In an interview with the editorial board of the New York Daily News, Sen. Bernie Sanders said that the families who lost children in the Sandy Hook massacre did not have the right to sue Bushmaster for damages. This led the paper to run a cover story on Sanders’ “Sandy Hook Shame,” giving Hillary Clinton another opportunity to hit her opponent from the left – an opportunity she doesn’t often get.
Stung by the backlash, Sanders has since changed his position. On CNN’s State of the Union program on Sunday, Sanders said of the families: “Of course they have a right to sue. Anyone has a right to sue.”
Sanders maintained his belief that gun store owners should not be held liable for crimes committed by customers, but he said that he agreed with the Sandy Hook families on the basis of their lawsuit: that AR-15-style weapons should not be sold in the United States.
“That’s the kind of weapon that caused the horrible tragedy in Sandy Hook,” Sanders said. “Those weapons should not be made in the United States of America. So in that sense, I agree with the Sandy Hook parents.”
The kind of weapon that caused the tragedy? If that were the case, then Sanders would be right. Bushmaster should be sued into oblivion if one of their rifles took it upon itself to go into that school and kill first-graders.
But that didn’t happen, did it? Of course not. Bushmaster manufactured a legal rifle that worked as intended. If “assault rifles” are to be banned, then it’s up to Democrats to make that happen through the legislative process. You can’t sue a company for making a product that you think should be illegal. What possible sense does that make? What’s next? Can we sue McDonalds for making us fat? Can we sue the federal government if a loved one is eaten by a wild alligator?
Sanders has a lot of ideas that range from idiotic to fanciful, but he had some honest credibility on this issue. He seemed to understand that you can’t stop gun violence by throwing common sense out the window. Unfortunately, the liberal base has long since abandoned common sense. And if you’re voting purely on emotion, the thought of opposing the Sandy Hook families is going to be intolerable.
Democrats have thrown out logic and precedent, but hopefully the courts have not.