Unsurprisingly, the Democratic candidates for president peacocked their lefty bona fides regarding the Second Amendment, repeatedly singling out the dastardly NRA.
Hillary Clinton chimed in first, claiming that it’s time for the entire country to stand against the NRA. She hit Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for not being “nearly tough enough” on gun control, and said that the majority of the country, including the majority of gun owners, supports background checks.
Of course, we already have background checks. They already occur on almost all legal gun purchases. It appears the average Democratic voter doesn’t know that.
Sanders lives in the rural state of Vermont, which has had years with single-digit murders involving firearms according to FBI statistics. The state also has very liberal gun laws and does not require its residents to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Sanders did boast that he has a “D-” rating from the NRA. He further responded that all the shouting in the world will not keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley touted his record of pushing through gun-control laws in Maryland, a state that nevertheless had the second-highest number of firearm murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010. While O’Malley may have had success passing gun control laws, he had no success limiting the problem they were intended to fix.
Senator, it’s not about rural America. Have you ever been to the Eastern Shore? Have you ever been to western Maryland? We were able to pass [gun control] and still respect the hunting traditions of people who live in our rural areas. We did it by leading with principles, not by pandering to the NRA. … I have an “F” from the NRA.
The NRA responded on Twitter:
— NRA (@NRA) October 14, 2015
O’Malley later added that, among the political enemies he is proud to have, he is most proud of the NRA.
Hillary Clinton said she was also proud to have the NRA as an enemy — although in 2008, the story was different. Seven years ago, the New York Times published an article titled “Clinton Portrays Herself as a Pro-Gun Churchgoer“:
[Clinton] described herself as a pro-gun churchgoer, recalling that her father taught her how to shoot a gun when she was a young girl and said that her faith “is the faith of my parents and my grandparents.”
Perhaps the real victor of the debate is the firearms industry — it generally experiences an uptick in sales whenever politicians prominently support gun control.