Bernie Sanders Blows Away The NRA's BS Argument Protecting Massacre Machine Guns

Bernie Sanders Blows Away The NRA’s BS Argument Protecting Massacre Machine Guns

Bernie Sanders takes on the NRA’s gun propaganda

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” popular independent senator Bernie Sanders talked about the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida and gun control measures that can be implemented to prevent, or at least deter, future tragedies from happening.

Conversing with Chuck Todd, Sanders asserted that guns like the AR-15, used in an inordinate number of gun massacres in America, should not be sold on the open market. “t=These weapons are not for hunting,” Sanders said, “They’re for killing human beings.”

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Gun enthusiasts and apologists alike are quick to point out whenever the AR-15 is described as an “assault rifle” that it is, technically speaking, a semi-automatic variation of the military grade M-16. At least, in it’s stock configuration. But add a few accessories like a bump stock, and you have a serious weapon capable of inflicting mass casualties in seconds. A weapon that can and has been used to stage an assault, far too often.

As The Washington Post’s Julie Vitkovskaya and Patrick Martin reported, it can fire dozens of rounds in seconds, reload quickly, and be fitted with extra attachments. It may be watered down from the M-16, but it was still used during the Vietnam War, and that’s the point Sanders is making here. An unofficial military weapon is just as dangerous as a military one and should not be available on the free market.

And in any case, these nitpicky distinctions don’t matter to the victims of these shootings, their families, their friends, the survivors, or the traumatized communities. They just know that it happened again and again and nothing was done, and now it’s happened to them.

Of course, the argument from the NRA has always been that these kinds of weapons actually have any other realistic use besides the murder of human beings. But the survivors of the Valentines Day massacre in Parkland, Florida have loudly called “BS” on that notion, and Sanders put it in even starker terms. These guns aren’t designed for hunting, they’re not designed for mere target practice – they’re designed to kill people. And so there ought to be some controls on what kinds of people can get them.

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Sanders also spoke to Todd about closing down the infamous gun show loophole, where unlicensed gun sellers can sell their arms at gun shows. There is no federal standard for these licenses, allowing people to work around them without regulation.

In the past, Bernie Sanders has been the target of pro-gun accusations, given his votes against a five-day waiting period and for punishing gun manufacturers. However, these complaints don’t look at the specifics and, more importantly, fail to take into account the fact that he has a “D-Minus” voting rating from the NRA. We must all work together to implement long-overdo proper gun control legislation in the United States. The victims of past massacres deserve this.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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