AP Photo/John Locher
Ladies and gentleman, this is what passes for a pro-Second Amendment candidate among Democrats these days; a guy in favor of banning the most commonly sold rifle in the country today, but opposed to a mandatory compensated confiscation program because it is, in fact, confiscation.
Sanders was taking questions at a green jobs town hall in Charles City, Iowa, when he was asked for his opinion on mandatory buybacks of AR15s and AK47s.“I don’t support — a mandatory buyback is essentially confiscation, which I think is unconstitutional,” he replied. “It means that I am going to walk into your house and take something whether you like it or not. I don’t think that stands up to constitutional scrutiny.”
Sanders shared his gun control plan, which included taking an adversarial stance against the National Rifle Association, increasing background checks and banning the sale of assault weapons.
“We cannot allow the NRA to dictate policy because they’ve intimidated [President] Trump and they’ve intimidated the Republican party,” he added. “I’m not going to be intimidated by them.”
As I said, this is what passes for pro-Second Amendment in the current crop of Democrats. Ultimately, Sanders might as well support confiscation, because he certainly doesn’t support treating the Second Amendment like it protects an individual right. Take a look at his policies for yourself.
We face an epidemic of gun violence in this country. A significant majority of Americans want commonsense gun reform. But the NRA, now a full-fledged, right-wing political organization, spends millions on TV and internet ads attacking candidates who dare to stand up for what voters want. We must:
- Take on the NRA and its corrupting effect on Washington. The NRA has become a partisan lobbying public-relations entity for gun manufacturers, and its influence must be stopped.
- Expand background checks.
- End the gun show loophole. All gun purchases should be subject to the same background check standards.
- Ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons. Assault weapons are designed and sold as tools of war. There is absolutely no reason why these firearms should be sold to civilians.
- Prohibit high-capacity ammunition magazines.
- Crack down on “straw purchases” where people buy guns for criminals.
It’s true, he doesn’t go as far as many other candidates. You don’t find any mention of gun registration or a national firearms license, as in Cory Booker’s plan. There’s no huge tax increase on firearms and ammunition purchases to go along with a gun licensing and firearms registration plan, like the one Elizabeth Warren has proposed.
Still, Sanders is proposing taking on “the gun lobby”, even though the gun control lobby is now outspending Second Amendment groups. It’s not about taking on “big money”, it’s about taking on gun owners. He wants universal background checks, despite the fact that they don’t reduce crime or even lead to more background checks. He wants to ban the most commonly sold rifles and the most commonly used magazines in the country, which would be a clear violation of the Second Amendment.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad (though somewhat surprised) to see a socialist that has a problem with confiscation. That doesn’t make him a Second Amendment supporter, though I suppose it does make him a “moderate” among the 2020 crop of anti-gun candidates.
You can check out the entire exchange with Bernie Sanders here: