When I first learned that Bernie Sanders’ voted against the Brady Bill 5 times, I was shocked.
When I dug deeper to find out more about his position, I learned that unlike the reputation he likes to project, he is a politician too.
A few days before Election Day in 1990, the National Rifle Association sent a letter to its 12,000 members in Vermont, with an urgent message about the race for the state’s single House seat.
Vote for the socialist, the gun rights group said. It’s important.
“Bernie Sanders is a more honorable choice for Vermont sportsmen than Peter Smith,” wrote Wayne LaPierre, who was — and still is — a top official at the national NRA, backing Sanders over the Republican incumbent. (emphasis mine)
Yes, you read that right, Wayne LaPierre wrote a letter supporting Bernie Sanders in his race for the House in 1990.
His reasoning was based on the principle of states’ rights.
Sanders was with the gun group on one major issue: he opposed a mandatory waiting period for handguns, saying that was best left to states. But, on assault weapons, his position was the same as the one for which Smith was getting hammered.
“It’s an issue I do not feel comfortable about,” Sanders said after one debate, according to a memoir about the race by a former aide, Steven Rosenfeld.
Sanders couldn’t very well rail against Smith for his views on assault weapons when they were the same as his own. Instead, the aide said, Sanders wanted to let others “do our dirty work for us.”
So not only was Sanders using the “states’ rights” excuse for giving his vote to the NRA, he also showed he is just as political as any other politician. The fact that he wanted to let others do his dirty work, which included the NRA, doesn’t sit very well with this liberal.
With the death of Justice Scalia this weekend, the principle of states’ rights and how each candidate truly feels about it needs to be addressed.
Bernie Sanders kept his word to the NRA.
After he was elected, Sanders stuck to the assurances he had given gun rights groups. In 1991, he voted against a measure that would have required a seven-day waiting period to buy a gun. In 1993, Sanders voted against a broader version of the bill — named for James Brady, the White House press secretary who was shot in the 1981 attempt on President Ronald Reagan’s life — that became law.
That bill set up the national background check system in place today. But Sanders objected because it also included a provision for a temporary waiting period, said Weaver, his longtime aide.
Making people wait 7 days before buying a weapon is just too much to ask for Bernie Sanders.