Bernie Sanders Gets His Gun, por John Stoehr, em The American Conservative:
The senator from Vermont identifies himself as the only democratic socialist in the U.S. Congress. He has called for breaking up the big banks, for easing drug laws, and for expanding social-insurance programs. In May, he introduced a bill that would impose a tax on Wall Street transactions to make college tuition obsolete.
But Sanders is also an ardent defender of the Second Amendment. This, according to elite liberals’ opinion, does not compute. The implication of their argument is that Sanders is at odds with the values and priorities of the Democratic base. Indeed, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern appeared downright worried that his economic populism might seduce unsuspecting liberals: “Before liberal Democrats flock to Sanders, they should remember that the Vermont senator stands firmly to Clinton’s right on one issue of overwhelming importance to the Democratic base: gun control.” (...)
Sanders’s record on gun legislation is somewhat mixed. He used to be a National Rifle Association candidate of choice, but these days, given his support for tepid gun-control measures, he’s persona non grata with the NRA. Even so, Sanders has been opposed for the most part to greater government oversight of ownership and sale of firearms. During his long tenure in Congress—for 16 years in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2006—Sanders opposed universal background checks, and after the Sandy Hook killings in 2012 he said that even the strongest gun-control law would not have prevented a massacre of innocents.
What got Mark Joseph Stern’s back up was Sanders’s support of tort reform in favor of firearms manufacturers. In 2005, he voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which immunized gun makers against liability claims. As Stern writes: “It is one of the most noxious pieces of pro-gun legislation ever passed. And Bernie Sanders voted for it.” (...)
Fact is, the real issue in the gun debate is geography. Bernie Sanders knows it. Vermont is a rural state with relatively weak gun laws and relatively low rates of gun violence. Guns are normal. Meanwhile, most liberal Democrats, especially the ones who write for Slate and MSNBC, live in populous urban centers located on the east and west coasts, where in their experience having a gun makes no sense at all.
I’m not bothered by hypocrisy. What bothers me about this mainstream liberal reaction to Bernie Sanders’s record on gun legislation is what it says about mainstream liberalism, especially its understanding of the values of the white working class, a bloc of voters that the Democratic Party still needs in order to advance a majoritarian agenda.
As a close friend of Sanders told National Journal: “He doesn’t really care about guns. But he cares that other people care about guns. He thinks there’s an elitism in the antigun movement.” And he’s right.
Uma coisa que me ocorre é que até que ponto o alinhamento político nos EUA sobre a questão das armas (basicamente, "direita" contra o "gun control", "esquerda" a favor) não passará de um simples acidente - afinal no resto do mundo não há (ou não havia até há poucos anos) esse alinhamento (frequentemente até era mais a esquerda a defender a ideia do "povo em armas"), e penso que mesmo nos EUA é relativamente recente (creio que as primeiras leis de "gun control" nos EUA após da Guerra da Secessão foram feitas por inspiração do Ku Klux Klan, e na década de 1960 essas propostas vinham muitas vezes de Republicanos "lei e ordem", como Ronald Reagan).