Sanders to Sandy Hook Families: ‘No, I don’t think I owe them an apology’

Once again Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton debated one another. And, once again the issue of firearms was brought up. More specifically, the issue of whether gun manufacturers and dealers should have protection against lawsuits from the criminal misuse of their products.

Just to be clear, in one corner you have Clinton, who believes the current law that protects the gun industry from frivolous lawsuits — Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) — should be torn to shreds, which — as the former Secretary of State is undoubtedly aware — would effectually bankrupt the industry.

In the other corner you have Sen. Sanders, who although he may be anti-gun, has enough common sense to recognize that gun dealers and manufacturers shouldn’t be held liable for the actions of bad guys with guns.

At the debate in Brooklyn Thursday night, Clinton fired the first salvo, bringing up the difference between their two camps on the PLCAA.

“Senator Sanders voted against the Brady Bill five times,” said Clinton. “He voted for the most important NRA priority, namely giving immunity from liability to gun-makers and dealers, something that is at the root of a lot of the problems that we are facing.”

“Then he doubled down on that in the New York Daily News interview, when asked whether he would support the Sandy Hook parents suing to try to do something to rein in the advertising of the AR-15, which is advertised to young people as being a combat weapon, killing on the battlefield. He said they didn’t deserve their day in court,” she continued.

Clinton’s attack on Sanders crescendoed with, “We hear a lot from Senator Sanders about the greed and recklessness of Wall Street, and I agree. We’ve got to hold Wall Street accountable… Well, what about the greed and recklessness of gun manufacturers and dealers in America?”

Sanders then had to defend his position — once again.

“Now, I voted against this gun liability law because I was concerned that in rural areas all over this country, if a gun shop owner sells a weapon legally to somebody, and that person then goes out and kills somebody, I don’t believe it is appropriate that that gun shop owner who just sold a legal weapon to be held accountable and be sued,” said Sanders.

Sanders was asked about the Sandy Hook families who are suing Bushmaster, arguing that it “knew, or should have known” that the AR-15 “posed an unreasonable and egregious risk of physical injury to others” and whether he owed them an apology for not supporting their lawsuit.

“No, I don’t think I owe them an apology,” said Sanders. “They are in court today, and actually they won a preliminary decision today. They have the right to sue, and I support them and anyone else who wants the right to sue.”

Yes, everyone has a right to sue. But not all lawsuits are credible. The case against Bushmaster is totally frivolous.

All of this back and forth came up within the context of another gun-related issue, Clinton’s recent claim that Vermont is a major source for crime guns recovered in New York. Clinton was asked about this misleading generalization — she used the term “per capita” when reference the crime guns from that come to New York from Vermont, no one does that. It was a deliberate misrepresentation to attack Sanders.

At first, she dodged the question, and then said, “Well, the facts are that most of the guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from out of state. They come from the states that don’t have kind of serious efforts to control guns that we do in New York.”

As Sanders noted in his response, Clinton’s statement was “refuted by the governor of the state of Vermont, who was a supporter of hers, who said, yeah, in campaigns people tend to exaggerate.”

By “exaggerate,” he should have said “lie” or at the very least, “mislead” because that’s exactly what Clinton did.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • mach37 May 25, 2018, 7:41 pm

    If gun manufacturers were to be held liable for criminal misuse lawsuits, then auto manufacturers would also be open to such lawsuits – as would virtually any and every manufactured product capable of causing injury or death if used as a weapon.

  • Patriot September 12, 2016, 7:40 pm

    This illustrates the real attitude of the liberal biased democrat network news media who are obviously pro-gun control and would like to see gun manufacturers held liable for guns used in crime. Does the media make an effort to show the real dishonesty, lies, greed, corruption, and unlawful and unreasonable gun control statements by Democrat Hillary saying gun manufacturers should be held liable for guns used in crime? However, the network news media, including Rupert Murdoch of CNN, does make an effort to say that Hillary would be a better president than Republican Trump. Does it make any sense? Apparently, it does to the network news media !!!

