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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 46,179

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Am I the only DUer who remembers,

back before DU 3, when DU self-identified as a "left-wing" discussion board?

Now DUers think it's okay to attack, marginalize, and disenfranchise the left.

THAT'S what neoliberalism gets us.

Bernie Sanders and guns

For the record, I have never owned a gun. I've never wanted to. I DID once, back in the 1980s, shoot at some tin cans because some people I knew thought I would have fun. I didn't. What I did, at that time, was go back without them to clean up the mess they left out in the desert.

That said, I live rurally, and am surrounded by a culture that uses guns. Many of my students and their families fill their freezers for the winter by hunting. Their hunting trips are family traditions; they all go, even if only a few of them are doing the actual hunting. I spend a lot of time creating independent studies for hunters every fall. It's a different world, and a different take, from urban and suburban areas. Vermont is the most rural state in the U.S., and Sanders' position about guns reflects that constituency, as it should.

This is what he said recently:

In the wake of last week's Charleston, S.C., church shootings, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders explained his competing concerns between gun rights and gun safety.

"I think guns and gun control is an issue that needs to be discussed," Sanders told NPR's David Greene in an interview airing on Thursday's Morning Edition. "Let me add to that, I think that urban America has got to respect what rural America is about, where 99 percent of the people in my state who hunt are law abiding people."

In the wake of the shooting deaths of nine African-Americans at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, many Democratic politicians have renewed calls to tighten gun-control measures. Sanders said he's open to a conversation about what to do next on gun-control measures and would go along with stricter background checks, for example. But he noted in the interview that those measures alone wouldn't solve the problem of gun violence in America.

The article goes on to say,

For left-leaning senators from largely rural, pro-gun states like Vermont it can be tough to strike a balance talking about guns. Sanders has had a mixed voting record on guns. He voted to end the "gun-show loophole" and in favor of the 2013 universal background check bill and assault-weapons ban following Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre that left 20 children dead. But, previously, Sanders voted to allow guns on Amtrak and against the Brady bill.


I agree that "it can be tough to strike a balance talking about guns." I believe that Sanders is correct in trying to strike that balance, and in supporting his rural constituents. I also see that this is one issue that many progressives will disagree with him on. I think that's okay; it's never happened, at least in my 55 years, that I've found a politician I agree with every single issue on. Sanders, frankly, comes as close as any and closer than almost all. That said, I disagree with his votes on the Brady Bill and to allow guns on Amtrak.

I do not believe that, as POTUS, he would stand in the way of stronger gun control legislation presented to him by Congress. He's just said, as quoted above, that he is open to the conversation.


I don't remember the dogpile you refer to. Not that it didn't happen, but since, before there was no other choice, Clinton and Obama were tied for last place at the bottom of my primary rankings, I wasn't in the middle of that fight. Neither was I in the middle when they were the only two left standing. I didn't really have much to fight about, since I didn't support either one of them. I didn't bother to pay attention to the convention that summer, or the ge campaign. I had no "dog" in that hunt.

In the later primaries, I did lean HRC, simply because the constant mantra of Obama being "not dlc" was so aggravating, as his neo-liberal positions were on open display for all to witness.

Frankly, I found the devolution of the Democratic Party during the '08 primaries to be a public humiliation. Here was the party that was supposed to stand for the underdogs dividing along the lines of race and gender. THAT NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED. Supporting one candidate over another? Fine. Trying to postulate that issues of race were more important than issues of gender, or vice versa? Discpicable hypocricy, imo, reducing the issues to campaign talking points instead of real world problems.

When my primary rolled around in late May, it was all over but the shouting, so I cast a protest vote for HRC.

I haven't seen a dogpile at this point, either. But then, I don't read most threads about HRC. Again, she's at the bottom of my list, and I have a better candidate to focus my attention on. I HAVE seen legitimate criticism from her own party, and I expect Republicans to spew all kinds of shit, which, even though she's not getting my vote, I'll defend. Most of that shit, though, would come in the GE should she be nominated.

I'm a woman. I'm not angry when HRC is called on her neo-liberal policies. I won't be rising to defend her from those. I won't be supporting her. I save my angry energy for neo-liberals, neo-conservatives, and all those who support the erosion of social and economic justice.


I think it's a reaction to threat; I've experienced it myself, although not about guns.

I think anytime we think that someone is threatening our autonomy we react defensively, and, in more extreme cases, offensively. It triggers an amygdala hijack.

It happens to all of us; when our emotions are engaged, reason is often short-circuited. Political and religious propaganda of all types take full advantage of this phenomenon.

People who live in fear and hate are particularly susceptible to this kind of manipulation. Which doesn't, of course, excuse acts of hate. I think hate is a mental illness, which is why I won't use the word lightly, and I do my best not to engage in hate.

Those obsessed with guns live in a state of fear and insecurity, and their guns can't cure them of that.

It might be a good conversation to talk about the purpose of, and a reasonable interpretation of, the 2nd amendment.

What was the original purpose? Does that purpose still apply, or is there another reasonable purpose?

"Arms" have evolved; what kind of "arms" fulfill the original OR evolved purpose of the 2nd amendment, and in what context?

I don't really have any answers. I've never owned a gun. I've been more concerned with other rights.
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