Democrat candidate for President Bernie Sanders was on CNN with Jake Tapper recently when he made a very interesting argument about gun rights.
I come from a state where there is virtually no gun control. But the people of my state understand, pretty clearly, that guns in Vermont are not the same thing as guns in Chicago or Los Angeles.
In our state, guns are used for hunting. In Chicago they are used for kids killing other kids or gang members shooting at police officers, shooting down innocent people.
We need a sensible debate about gun control, which overcomes the cultural divide that exists in this country, and I think I can play an important role in this.
Sanders is a far-left European-style socialist, but he's got a more moderate view on gun control than the other Democrats in the race, which can be seen in this interview.
However, I have multiple problems with his argument here.
At first blush what Sanders says sounds logical – gun ownership in his home state of Vermont is different than gun ownership on the mean streets of Chicago or LA.
But think on it a little deeper and Sanders' argument sounds, at best, like people in Vermont are more 'civilized' than folks in the big city. At worst, his argument sounds racist. Why does Senator Sanders believe that people in Vermont can refrain from killing each other with their guns while people in the big cities he mentions simply have no self-control?
I'd venture to guess, as a conservative who believes in absolute gun rights, that if gun ownership were as prevalent in the big cities (among law abiding citizens) as it is in Vermont that gun violence and the violent crime rate would drop dramatically. Why? Because criminals would rightly fear for their lives every time they considered committing a crime against a (possibly armed) civilian. Today, in Chicago and L.A. armed criminals are very unlikely to ever run into an armed potential victim, because most of the innocent civilians in those cities are disarmed by their government.
The "logic" displayed by Senator Sanders in this piece on gun control is the same kind of logic that most liberals use today, and instead of creating a safer America, they are creating a nation of powerless victims.
Here's the interview:
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