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I don’t wake up every morning, as some people here in Washington do and say, “You know, I really have to be president of the United States. I was born to be president of the United States.” What I do wake up every morning feeling is that this country faces more serious problems than at any time since the Great Depression, and there is a horrendous lack of serious political discourse or ideas out there that can address these crises, and that somebody has got to represent the working-class and the middle-class of this country in standing up to the big-money interests who have so much power over the economic and political life of this country. So I am prepared to run for president of the United States. I don’t believe that I am the only person out there who can fight this fight, but I am certainly prepared to look seriously at that race.
WASHINGTON, April 17 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today voted for expanded background checks on gun buyers and for a ban on assault weapons
Bernie Sanders on Gun Control
"Newtown, Conn., and our entire country have experienced an unspeakable and unimaginable tragedy. As President Obama has stated we, as a nation, must do everything we can to put an end to the epidemic of mass killings that we have seen in recent years.
"No knowledgeable person believes that there is one easy, 15-second-soundbite answer to this crisis. We need a comprehensive approach in which a number of issues must be seriously addressed. Among those issues are:
"First, we have to tone down the incredibly high level of violence which permeates our media culture and which desensitizes children and others to the killing of human beings.
"Second, we must greatly expand and improve our mental health capabilities so that individuals and families in need of psychological help can find that help when they need it. Incredibly, there are major proposals before Congress right now which would substantially cut back on the availability of that help - making a bad situation much worse.
"Third, while well over 99 percent of gun owners are law-abiding citizens who use their weapons legally and responsibly, there are clearly some who do not. In that regard, we must make certain that highly destructive weapons do not fall into the hands of people who should not have them."
There will never be a perfect candidate. This either/or.. all/or nothing mind set has gotten the U.S. exactly nowhere so far.
Sanders has been trying to protect the Constitution. That's exactly one of the reasons why I like him. I am very much for protecting our most important document in this country.
His position seemed to shift in January, when he intimated in a written statement that he’d support federal bans on assault weapons and high-capacity clips proposed by Obama.
But in last week’s interview, he seemed to back away again from such measures, saying, “If you passed the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, I don’t think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen.”
Asked why he was on the fence about the assault-weapons ban, which he backed in 1994, Sanders interrupted midsentence, saying, “This is not one of my major issues. It’s an issue out there. I’ve told you how I feel about it. If there’s anything else you want to ask me about, I’m happy to answer. But that’s about it.”