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Top House Democrat Compares Buying Firearms to Buying Slaves

Democratic National Convention via AP

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) told CBS News that while it is legal to buy firearms in the United States, that does not mean it makes it right. He said he tells people all the time it is like when it was legal to buy slaves before the practice was abolished.


"Just because it’s legal does not make it the right thing. I tell people all the time, the institution of slavery was legal, but it was not right. Just because they purchased these weapons legally does not mean that’s what the law ought to be. We need to change these laws," Clyburn said.

"Unfortunately, I’m going to be here in my district on Wednesday speaking at the funeral service of one of those young football players from the University of Virginia who died at the hands of the weapon that was, from all indications, legally purchased. That’s not the problem," he continued. "Chesapeake, Virginia, that gun was purchased legally the morning of the event. We have to visit these laws and do what’s necessary to keep these guns out of the hands of people who should not have them."

The shooting that took place at the University of Virginia Clyburn referenced involved a suspect who was convicted of possessing a concealed firearm without a license in 2021 but the sentence was suspended, according to the Washington Post. He told the officer who made the vehicle stop that lead to the discovery he paid $500 for the handgun and bought it for protection.


"We need to sit down in a bipartisan way and say, look, what can we do to protect the public. Nobody wants to take anybody's guns away. Your second amendment is there to protect everybody. But so is the First Amendment, but there's not unfettered..." Clyburn added.

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