The new theme in the anti-gun game is, “Sanders Panders”

posted at 9:31 am on January 17, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Hillary Clinton and her team are definitely hearing the shuffling footsteps of Bernie Sanders creeping up behind them. The former Secretary of State and her surrogates have been firing back at the Vermont Senator in a serious fashion this week, seeking a way to blunt his recent gains in the polls. The problem for Bernie seems to be that he’s not used to being attacked and has little experience in how to respond. The gut level impulses of either Sanders or somebody on his staff are showing now that the pressure is on because he’s backing off on some of his longest held beliefs in an effort to get further to the left of Clinton. The latest subject on the Flip Flop Watch is immunity for weapons manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits. (Yahoo News)

On the eve of the next Democratic debate, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his support for legislation that would reverse a 2005 law granting gun manufacturers legal immunity that he once supported.

Sanders’ changed position came in a statement issued after days of attacks from rival Hillary Clinton, who had attempted to use his previous vote to undercut his liberal image…

Campaign aides said the decision was not a flip-flop, arguing that Sanders backed the 2005 law in part because of provisions that require child safety locks on guns and ban armor-piercing ammunition.

“Those were important provisions that I did support,” Sanders said in a statement.

That, of course, is blatant horse hockey in its most basic form. It may be, at least in part, a response to the fact that Clinton recently locked up the endorsements of several anti-gun rights groups. NRA-ILA reports that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Americans for Responsible Solutions, and former Attorney General Eric Holder all jumped in on Clinton’s side in recent days and he will doubtless be tagged over this during their next debate tonight.

Bernie Sanders should have at least some idea of what to expect since he was peppered with the same questions the last time the two faced off. During that debate, Bernie was already edging away from his long held position on gun manufacturer immunity, but wasn’t quite ready for the full scale pander.

Q: For a decade, you said that holding gun manufacturers legally responsible for mass shootings is a bad idea. Do you want to shield gun companies from lawsuits?

SANDERS: Of course not. This was a large and complicated bill. There were provisions in it that I think made sense. For example, do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don’t. On the other hand, where you have manufacturers and where you have gun shops knowingly giving guns to criminals or aiding and abetting that, of course we should take action.

Sanders’ inexperience is showing through here because he clearly should have been ready for this. Clinton’s allies and apologists have been stirring the pot on this one from the moment he got in the race. When Slate was making their big pitch to support Hillary Clinton and undermine Sanders last year they published a piece titled “Bernie Sanders, Gun Nut.” In it, they covered a variety of pro-gun votes that Bernie took, but they really zoomed in on his 2005 vote passing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

We’ll have to wait until tonight to see if Sanders’ answer on the lawsuit immunity question gets any better than the nonsensical one he gave last time. Let’s look at that response which I quoted above for a moment. Bernie thinks that the gun shop which sells a properly manufactured and functional weapon to a consumer shouldn’t be sued. (That part is correct.) But now he thinks that the manufacturer who produced the weapon should be sued?

There’s a devilish part of my brain which almost wants to see such a law put in place leading to a subsequent case making it to the Supreme Court. If you purchase a toaster which is supposed to toast bread for your breakfast and it catches fire or shocks you when you push the lever down, the manufacturer is clearly liable if it was defective. But if the toaster works just fine and is safe to operate but your wife throws it in the bathtub with you and it kills you, your wife is liable, not the manufacturer. The same applies to virtually any other product. We don’t sue Top Chef if somebody goes nuts and shoves a carving knife into their mother-in-law. Nor do we drag the Louisville Slugger company into court when a crazy person takes a bat to the mailman.

The idea of allowing people to sue gun manufacturers for the evil that criminals do with their products is equally insane, but now Bernie has signed on to the madness and will have to find a way to articulate that position in the debate. It should be a fascinating dance to watch. The biggest hurdle he faces is how he will explain his “evolution” on the question. When Bernie took that vote on the PLCAA he was 64 years old. Was he “young and foolish” then, only later coming to understand the nuances of the question? Somehow I think Sanders would have commanded more respect if he’d simply stuck to his guns… pun intended.

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Comments

“Mr Red Jeans”.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 17, 2016 at 9:36 AM

Cage match, Michael Savage and B. Sanders.

Ticket Sales run by Trump.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 17, 2016 at 9:37 AM

On the other hand, where you have manufacturers and where you have gun shops knowingly giving guns to criminals or aiding and abetting that, of course we should take action.

So where does 0bama giving guns knowingly to criminals fall in that spectrum ?

F X Muldoon on January 17, 2016 at 9:38 AM

“Red Depends Doper Baby.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 17, 2016 at 9:39 AM

On the other hand, where you have manufacturers and where you have gun shops knowingly giving guns to criminals or aiding and abetting that, of course we should take action.

You mean, like the government pressure and actions to distribute guns to the cartells, the resultant murders?

Stinking, fecal dem “socialist” hypocrite.