  • derwurst June 5, 2016, 8:01 am

    the entire Sandy Hook school killings incident was contrived when a Salem Ore Think Tank advertised for donations to the families of the victims of Sandy Hook more then a month then the faux incident happened. The video footage shown on national TV was from a school in South America and not the Sandy Hook school. None of the parents were allowed to see the victim’s bodies and who can tell what is buried in the local cemetery. I for one don’t believe the mass media reports and I never will

  • wolf-pack bravo April 28, 2016, 4:13 pm

    Buy em cheap and stack em deep.
    Never register, never surrender.
    Hitlery will make Hitler and Pol Pot look like rookies if she gets her way.
    Don’t let the government disarm you.

    • Dr.Bill1 June 9, 2016, 1:06 pm

      Hyperbole and absurd statements serve only to damage legit argument for 2nd Amendment rights. If you believe Clinton would murder 6 million Jews, or burn book and destroy all civilized culture, I suggest resuming antipsychotic medication. We need reasoned argument, not vitriolic insults against persons with whom we disagree. Dr. Bill

  • Wes April 27, 2016, 3:22 am

    No one died at Sandy Hook, you dummies- look into it. The school was closed, no kids were there, and the “breaking reports” were all fabricated and contrived PABLUM by the govt-controlled “news” machine.

  • Andrew N. April 24, 2016, 1:57 am

    Bernie didn’t pull the trigger, it’s not his fault and he owes no one an apology. Hillary however, should be apologizing profusely for politicizing the murders of children, as well as wasting precious oxygen by continuing to breathe. I wish she would just stop doing that, it would make the world a much better place.

  • sudon't April 23, 2016, 2:13 pm

    Bernie certainly isn’t anti-gun, and Hillary was kind enough to list the reasons he shouldn’t be considered anti-gun. While it’s true that, if running as a “Democrat” nowadays, one has to tone down their pro-2nd Amendment opinions to get elected, (they all lie to gain votes), it should be clear that Bernie is an old style leftist. Don’t forget, it was the Left that supported gun rights, not the Right, up until the seventies. Gun rights were a liberal cause and, in my opinion, still should be. After all, it is a civil right, as well as a constitutional right. But in today’s political climate, many people think they automatically have to be against anything the “other” side is for.

  • RAC55 April 23, 2016, 1:12 am

    Let’s let all the 9/11 victims families sue Boeing Aircraft out of existence because 4 Boeing aircraft were used in the attack. The stupidity of Clinton and her cronies reasoning is absolutely appalling. This is the brain trust we want in charge of this county?

  • Anthony Golish April 22, 2016, 7:36 pm

    So if I understand Clinton’s reasoning then Clinton and Obama should be sued by Ambassador Stevens family for not securing the facility. This allowed A. Stevens and 3 other employees to die because of negligence on their part. A complete disregard for the safety of their employees. When incident was ongoing they also did not use U.S. armed forces to end the attack. This may or may not have saved all 4 lives but getting the area around the facility burned to the ground would teach future attackers a lesson. Before she removes immunity from the manufacturer’s she should remove Obama’s and her own from the stupid moves they make. Also like Obama encouraging the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore.

  • Bill April 22, 2016, 6:45 pm

    While we’re at it, let’s make sure we sue manufacturers of knifes, cars alcohol, baseball bats drug companies,, lead pipes and mothers for giving birth to ppl that commit murders. Out of all those listed above, the gun manufacturers are the only ones protected under the Constitution and the ONLY reason government wants to take them, is so they’ll have complete control over ‘We The People, which is the TRUE GOVERNMENT of the United States of America. The Bozos in D. C. are merely our representatives and not very good ones at that. The Bill Of Rights, gives us the RIGHT to own firearms and not for just hunting, but was put in place so we would have the means to stop an overbearing, suffocating group of Represenitives that get a little to big for their britches, or hand our Sovereignty over to an evil organization, such as the United Nations, which has NO BUSINESS sticking their nose in our Sovereign affairs. It’s WAY past time to wakeup and boot these CRIMINALS out of our government and do some downsizing. DO NOT LET THEM TAKE OUR ONLY MEANS OF PROTECTION AGAINST TYRANNY….YOU WILL BE SORRY, MORE THAN I COULD EVER EXPLAIN!!!

