With an all out attack on guns and the NRA, Hillary Clinton has already sealed up the pro-gun control crowd
I am by no means a one issue voter. As one of the most liberal people I know, I care about an assortment of issues that impact all of us. That would be as opposed to many on the other side of the political spectrum who come off as interested in issues that affect their own self-interest.
I care about equal rights. I care about equal pay for women. I care about the increased instances of police brutality against black men in this country. I worry that we are losing sight of the obvious lack of training on our police forces and I despair over what seems rampant racism when it comes to how we police our streets.
I care about a woman having a say over her own body. A woman should always have the choice to abort a pregnancy that is the result of rape or incest, or when the birth could have a dangerous impact on a woman’s health, or life.
I care about this planet. Our generation’s failure to be proactive on climate change will leave future generations in dire straits. I care about children getting a good, quality education. I care that we have people in this country who don’t know who the current vice president of the United States is. I care that they can’t figure out how much to tip at a restaurant. I care that more than a third of Americans can’t name the three branches of government or that a quarter of Americans don’t know that the earth orbits the sun.
Income inequality, racial inequality, gender inequality. It’s all vital in a progressive society. But we have been shooting ourselves in the foot as a people, as a country for far too long.
Though I do not consider myself a one issue voter, I have an issue that is more important to me than any other. Guns. We need to act. We can act. We need to believe that children dying at the hands of other children finding a loaded gun is appalling and unacceptable. We have to know that prosecuting the adult, and charging them with serious consequences, can act as a deterrent, because it can.
We need to recognize that the very wise men who came up with the second amendment never, ever intended for Joe Blow with his long gun to be allowed to waltz around Main Street USA with his firearm. We need to understand that our country progressed beyond The Wild West for a reason. The advances we have made in science, medicine and mathematics happened because of an advanced society, a society that learned that guns were not needed to advance a people, but were a deterrent to moving forward.
We are now at the same place that we were before. We should not forget George Santayana’s wise words: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
I note all of this as a precursor to the point of this writing. Lots of liberals, and certainly many progressives have landed on Bernie Sanders as their choice for president. They believe he is this country’s savior. I like Bernie Sanders. But I like Hillary Clinton, too.
It could be said that she is too tight with Wall Street. The same could be said about President Obama at this point, but that does not mean that I don’t still support him. She might be a bit too hawkish on foreign affairs. Well, there’s no doubt about that for me. On both of these two points, if these were the only issues I cared about, I would probably vote for Sanders.
But as I look over the issues that are important to me, all of these issues I’ve iterated here, I see Bernie and Hillary very closely lined up. And both of them are infinitely better than the slate offered by the Republicans. We all know what a sad group they are, even President Obama knows that. There is but one issue where I am not feeling satisfaction, of any kind, from one of the candidates. That would be on guns, and that would be from Bernie Sanders.
To say that I am sick to death of hearing how Vermont is different from the rest of the country would be the understatement of the ages. If this is the most he’s going to say, aside from the same old thing about background checks, then I am locking in my vote for Hillary Clinton. Her willingness to say out loud that she challenges the National Rifle Association puts her in the position I need my candidate.
I will never get everything that I want where gun control is concerned. I see no reason not to include long waiting periods, a deep and full background check, registration and insurance requirements for gun owners, mandatory training and re-training. Etc…
Right now, I see nothing coming from the Sanders camp that will get close to anything I want. He will always want to protect the constituents of Vermont and similar rural states. But the only appropriate solution is to add a little pain to all gun owners so that we might all be able to live safer lives. It is the only way to take away that feeling that going to the movies or the mall – or to school – isn’t the crap shoot that it is today in America.
Bernie Sanders is not there on this issue, and I don’t believe he ever will be.