A major schism over guns re-emerged Sunday night in the Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Clinton said she supports holding gun manufacturers accountable when crimes are committed with their products. Sanders said he did not support going after gun manufacturers when an individual legally purchased the gun.
The schism emerged after CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked the candidates about the lawsuit being brought by families who lost children during the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School against the manufacturer that makes the Bushmaster assault rifle.
Clinton encouraged the audience to imagine the pain the families from Sandy Hook still feel in her support of the lawsuit.
“I know some of the parents from Sandy Hook. I want people in this audience to think about what it must feel like to send off your first grader, little backpack on their back, and the next thing you hear is that somebody has come to that school using an automatic weapon, an AR-15 and murdered those children,” Clinton said. “They are trying to prevent that from happening to any other family. The best way to do that is to go right at the people. We talk about corporate greed, the gun manufacturers sell guns to make as much money as they can make!” Clinton said.
Sanders had supported legislation protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits like the one filed by families from Sandy Hook. Sunday night, Sanders doubled down on that position.
“If I understand it and correct me if I’m wrong, if you go to a gun store and you legally purchase a gun, and three days later you go out and start killing people, is the point to hold the gun shop owner or the manufacturer of that gun liable? If that is the point, I disagree,” Sanders said. “If they are selling a product and the person who buys it legally, what you are talking about is ending gun manufacturing in America. I don’t agree with that.”