Sen. Mark Warner has not traditionally held up the Democratic Party’s left flank on much of anything, so it’s a win to see him moving to a stronger position on gun laws. Which is what’s happening, according to his appearance on Face the Nation Sunday:
BRENNAN: In terms of what can be done, you were one of 16 Democrats who voted against an assault weapons ban in 2013. Then, in 2014, you voted against a cap on high-capacity magazines. They’re asking now to restrict those things. Have you changed your position?
WARNER: I think it’s time to change our positions and reexamine.
I had always been in favor of universal background checks, particularly after Sandy Hook, but I think it’s time for us to have a legitimate debate about restrictions on gun magazines and assault weapons.
You get into definitions, but the basic notion of these weaponized, militarized weapons need to be off our streets. And even the Trump administration took some small step this weekend on bump stocks. So, I think it’s time. And I hope these kids continue to press.
BRENNAN: What would you recommend to them in terms of where they focus their energy now?
WARNER: Well, I think the fact that they’re going to call for a walkout in April is appropriate.
And I think the most important thing they can do, register and vote. End of the day, that’s the way you change democracy.
Seeing Warner move is not just a single vote—it’s a commentary on where the Democratic Party and the politics of gun violence are at now.
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