Sen. Bernie Sanders made it quite clear where the blame lies regarding the epidemic of gun violence in America.
After the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School last Friday, both of the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 spoke out against gun violence.
On Friday afternoon, Hillary Clinton tweeted, “Every day that we fail to act on gun violence, we are failing our children. This should be a day for soul searching across America – and that soul searching should be matched with legislating to begin dealing with this national shame.”
And on Sunday morning’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joined Clinton in calling on Congress to protect Americans, instead of bowing to the National Rifle Association.
“Have you guys done enough in the Senate?” host Chuck Todd asked Sanders.
“Of course not! Of course not!” Sanders declared. “But it’s like every other issue. The American people are united, overwhelmingly — gun owners, non-gun owners — on common sense gun safety legislation. Expand background checks, do away with the gun show loopholes …”
When Todd asked why Congress hasn’t done anything about it, Sanders quickly called out the responsible parties.
“It’s a three-letter word: It’s the N-R-A!” he replied. “And it’s Trump and the Republicans who don’t have the guts to stand up to these people. And that’s pretty pathetic.”
Todd then noted that Sanders’s own record on guns wasn’t always in line with his present comments.
“There was a time that you weren’t so tough on the NRA back in the ‘90s,” he said. “Do you believe that they’ve changed, or you’ve changed?”
Sanders made it clear that the NRA of today is nothing like what it once was.
“First of all, in 1988, I probably lost an election because I called for a ban on assault weapons in a state that had no gun control,” Sanders said. “But the NRA frankly, which once was, believe it or not, a gun safety organization, teaching kids how to use guns safely, has moved to be part of a — become a right-wing political organization, far beyond guns as a matter of fact.”
But Sanders has consistently supported the assault weapons ban, and changed his mind about the liability protections he once supported. Now, he’s joining a chorus of voices calling for action on gun violence. As he noted, overwhelming numbers of Americans agree on common sense protections like universal background checks and magazine size limits.
There is no question that Republicans are failing the country on the issue of gun violence. And they will soon discover the consequences of that failure. Because Americans are fed up with the GOP’s allegiance to the NRA.