Bernie and Guns

Posted on October 15, 2015 by

Sanders’ mixed record on gun control is about more than representing a rural state with hunters.

In talking to Vermonters, he’d always explain how right wingers use guns to scare working-class voters, dividing us and diverting attention from corporate abuse and exploitation.

Determined to deprive opponents of a potent wedge issue, Sanders could then focus on his powerful economic populist message.

I drew a similar conclusion from working with unions.

At a fire fighters union meeting many years ago, I watched the local president beg members to support Dianne Feinstein against her Republican opponent despite the Senator’s sponsorship of the assault weapons ban.

Organizing socially conservative working-class voters is complicated and we don’t always want Democratic party orthodoxy to get in our way.

Let’s not pile on Bernie because he’s made some very shrewd calculations about how to build support and loyalty among vulnerable Americans.

Comments (3)


  1. If Hillary is further “left” on this issue than Bernie I think its not because Bernie is making shrewd political calculations about the national electorate but because he’s trying to do two incompatible things at one time – run for President while trying to make sure he is not ousted in Vermont the next time he is up there. Sorry but you can’t do both.

  2. James Chressanthis says:

    There is no question that Democrats and our nation are benefiting from Bernie Sanders’ voice, speaking truth to power, in the presidential campaign on the 2016. I hope he stays in for a long time to form the agenda of the final campaign. While I do not believe he is electable in a significant part of the country he reminds Democrats to be outspoken and unapologetic for speaking out for common sense social, environmental and economic justice.

  3. Kathy Rallings says:

    I love Bernie!! He is the only candidate that can be trusted to work for the people over big money interests and the only one without a Super-Pac. The fact that he is from a rural state is very important when we talk about guns. He understands some of the fears that keep Blue Dog democrats from voting in favor of sensible gun control. He has made some of those tough votes in the recent past and lived to tell about it. What makes Hillary think she would have any better luck with Congress then Barack Obama has had with this issue? Bernie can help bridge the gap in order to get something done>

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