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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Presidential candidates take hard stances on gun issues

With gun violence so prevalent in the U.S., gun control is a recurring issue debated among the presidential candidates. The Republican and Democratic front-runners each have contrasting stances on gun control.

Dr. Ben Carson

Carson takes a staunch stance against any sort of gun regulation that would diminish the Second Amendment.

In early October, Carson suggested that the Holocaust may have not happened if citizens at the time had been armed with guns, according to a BBC News article.

As stated on his campaign website, “The Second Amendment is a central pillar of our Constitution. … It provides our citizens the right to protect themselves from threats foreign or domestic.”

Donald Trump

Sharing a similar stance with Carson, Trump, too, is opposed to any gun regulation that would affect law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms.

Trump does, however, differ from Carson in a few aspects regarding the issue.
According to his campaign website, Trump emphasized the need to repair the mental health system in this nation, noting that poor mental health has been a factor in these mass shootings.

More recently, Trump announced that if elected president, he would veto any new regulations restricting access to firearms.

“The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding citizens. The Constitution doesn’t create that right—it ensures that the government can’t take it away,” reads a statement on his campaign website.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton strongly believes that legislative measures need to be taken now to reduce gun violence in the U.S.

During Clinton’s political career, she has supported action against gun violence, such as voting for legislation that would enforce the implementation of background checks before gun sales at all events where firearms are sold, according to her campaign website.

Another key component of Clinton’s stance for gun regulation is her desire to hold the gun industry responsible if its guns were used to commit crimes.

Clinton’s campaign website states, “While gun ownership is part of the fabric of many law-abiding communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. About 33,000 Americans are killed by guns each year. That is unacceptable. It is a rebuke to this nation we love.”

Bernie Sanders

Though also in favor of gun regulation and reform like Clinton, Sanders differs from her in that he would not hold the gun industry accountable for acts of gun violence unless they are knowingly aiding criminals, which he emphasized during the first Democratic debate in early October.

Sanders’ campaign website does not include his stance on gun control. However, he has spoken about the matter, voting for a bill to implement universal instant background checks with gun purchases and also advocating the need to fix the nation’s mental health system.

In contrast to what are seen as his more liberal stances, Sanders has expressed how guns and hunting are a significant aspect in rural communities, especially in his home state of Vermont.

Follow Meghan Fernandez on Twitter.

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