    • Dave Hickman April 23, 2016, 8:03 am

      Bravo!, I couldn’t have said it better. A lot of deadbeat people need to get informed about what is going on in America. Were not in Kansas anymore.

    • BrainStorm May 5, 2016, 12:35 am

      100% on target. Very well stated, Sir.
      Actually, I am in Kansas, and our morons, I mean bureaucrats, pulled their heads out in recent years and enacted Constitutional Carry, open or concealed, without license. While I think in our current society an UNRECORDED license proving only that you’ve been trained in proper use and handling (since fewer parents teach their children about firearms (or any responsibility for that matter) than even 50 years ago), and that you’re not a criminal would be wise, I feel 1000x safer knowing any number of others around me are or may be carrying. I sure as hell am. And now the creeps have to ponder that before they decide to pull out a gun, knife, turtle, pocketed comb, their penis, or ANYTHING to use in a criminal act.
      Forever Armed, Forever Free!!

  • ROSCOE April 22, 2016, 6:22 pm

    Senate hearing, 2018, Hillary is President: “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the terrorist organization, The National Rifle Association? Yes, or no?”

  • AL Soto April 22, 2016, 3:06 pm

    ONLY IF House and Senate are Republicans during her “term”. Otherwise they would be a Carte Blanche and Rubber Stamp for her Agenda!!

  • Patrick April 22, 2016, 3:02 pm

    I don’t know what the hell is going on with the people of this country, the gun used was a semi auto pistol after it was over they discovered a shotgun in the trunk that’s it NO AR WAS USED PERIOD I WATCHED AS THE NEWS WAS BREAKING. THEY PLAINLY AND CLEARLY DESCRIBED THE GUNS USED ON NATIONAL TV.

  • Kivaari April 22, 2016, 11:59 am

    Too bad the public can’t differentiate between law suits following a failure of the maker, owner, user, thief, seller or reseller for improper use or failure due to design or construction. Clinton and the leftist don’t want to say the suits for defective products still exist. People hear the gun makers are immune – which of course they are not.

  • Daniel Stewart April 22, 2016, 10:46 am

    It’s estimated that private citizens have 12 Trillion rounds of ammunition. I think we should give it to the Feds business end first. Praying like the Jews in WW2 will just get us killed. Get rid of the communist once and for all…

  • Daniel Stewart April 22, 2016, 10:39 am

    Catering to their donors is a violation of law. It’s the corruption on an elected official. Companys that do that are breaking the law. Arrest the board members or just give them a good dose death.

  • Pontificant April 22, 2016, 9:53 am

    If the gun manufacturer’s are liable, then it follows the people voting to give her the office of the President of the U.S.A. can be held liable for the damage she causes whilst in office. After all, they hired her and aren’t the hiring people responsible for the acts of their employees?

  • Kimberpross April 22, 2016, 9:31 am

    Less than 1.5% of crimes committed with a firearm are committed with a rifle. The AR is a subset of that. It is simply a crack in the armor that the Democrats are trying to pry open to have more gun control leverage. AR Style firearms are the most popular rifle in the USA and are involved in the least amount of crime committed with a firearm.

    • Old Mort April 22, 2016, 5:05 pm

      Why is this government so afraid of honest citizens? Reel in the nuts dumbass Hillary and the rest of you anti gun assholes! They want to disarm us and then send in thousands upon thousands of Syrians and Iraqi terrorists …what the hell? What kind of government do we have? Hillary is so anti american that she stinks…She is OBAMA the 2ND! Voted for trump or we are so screwed. Remember this: Trump is the only non political running…for Gods sake can’t you see the bullshit that is happening?

