[Content note: Gun violence]
A few days ago Mother Jones published an excellent article about Bernie Sanders and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which granted sweeping immunity to gun manufacturers against lawsuits. Written by Pema Levy, the article put that vote and the Act into important historical context: lawsuits were beginning to be a very valuable tool in the fight against gun manufacturers who flagrantly ignored violations of the law by gun sellers. I wrote about my profound sadness about his vote when put in that context, when considering what a very different country the United States might be if that law had not passed. Bernie Sanders is not solely responsible for the epidemic of gun violence the United States is facing--far from it. but being someone with liberal ideas and aspirations, I expressed my wish that he would listen and hear the valuable criticism he's been receiving about that vote, and about his probelmatic history with gun control issues. As recently as Monday night, he was still defending his vote.
Today, I was very pleased to learn that Sanders has aparently heard his critics on this issue and reversed his support for the PLCAA.
Text of Tweet from Dan Merica: "Tad Devine, Sander's top strategist, confirms that Sanders has agreed to be a co-sponsor of the PLCAA repeal bill."
Thank you, Senator Sanders. And congratulations, Secretary Clinton, for helping to move Sanders to the left.
That's not snark. (Okay, maybe there is a hint of snark.) From the moment Sanders entered the primary, many pundits and bloggers have trumpted the notion that Sanders would "move Clinton to the left," seldom acknowledging that there are issues where her record has more consistently championed progressive issues than he has. Or that there are issues where his "lefty-er" cred is actually about equal with hers. Or that there are issues where they both need to move, and pretty damn fast, if you ask me.
I think Sanders deserves credit for keeping economic justice and the influence of corporate money in US politics at front and center. I also think Clinton deserves credit for talking about women's issues, children's issues, and the way she has tied those issues to gun violence frequently and consistently. So thanks, Bernie and Hillary. Because you know who really wins when politicians listen to good faith criticism, from each other, from activists, from voters?
We all do, that's who.