- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders said Sunday that “99.9 percent” of gun owners obey the law.

“Folks who do not like guns is fine, but we have millions of people who are gun owners in this country; 99.9 percent of those people obey the law,” Mr. Sanders, a Vermont independent and self-described democratic socialist, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I want to see real serious debate and action on guns. But it is not going to take place if we simply have extreme positions on both sides. I think I can bring us to the middle,” he added.

Mr. Sanders took on rivals who criticized him for voting for a law that protects gun manufacturers from lawsuits by gun violence victims. Democratic presidential rival Hillary Rodham Clinton referred to the bill in New Hampshire on Saturday, saying it was the “height of irresponsibility not to talk about it,” the Washington Examiner reported.

Mr. Sanders argued Sunday that a gun manufacturer is no more responsible for a murder committed with its product than a hammer manufacturer is responsible for a murder committed with its hammer.

“We have been yelling and screaming at each other about guns for decades, with very little success,” he said. “I come from a state that has virtually no gun control. But the people of my state understand, I think, pretty clearly, that guns in Vermont are not the same thing as guns in Chicago or guns in Los Angeles.

“In our state, guns are used for hunting. In Chicago, they’re used for kids in gangs killing other kids or people shooting at police officers, shooting down innocent people,” Mr. Sanders said. “We need a sensible debate about gun control which overcomes the cultural divide that exists in this country. And I think I can play an important role in this.”

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