RL on January 17, 2016 at 9:42 AM

No. I have seen his ads. Its all about free money “OPM”. Everything else is simply the fluff of the day.

CW20 on January 17, 2016 at 9:42 AM

Pander Sander Van Odious. He can turn in all of his antique weapons…to me.

vnvet on January 17, 2016 at 9:44 AM

Bernie’s rolled over and caved to Hillary in the previous debates, so there’s no reason to think he won’t do the same tonight, while criticizing anyone who brings up any questions about Clinton’s finances or her work as Secretary of State.

jon1979 on January 17, 2016 at 9:50 AM

By progressive “logic”, when someone deliberately rams a crowd on a sidewalk with an automobile, the carmaker is at fault, not the homicidally-inclined driver.

Similarly, when the copilot suicide-dived the Germanwings Airbus A320 in March of last year, it wasn’t the copilot’s fault, it was Airbus Industries for not somehow creating a “crash-proof” airliner. (Hint to ground-grippers; the only airplane that never crashes is one that never moves, period. Even on the ground, it can run into something if it moves.)

The Clintonista attack on Sanders is part and parcel with the whole “smart” thing. “Smart guns”, “smart cars”, etc.

The endgame is machines that can prevent anybody from doing anything that progressives don’t approve of. And other than Taxpayer-Funded Free Dope For Life and promiscuous, unprotected buttsex for all ages, there isn’t much progressives do approve of.

The progressives never bother to consider that the machines might decide that they don’t approve of even that. And if you’ve given the machines the veto, you might not like what they decide to do about it.

The biggest mistake “social reformers” make is assuming that they will always be in power. And that the Draconian rules they dream of using as a rod for the backs of others will never be applied to them.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 17, 2016 at 9:50 AM

Are the Democrats really prepared to go all-in on gun control? In the United States?

Seriously…?

JohnGalt23 on January 17, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Are the Democrats really prepared to go all-in on gun control? In the United States?

Seriously…?

JohnGalt23 on January 17, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Oh God, I do hope so!!

bernzright777 on January 17, 2016 at 10:01 AM

Sanders new anti-gun theme park opening in a city near you……wally world.

Indiana Jim on January 17, 2016 at 10:01 AM

Sanders is too busy for gun control anyway. He is spending all his time telling everyone that hillarys email scandal is a big nothingburger and a waste of time…….pu$$y.

Indiana Jim on January 17, 2016 at 10:11 AM

Who forgot to give Grampa his meds?

Does he really think that Pantsuit will win because he isn’t Left enough on guns? That being the first to announce himself a socialist with the track record to prove it isn’t enough? And does he really think that Shrillery’s Iraq War support and bizarre Libya adventure isn’t also enough to establish himself firmly as the Leftyist Leftist candidate on the Left?

MJBrutus on January 17, 2016 at 10:15 AM

We’ll have to wait until tonight to see if Sanders’ answer on the lawsuit immunity question gets any better than the nonsensical one he gave last time. Let’s look at that response which I quoted above for a moment. Bernie thinks that the gun shop which sells a properly manufactured and functional weapon to a consumer shouldn’t be sued. (That part is correct.) But now he thinks that the manufacturer who produced the weapon should be sued?

You’re mischaracterizing his position. The distinction Sanders is making is not between shops and manufacturers. Sanders clearly says both of these should be sued in the case they knowingly give guns to criminals.

This is much more dangerous to our 2nd Amendment rights precisely because it is not ‘nonsensical’ and sounds like a reasonable (dare I say “common sense”) step to ‘moderates’. Of course, conservatives know that once the government gets involved in making determinations like that, there is no definition of ‘knowingly’ which is too inclusive. And it would basically put gun stores out of business in the long run.

Fenris on January 17, 2016 at 10:22 AM

They are both pandering for the coveted “Obama” endorsement. He said he would not support a candidate that didn’t toe the anti-gun line he drew in the sand.

Sucks to be them as history has shown us that if Dems run on gun control they lose.

Johnnyreb on January 17, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Sanders could pick up additional votes if he goes pro-American worker and pro-gun ownership.

rbj on January 17, 2016 at 10:31 AM

Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders.

Are you kidding me? He’s worthy of a post?

I could run for president and beat Bernie Sanders.

Younggod on January 17, 2016 at 10:31 AM

Just out of curiosity, if the libs were able to bankrupt all of the gun manufacturers in the US, where would police departments and the military purchase firearms?

Why is it that when some miscreants family sues police for “excessive use of force”, they don’t also sue the firearm manufacturer?

GarandFan on January 17, 2016 at 10:33 AM

I’m guessing Sanders would have lost in VT had he voted against PLCAA.

thanks for your excellent posts, eon- always to the point and well researched.

Lord Whorfin on January 17, 2016 at 10:45 AM

GarandFan on January 17, 2016 at 10:33 AM

By that point, 75 percent of the world population will be dead, and there will be plenty of guns laying around just waiting to be picked up. Also, my guess is 99 percent of the liberals/progs will also be dead.

