The first Democratic presidential debate, moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, kicks off Tuesday night from the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas and features former U.S. Sen. one-time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia and Lincoln Chafee, former Republican member of the U.S. Senate and a former independent governor of Rhode Island.
Refresh your browser often for any updates on gun-related issues spoken by the candidates and enjoy live fact-checking on the entire debate below, courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times.
Sanders on the shooting in Oregon: “Let’s understand that Bernie Sanders has a D rating from the NRA. Let’s also understand that back in 1988 when I first ran for the United States Congress … I told the gun owners of the satate of Vermont and I told the ppl of the state of Vermont … that I supported a ban on assault weapons.” He also said he supports instant background checks, doing away “with this terrible gun show loophole,” and federal level straw man purchases. The mentally ill need insurance. When pressed on the gun manufacturers shield law Sanders voted in favor of, he responded, “This was a large and complicated bill.” He said he didn’t support holding liable a manufacturer who legally sells a gun that is then later used in the commission of a crime. “On the other hand,” Sanders said, when you have gun shops and manufacturers “knowingly” giving guns to criminals, “of course we should take action.”
Cooper to Clinton: Is Bernie Sanders tough enough on guns?
Clinton: No, not al all. Lose 90 people a day to gun violence. “It’s time the entire country stood against the NRA.” The majority of our country supports background checks and even the majority of gun owners do. She said Sanders voted five times against the Brady Bill and since its passage some two million prohibited people were kept from getting guns. Clinton said she voted against the gun manufacturer immunity law. “It wasn’t that complicated to me. It was pretty straight forward to me that he was going to give immunity to the only industry in America – everyone else has to be accountable, but not the gun manufacturers.”
Sanders’ response: All the shouting in the world isn’t going to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. “I believe that there is a consensus in this country a consensus that said we need to strengthen and expand instant background checks, do away with this gun show loophole,” etc.
O’Malley: It’s great we’re talking about these things, but I’ve actually done them. My state passed gun safety legislation, not by looking at the polls said. Sandy and Lonnie Phillips’ daughter was killed in Aurora, Colorado. They took their case to court. Lost and had to pay $200,000 “because of the way the NRA gets its way in our Congress and we take a back seat.”
Sanders: There’s weaknesses in that law. The views on guns in rural states are different than those in urban states, “Whether we like it or not. ”
O’Malley: It’s not about rural. We were able to pass this and still respect the rural hunters in Eastern Maryland.
Cooper to Webb: Would your answer to mass shootings be to arm more people? Webb: Who should be kept from having guns? Virginia Tech shooter had mental health care.
Chafe: Despite tragedies, when legislators step up, the NRA moves in and says “‘they’re trying to take our guns.’” We’ve got to bring the gun lobby in and say we have to change this. Where can we find common ground? “We’re not coming to take away your guns, we believe in the Second Amendment, but lets find common ground.”
Cooper: Which enemy you’ve made during your political career are you the most proud of? O’Malley: “The National Rifle Association”