If there is any reason to like Bernie Sanders, it’s his stance on gun issues. All the rest of his policies… well they’re questionable.
Hillary Clinton denied tonight that she is blaming Democratic rival Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont for gun violence in New York.
‘No, of course not,’ she told CNN anchor and debate moderator Wolf Blitzer as he confronted her with claims she made earlier this week on the trail.
Clinton said Monday at a roundtable in Port Washington, ‘Here’s what I want you to know. Most of the guns that are used in crimes and violence and killings in New York come from out of state. And the state that has the highest per capita number of those guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from Vermont.’
Vermont’s Governor, Peter Shumlin, is a Clinton backer. But he said her claims about his state aren’t ‘entirely accurate.’
Sanders pointed to Shumlin’s defense of their state in tonight’s debate during the clash and said if that wasn’t the inference she was trying to make, ‘Why did she put out that statement?’
He also said he does not owe an apology to the families of Sandy Hook shooting victims for refusing to vote for legislation that would make it easier for them to prevail in court against those that sold the weapons used in the crime to the mother of the would-be mass murderer.
As Clinton tried to say tonight she ‘of course’ wasn’t implying Vermont was at fault for New York’s homicide rate, Sanders laughed in her face.
Clinton roared back at him, ‘It’s not a laughing matter – 90 people on average a day are killed or commit suicide or die in accidents from guns, 33,000 people a year. I take it really seriously, because I have spent more time than I care to remember being with people who have lost their loved ones.’
‘So, yes, we have a problem in America. We need a president who will stand up against the gun lobby. We need a president who will fight for commonsense gun safety reforms,’ she said.
The former New York senator hit her opponent for his vote against a bill that would have opened up gun manufacturers to liability lawsuits for crimes committed using their firearms and brought up a suit that’s being brought by families of the victims of Sand Hook.
‘He said they didn’t deserve their day in court,’ Clinton said. ‘I could not disagree more.’
Clinton charged, ‘We hear a lot from Senator Sanders about the greed and recklessness of Wall Street, and I agree….Well, what about the greed and recklessness of gun manufacturers and dealers in America?’
Sanders retorted that ‘the only problem is, Wolf, she didn’t answer your question.’
‘You asked her whether she thought that Vermont was responsible for a lot of the gun violence. You made the point what she said was totally absurd,’ he said.
Clinton tried to interject but Sanders slapped her down and said, ‘Excuse me, I think I’m responding now.’
In his answer he addressed the Sandy Hook shooting, calling it ‘murder, assault, slaughter’ and an ‘unspeakable act.’ The U.S. senator contended that he ‘probably’ lost his first federal election because he supported a ban on assault weapons.
He said of liability legislation, ‘I was concerned that in rural areas all over this country, if a gun shop owner sells a weapon legally to somebody, and that person then goes out and kills somebody, I don’t believe it is appropriate that that gun shop owner who just sold a legal weapon to be held accountable and be sued.
But, if gun shop owners are selling to someone who wants ‘thousands of rounds of ammunition, or they want a whole lot of guns, yes, that gun shop owner or that gun manufacturer should be held liable,’ he said.
The daughter of the principal of the Newtown, Connecticut, school said this month that Sanders owes her family an apology.
Asked about it at tonight’s debate, Sanders said, ‘No, I don’t think I owe them an apology. They are in court today, and actually they won a preliminary decision today. They have the right to sue, and I support them and anyone else who wants the right to sue.’