- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Gun control quickly divided the candidates in the kick-off Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, with two of them saying the party needs to respect the voices and wishes of Americans, particularly in rural areas, who believe guns are a critical right.

“We have to respect the tradition in this country of people who want to defend themselves and their families from violence,” said former Sen. Jim Webb. “There are people at high levels in this government who have body guards, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The average American does not have that, and deserves the right to be able to protect their family.”

But former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has exactly that kind of protection by dint of her time as first lady, said more needs to be done to crack down on gun ownership.

“We have to look at the fact we lose 90 people a day to gun violence,” she said, calling for a list of constraints including liability for gun manufacturers, stiffer background checks an

She took aim at Sen. Bernard Sanders, who along with Mr. Webb called for respecting rural Americans’ fondness for firearms.

“Senator Sanders did vote five times against the Brady Bill. Since it was passed more than 2 million prohibited purchases have been prevented,” she said. She also accused him of siding with gun manufacturers in scuttling a bill to make them have to face liability for gun crimes.

“Everybody else has to be accountable but not the gun manufacturers?” she said.

Mr. Sanders replied that strident attacks weren’t going to help solve the divide in the country.

“As the senator from a rural state, what I can tell Secretary Clinton that all the shouting in the world is not going to do what I think all of us want,” the Vermont senator said.

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