be interesting to see how Hillary Clinton’s extremes on gun control will play out with the voters. She might want to consult with her husband, who has commented that his administration’s 1995 ban on assault weapons might have been instrumental in Al Gore’s 2000 Presidential election defeat.
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