On January 11, 2011 — three days after Gabby Giffords was shot and wounded — Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) sent out a fundraising email in which he talked about “right-wing reactionaries” driving people to acts of violence.
Giffords was shot by a man who passed a background check to acquire his handgun. Six people were killed in the attack.
ABC News quoted Sanders in 2011, as he said, “Nobody can honestly express surprise that such a tragedy finally occurred.” He cited previous examples of vandalism against Giffords’ congressional office in Arizona and Sarah Palin’s “Crossshairs” map.
He then said:
In light of all of this violence – both actual and threatened – is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process? Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions?
My colleague, Senator John McCain, issued a very strong statement after the shooting in which he condemned the perpetrator of the attack. I commend him for that. But I believe Senator McCain and other Arizona Republicans need to do more. As the elder statesman of Arizona politics McCain needs to stand up and denounce the increasingly violent rhetoric coming from the right-wing and exert his influence to create a civil political environment in his state.
Perhaps Sanders will emulate his colleague, Sen. John McCain, and issue a very strong statement condemning the leftist convictions of the Alexandria gunman. Moreover, perhaps after issuing that statement, he will “do more” by calling out Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and all the other leftists who use rhetoric to divide and conquer for the purposes of gaining power or maintaining the power they have already gained.
We are waiting.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.