WASHINGTON – While there are deep political divisions among Americans on guns, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday said he believes a consensus can be developed for ways to lessen the likelihood of horrific mass-shootings which have plagued the country, including last week’s murders at a community college in Oregon.
“Like the rest of the nation, I am appalled by gun violence in our country and the mass shootings in our churches and colleges,” Sanders said. “While there is no simple fix, that does not mean we should do nothing. The status quo clearly is not working and people on both sides of this issue cannot simply continue shouting at each other. Nobody wants more mass killings and serious people are going to have to engage in serious discussion.”
“In my view, there are very concrete steps we can take to lessen the number of tragedies and to make those that happen less lethal, including ideas supported by a majority of gun owners,” the senator added.
- “We must strengthen and better enforce the instant background check system.
- “We must close the gun-show loophole, which allows unlicensed dealers to sell guns to people who otherwise would not be able to get them.
- “We must make ‘straw man’ purchases a federal crime.
- “We must ban semi-automatic assault weapons which are designed strictly for killing human beings.
- “We must recognize that our mental health system is seriously broken. While there has been much talk about mental health parity in our health care system, we are not even close to achieving it. It’s past time for a serious discussion about identifying, intervening and treating mental illness and ensuring access to care.”
In addition, Sanders said his presidential campaign is assembling a comprehensive package of measures to address gun violence.
As Vermont’s lone congressman and as a senator, Sanders consistently supported strong gun safety legislation. As a result, he has a National Rifle Association rating of D-.