Lord Whorfin on January 17, 2016 at 10:48 AM

Bernie’s foundational firmness was on display when he ceded his podium to the BLM disrupters.

butch on January 17, 2016 at 11:01 AM

Just out of curiosity, if the libs were able to bankrupt all of the gun manufacturers in the US, where would police departments and the military purchase firearms?

Why is it that when some miscreants family sues police for “excessive use of force”, they don’t also sue the firearm manufacturer?

GarandFan on January 17, 2016 at 10:33 AM

To answer that, all you have to do is think like a lefty. All businesses should be government run. Whether it’s fascism where they pretend they’re still private, or communism/socialism where they’re officially run by the government.

Fenris on January 17, 2016 at 11:06 AM

Why is it that when some miscreants family sues police for “excessive use of force”, they don’t also sue the firearm manufacturer?

GarandFan on January 17, 2016 at 10:33 AM

For precisely same reason discussed in the article. Currently, gun manufacturers enjoy immunity in gun cases except for known defect, safety failure, or false advertising.

Rix on January 17, 2016 at 11:06 AM

The problem for Bernie seems to be that he’s not used to being attacked and has little experience in how to respond.

….he usually…gets a sore neck!

JugEarsButtHurt on January 17, 2016 at 11:16 AM

Can the principle of suing gun manufacturers for damage done by their product be applied elsewhere?

Can I sue the Democrat party for damage done to me by Obamacare?

kurtzz3 on January 17, 2016 at 11:27 AM

Does anyone else remember Jackie Mason? Am I the only whose reminded of him by Bernie?

MJBrutus on January 17, 2016 at 11:36 AM

Does anyone else remember Jackie Mason? Am I the only whose reminded of him by Bernie?

Correct me if wrong, but I think Mason is a non-liberal, and he supports Trump.

Lord Whorfin on January 17, 2016 at 12:20 PM

Then we need a law that hold auto companies liable for all auto accidents.
We need a law that hold the government employees responsible for every health failure relating in death.
We need a law holding the UN accountable for every death from war or muslim terror attacks.
We need a law holding liberals accountable for every dollar paid in taxes, meaning for every dollar paid, the liberals owe two dollars and 6 months in prison.
Obama should be held responsible for every aborted fetus. Concurrently.
Politicians should be put in prison for life for noise pollution.
All manufacturers should be shut down, the workers fired, and the owners imprisoned or killed for practicing capitalism.
All farmers should be killed for selling their crops.

This is the left wing utopia.

Andy__B on January 17, 2016 at 12:26 PM

Lord Whorfin on January 17, 2016 at 12:20 PM

I have no idea about Mason’s politics. Bernie’s voice and mannerisms just bring him to mind for me.

MJBrutus on January 17, 2016 at 12:32 PM

MJBrutus on January 17, 2016 at 12:32 PM

I agree with you there!!

Lord Whorfin on January 17, 2016 at 12:59 PM

Good. Excellent, in fact.

I sincerely hope the Dem candidates run as far to the left as its possible to get this election season to pander to their fascist lunatic wing.

This should leave a big chunk of their usual electorate nearer the center- cultural Democrats, as it were, abandoned and thinking “WTF!!? You expect me to vote for these kooks?! Trump makes more sense. And he’s not really a Republican.”

And then we can see whether Trump lives up to the love for America he has professed for many decades. I suspect he will. And this year, that’s enough.

Dolce Far Niente on January 17, 2016 at 1:43 PM

MJBrutus. I get your point. Jackie mason was in that movie with steve martin in the early eighties. And that fits perfectly with bernie sanders because he is a jerk.

Indiana Jim on January 17, 2016 at 2:26 PM

I guess the theme for tonight’s Dem “debate” is “destroy Sanders at all costs for getting too uppity with Her Majesty!”. Too bad the Dems and the media shot themselves in the foot by scheduling the freak show at a time when no one will watch it.

Gator Country on January 17, 2016 at 2:52 PM

You’re mischaracterizing his position. The distinction Sanders is making is not between shops and manufacturers. Sanders clearly says both of these should be sued in the case they knowingly give guns to criminals.

This is much more dangerous to our 2nd Amendment rights precisely because it is not ‘nonsensical’ and sounds like a reasonable (dare I say “common sense”) step to ‘moderates’. Of course, conservatives know that once the government gets involved in making determinations like that, there is no definition of ‘knowingly’ which is too inclusive. And it would basically put gun stores out of business in the long run.

Fenris on January 17, 2016 at 10:22 AM

Agreed.
Most of the depredations from the Left (and not a few from the Right) have involved this type of incrementalism

AesopFan on January 17, 2016 at 10:16 PM

Don’t you just love the hypocrisy of the left. Holder jumps in supporting taking American’s guns after he personally illegally ran guns. Hypocrisy thy true name is Democrat.

pwb on January 18, 2016 at 8:52 AM