(Gun debate starts at around 9:35)
In watching the latest Democratic presidential debate on Saturday night, one thing became clear: It’s a race to the bottom on gun rights.
That’s correct, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders are all fighting to portray themselves as the ideal anti-gun candidate by attempting to make the others look soft on gun control.
When the issue was brought up, Clinton fired the first salvo at Sanders, bashing the senator for voting for the sensible Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which shields gun manufacturers and dealers from lawsuits when crimes have been committed with their products.
“Well, I think that there are different records,” said Clinton. “I — you know, know that Senator Sanders had a different vote than I did when it came to giving immunity to gun makers and sellers. That was a terrible mistake.”
Sanders, who had defended his position in the past by drawing an analogy to a hammer company, arguing that we don’t allow lawsuits against a hammer maker if someone uses it as a weapon, changed his tune on the PLCAA.
“Let’s do more — let’s do more than reverse the immunity,” said a reeling Sanders Saturday night.
Meanwhile, O’Malley struck a blow at Clinton, noting that throughout her political career she’s been all over the board on the gun control.
“But Secretary Clinton, you’ve been on three sides of this,” said O’Malley. “When you ran in 2000, you said that we needed federal robust regulations. Then, in 2008, you were portraying yourself as Annie Oakley and saying that we don’t need those regulations on the federal level and now you’re coming back around here.”
O’Malley, who briefly touted his gun-grabbing accomplishments both as a mayor and governor, which included expanding a ban on modern sporting rifles, was not off the hook. Sanders took an appropriate potshot.
“With all — with all due respect…” said Sanders. “I think it’s fair to say that Baltimore is not now one of the safest cities in America…”
Indeed. The gun-free zones that O’Malley has created both in Baltimore and around Maryland have not done anything but keep more law-abiding citizens from exercising their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. But I think Sanders point about O’Malley was that he didn’t go far enough to restrict gun ownership.
Overall, though, the message was really rammed home. Doesn’t matter who the nominee is — O’Malley, Clinton or Sanders — whoever wins is going to wage a full-scale assault on the Second Amendment. You can be certain of it.