  • mike ehrig April 22, 2016, 9:16 am

    if the gun mfgs are liable, then gm and ford and all the others are liable for all the auto accidents caused by someone breaking the law. talk about banrupting the u.s.a.!!!!

    • Tom McPhetres April 22, 2016, 12:54 pm

      And then add the beer, wine and liquor distributors and producers for providing products that get people drunk and allows them to get behind the wheel and drive those Toyotas, Lexus’ and Infinity’s.

  • mike ehrig April 22, 2016, 9:13 am

    hmmm, original reports show the ar15 was left in the vehicle and the shooter entered carrying only semi auto pistols. love the rush to outlaw the weapon that wasnt used.

  • John Deahl April 22, 2016, 8:54 am

    Sure all politicians have experience and judgement. But people are asking the wrong question. The question should be, who are you working for? It surely is not the American people!

    All politicians cater to their donors. What ever the donor wants, the politicians provide. All this gay marriage and transgender crap, its all because of the donors. Its all about making a buck! If they can bring down the USA, all the better.

    People need to wake up.

  • T. Davis April 22, 2016, 7:54 am

    The possibility of holding gun manufacturers and sellers accountable for how their products are used has many more dire consequences attached to it than merely threatening the profitability of gun sales. It would be the nail in the coffin of capitalism and the free market system. It would be the final harbinger to the loss of individual freedom for all Americans and the death knell for the viability of the U.S. Constitution. How so? Consider that if this ridiculous legislation ever came about it would open all manufacturers of all products, as well as all purveyors of those products, to frivolous law suits for the death, injury or damage caused by the use of their products. Tyson Farms, for example, might be sued because Mama Cass choked on a chicken bone. The hotel she was in could be sued for serving the meal. Maybe the bed she was eating in didn’t provide adequate support.
    Or Ford Motor Co. could be held liable for the F150 that was driven by a drunk driver that ran the red light or crossed into on-coming traffic. Toss in Jack Daniels and Coca-Cola for manufacturing the beverages and Wal-Mart or Safeway for selling them. See where this is going? No one could make anything, no one could sell anything without specific legal guarantees from the Federal and State governments that they would not be prosecuted for improper use of their products. That means all production and commerce is at the discretion of the government. Hello, Mr. Chairman, good day, Supreme Leader. When did you guys get Green Cards? Without personal responsibility there can be no personal freedom.

  • Craig Thomasian April 22, 2016, 7:46 am

    The whole debate between those two was based on lies and lack of fact. They need to both come out of the fairy land of idealism and think about things in the context of what is true and real. If they did that it would become obvious that gun ownership by law advising Citizens saves lives and deters crime. Also if you study history every genocide is preceded by disarming the target population, and the loss of life there is in the millions.

  • Buckwheat April 22, 2016, 6:40 am

    Billary? Nah, more like Hitler-y Rotten Clinton. And people call John Gotti the “Teflon” Don… Hitler-y has avoided more federal persecution than Slick Willie has raped women.

  • Powder Burns April 18, 2016, 2:59 pm

    What Billary wants and what Billary gets are two vastly different things. Even as POTUS Her powers are limited by the House & Senate. Her agenda will never happen…Bank on it…

    • Reloadr April 22, 2016, 7:06 am

      I wouldn’t bank on it. All she needs is a flurry of executive orders. Illegal though they may be, it would take years, if ever, to sort through them all and get binding court decisions to that effect. In the meantime they have the force of law.

      Add to that the fact that she will most likely nominate yet another gun/constitution/America hating supreme court justice or two and she’ll have all the backing she needs.

      This woman is nothing short of a flat out danger to all constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, not just 2A. Her election, and subsequent crushing of constitutional rights backed by powerful judges who will rubber stamp her policies, could very well lead to uprisings that will not end well for anyone.

      Make no mistake about it. Hilary Clinton is a menace.

    • Tom April 22, 2016, 7:34 am

      Still, better be stocked on ammo. As soon as she wins there’s gonna be a HUGE demand for ammo. Just like last time.

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