Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sanders: We Need 'Sensible' Gun-Control

Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By Jordain Carney, The Hill
02 September 15
en. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is calling for "sensible gun-control legislation" in the wake of a mass shooting Thursday at a community college in Oregon.

"We need a comprehensive approach. We need sensible gun-control legislation which prevents guns from being used by people who should not have them," Sanders said in a statement. "We must greatly expand and improve our mental health capabilities so individuals and families can get the psychological help then need when they need it."

Sanders released his remarks after a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning, killing 10 people.

The Vermont senator, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, added that the United State must also "tone down the incredibly high level of gratuitous violence" in the media.

"The shouting at each other must end. The hard work of developing good policy must begin," he said.

Sanders's comments echo remarks from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is also running for the Democratic nomination. Speaking after a campaign stop in Massachusetts, she called for "sensible gun control measures to save lives."

Any gun control legislation would face an uphill, if not impossible, battle in the Republican-controlled Congress.

A proposal to expand background checks from Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) failed to get the 60 votes needed in 2013 to overcome a procedural hurdle. A handful of the 54 yes votes were from Democratic senators who have since been replaced by Republicans.

Asked about taking up new gun control legislation earlier this year, Republican senators suggested instead that lawmakers should take time to reflect in the wake of a shooting, strengthen mental health services or crack down on cities that don't comply with federal immigration laws.

But Sanders suggested that Americans are "horrified by these never-ending mass shootings" and that Congress must try to "end this awful epidemic of senseless slaughter." 


+11 # tswhiskers 2015-10-02 13:56
I was glad to hear one of the parents at the shooting on Ore. blame the Republicans for the lack of gun control legislation in Congress. Also impressed to see the stats of the # of victims of guns arrayed alongside the # of victims of terrorism on the news. Al Quaeda has nothing on gunmakers and shooters. The question if course is when will Reps. regain the sense to abandon the NRA and gun sellers and again vote for responsible gun legislation.
+1 # Caliban 2015-10-02 15:34
Unfortunately, opponents of gun regulation have a theoretical foundation that is much more formidable than the NRA or gun sellers--the Second Amendment to the US Constitution (1791), which reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed".

This amendment has a history of varying judicial interpretations , but the simple text--unweakene d by recent Supreme Court decisions--is a powerful weapon in the hands of today's pro-gun lobbyists.
+26 # Dust 2015-10-02 18:34
Except I have never understood two things:

1) The introductory clause of that sentence, rendered in modern English, says "BECAUSE a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free State..." which means "We needed an army to withstand England and our army is not a dedicated standing army but primarily a civilian recruitment with their own firearms in time of need". So why have the courts essentially ignored the entire condition on which the f-ing thing is predicated???

2. Even allowing for the former, I have never heard anyone define the limits of the term "arms". I am assuming that most sane people would NOT advocate the right of every citizen to own a functional nuclear weapon. Why? Because some short-tempered brat could easily nuke San Francisco, killing millions of people simply because he or she was pissed off that day and had poor impulse-control . In other words, the general welfare takes precedence over the individual, in that instance. So WHERE is the dividing line between Goodman Farmer owning his muzzle-loader and Spaceman Spiff nuking San Francisco? I have never heard anyone draw a clear line between the two.
+12 # Moxa 2015-10-02 21:13
Good points, but you presuppose sanity. Actually it is just as insane that countries have weapons of mass destruction and use them to destroy other countries. It is the microcosm and the macrocosm. The world is insane, both individuals and society. Even those of us who don't go around shooting up our neighborhood school might well support a war in a distant land, sometimes for NOTHING--as in Iraq. George W. Bush reminds me of that short-tempered brat you speak of, but wasn't most of Congress behind him?

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