Despite promoting his “D-minus” rating from the NRA, 2016 Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders took some hits from opponent Hillary Clinton who claimed he has been too soft on guns based upon his votes in the past.
Repeatedly referring to the fact his home state of Vermont is a rural state where attitudes are different toward guns, Sanders admitted that he previously balked at some gun legislation, but was quick to point out that he voted against assault weapons and to close loopholes. Sanders also stated the country needs to look for ways to keep the mentally ill from obtaining weapons.
Clinton immediately jumped on Sanders, saying he is not tough enough on guns by pointing out that Sanders opposed the Brady Bill five times as a lawmaker.
Speaking of gun violence, Clinton explained, “This has gone on too long and it is time that the entire country stood up against the NRA.”
Clinton drew attention to a gun control bill that Sanders voted against — that he called “complicated” — saying she was in the Senate at that time, read the bill, and it wasn’t “that complicated” and that she voted for it.
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley also locked horns with Sanders when the Vermont senator referred to Maryland as an urban state, with O’Malley talking about the rural communities in his state full of hunters. O’Malley also touted his state toughening up gun laws during his administration despite opposition from the NRA.
Lincoln Chaffee, the patrician former governor of Rhode Island, suggested that Americans are looking for better gun laws and expressed his belief that he could bring NRA head Wayne LaPierre to the table to find common ground.
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