Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called out Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on Friday over his request that politicians “stop shouting” about gun control.
During a speech at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Conference, Clinton implied that Sanders’ comments may even have had a sexist tinge.
“I’ve been told to, and I quote, ‘stop shouting’ about gun violence. First of all I’m not shouting. It’s just sometimes when women talk people think we’re shouting,” Clinton said, as the audience applauded.
“And second, I will not be silent, because we will not be silenced. Not by the gun lobby, not by the size of this challenge, not by any of it. Stopping gun violence is worth fighting for.”
Despite Sanders’ fiery rhetoric on a number of campaign issues, the senator has a more moderate record on gun control relative to many Democrats. He was pressed to defend that record at the first Democratic debate last week.
“All the shouting in the world is not going to do what all of us want and that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns,” Sanders responded. “What we need to do is bring our people together to stop the shouting, to pass sensible gun control legislation.”
As Sanders has continued to gain steam on the left, his Democratic rivals have frequently pointed out his spotty record on gun control.
— Hillary Clinton just took another swipe at Bernie Sanders, Maxwell Tani, Business Insider, yesterday
Well, props to Mr. Tani for pointing out that Sanders’s actual comment was directed not just at Clinton but to politicians on both sides of the gun-control divide, who, like Clinton, shout figuratively, not literally, about the issue. Maybe that’s because, unlike other news organizations’ reporters and their online video editors, Tani actually quoted Sanders’s entire comment at the debate.
It’s two sentences long, not one. And politicians who are especially vocal on the issue—pro-gun-control or anti—are not limited to women. There are some male politicians who are vocal about it too. And some of them hold views similar to Clinton’s.
But I don’t think Sanders’s comment actually was limited to politicians. He said, all the shouting in the world is not going to do what all of us want and that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns. What we need to do is bring our people together to stop the shouting, to pass sensible gun control legislation.
Sanders was referring also to non-politician activists on the issue. On both sides.
Which made me wonder what percentage of the NRA’s board are women. As opposed to men. So I checked it out. The board has 76* members, 13% who are women. Which means that 87% are men.
Time magazine online reports about a repeat by Clinton of her “shouting” comment later yesterday, and also about another statement she made at the earlier event:
At the [earlier event, in Virginia] Clinton went on to describe “outrageous” legislation that Sanders voted for in Congress, referring to a 2005 bill that gave gun manufacturers immunity from lawsuits. As a Senator from New York, Clinton voted against the bill.
“It’s basically an NRA gift to the gun manufacturers and gun sellers,” Clinton told the crowd, who had showed up on a war October day to see the presidential candidate alongside her Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. “It’s wrong, and we have to fight against it, and we have to repeal it.”
A week ago I addressed Clinton’s similar, debate-performance, misrepresentation of what the status of the law actually was before enactment of that statute, and also of what the statute actually provides. In that post, I also addressed Clinton’s penchant for sleights of hand. Most notably, of course, that Denmark is not a capitalist country, and one with a small or no middle class, and that Sanders wants to institute policies here similar to Denmark’s that would end privately-owned small businesses and that would cause the destruction of the middle class here. (She apparently thinks policies that are destroying the middle class in this country haven’t already been instituted.)
But her ‘Denmark’ claim was refuted all over the Internet, and her post-debate glow was beginning to fade. Her campaign’s polling probably showed that. So … what to do?
Why, change the subject! Talk about, and only about, the one issue on which she is to the left of Sanders: gun control. And revert to her default I’m-the-WOMAN candidate! Sexism!
When you can combine the two in a retort directed at the opponent who’s been getting the better of you on ‘Denmark,” do it! Hey, she’s not paying that army of consultants and pollsters all that money for nothing.
But rather than just link to my earlier post on the gun-manufacturer/gun-dealer statute, which was enacted in 2005, I checked the Wikipedia entry on the statute. Here are the key paragraphs of the entry:
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is a United States law which protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products. However, both manufacturers and dealers can still be held liable for damages resulting from defective products, breach of contract, criminal misconduct, and other actions for which they are directly responsible in much the same manner that any U.S. based manufacturer of consumer products are held responsible. They may also be held liable for negligence when they have reason to know a gun is intended for use in a crime.
The PLCAA is codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 7901-7903.
After years of unsuccessful attempts to legislate gun control, proponents of gun control attempted to coerce gun manufacturers and dealers into voluntarily implementing some measures to avoid lawsuits that could put them out of business.
In 2000 Smith and Wesson, facing several state and federal lawsuits, signed an agreement brokered by President Bill Clinton, in which the company voluntarily agreed to implementing various measures in order to settle the suits. The agreement required Smith and Wesson to only sell guns through dealers that complied with the restrictions on all guns sold regardless of manufacturer, thus potentially having a much wider potential impact than just Smith and Wesson.
HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo was quoted as saying that gun manufacturers that did not comply would suffer “death by a thousand cuts”, and Eliott Spitzer said that those who didn’t cooperate would have bankruptcy lawyers “knocking at your door”.
In January of 2005, New York City passed a law allowing lawsuits against gun manufacturers and dealers that did not voluntarily implement certain gun control measures.
A similar measure had been rejected by the Senate on March 2, 2004 after it had been combined with an extension to the assault weapons ban into a single piece of legislation.
The final bill passed only after adding an amendment that mandated safety locks on handguns, and after preventing the renewal of the assault weapons ban from being added.
It was signed into law on October 26, 2005, by President George W. Bush and became Public Law 109-92. The National Rifle Association thanked President Bush for signing the Act, for which it had lobbied, describing it as, “…the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in twenty years into law.”
Since the law’s passage, there have been two cases taken to a jury trial for damages. In the first, a jury found in favor of a gun store in Alaska after a gun purchased by Jason Coday was used in a murder. The second resulted in a six million dollar verdict against Badger Guns after guns negligently sold there were used to shoot police officers.
The Brady Center and families of victims of the Aurora shooting sued Lucky Gunner, the online store where some of the weapons and ammunition were purchased. Federal judge Richard Paul Matsch dismissed the charges. He ordered the plaintiffs to pay Lucky Gunner’s legal fees under a separate Colorado law, HB 000-208.
After the 2012 Aurora, Colorado and Sandy Hook, Connecticut shooting incidents, a renewed effort has been mounted to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to make it possible for victims of gun violence to sue firearms manufacturers and dealers on a broader array of grounds.
About the Aurora, CO theater-shooting lawsuit, Phillips v. Lucky Gunner, it turns out that the dismissal of the lawsuit was based only secondarily on the PLCAA. It was based primarily on a Colorado state statute, C.R.S. § 13-21-504.5. And the Colorado state statute that authorizes lawsuits won on in Colorado state court or in federal court on the basis of a defense provided in Colorado state law (the latter was the situation here), that statute (and several others that make financially impossible for anyone who is not wealthy to sue) enacted in the early 2000s by a Republican-controlled legislature and signed by a Republican governor, were bought and paid for by ALEC. (Colorado is a state whose legislature and executive branch were during that period, truly, an utter proxy for ALEC.)
What exactly does Clinton plan to do about ALEC? As compared with what, say, Sanders plans to do about it? I’d love to hear her shout about it. I mean, speak about it in a conversational volume.
*Correction: This post originally said board members number 78. I’ve now added a link to the information, which is from Mother Jones. Also, I edited this post slightly for clarity last night. 10/25 at 11:20 a.m.