Bill Clinton On Guns: We Need To Talk Across The Divide

“One thing is pretty clear,” Clinton said in an interview on Morning Joe this week. “Whatever we do, we need to do it more together. I think we need to start talking across this divide.”

Clinton agreed with host Joe Scarborough that Americans are getting fed up with Republican extremism. Referring to recent wins on abortion at the ballot boxes in Kansas, Wisconsin and Michigan, Clinton said, “We’ve never done the ballot box as much as we should have.” But winning there takes a lot of time and money, he noted.

He added that he thinks gun safety laws ought to be put on all referendums, “let people vote on it, then neighbors have to talk to neighbors, they have to treat each other like people.”

Clinton seemed to see the divide as urban or suburban vs. rural. “On my side, there are too many people who favor a lot of these gun measures, who don’t know any of these country people, and they don’t understand that most of them, you would be glad to have as neighbors if your house caught on fire. They come over and take your kids to safety and come back and help you put the fire out.” Rural gun owners worry about losing the right to hunt, sport shoot and protect their families “if they live way out in the country, in a rural area that’s an hour, maybe two hours away to the nearest law enforcement,” he said.

“We need to start asking each other for help,” Clinton continued. “It is not rational that we should have a dramatically higher death rate among school age children because of gun violence than any other country in the world.”

He cited Northern Ireland as an example, where people who had lost family members to violence from the other faction went to meetings together. “That’s the way you begin again, you have to do it,” Clinton said. “You don’t have to win them all.”

Bill Clinton On Guns: We Need To Talk Across The Divide

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