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Firearm policy keeps dividing American politics. It comes clearly out of what happened during the last pre-election face-off between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, both of whom are running for the Democratic primary elections in view of the presidential election which will take place next November. Like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the Republican camp, they are the only players in a duel where the third Democratic candidate, the former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, barely made it to get  30 seconds of attention to say something. But, unlike the two GOP rivals, Hillary and Sanders, while using bright tones, faced off on concrete issues in a civil and respectful way, without insults and low blows. She was more concrete and pragmatic, stressing repeatedly continuity ‘with Obama’s policies, from health care to the Wall Street reform and the agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue. He was more idealistic, professing esteem for the President, but emphasizing differences and evoking the need for a political “revolution”.

Hilary scored the first point, accusing him of having voted for the law that guarantees impunity to arms manufacturers and reduces the time of preventive controls on buyers, taking advantage of the geographical proximity to the church where last June a white man had killed nine blacks devotees. Sanders defended himself, but eventually promised he would have supported more restrictive laws, with a spin that pleased Clinton.” The most fervent clash was probably the one on Obama Care: the former first lady strongly defended it, warning about the risks of starting a controversial debate, while Sanders ensured that he does not want to tear it to pieces, but wants to go further, extending health care to everyone because it has to be “a right, not a privilege.” To take on the break his rival, shortly before the debate the Senator issued his reform project, indicating also tax increment for employees, employers, but especially for the rich. “So, you are going to increase taxes for the same middle class you say you want to defend”, Hillary attacked, but he resisted, answering that he wishes to “increase revenues”.

Then the battle shifted towards Wall Street, another incendiary terrain: he claimed that the former first lady will not be ‘tough enough since she has accepted large contributions from the financial world. She accused him of having voted in the past in favor of the deregulation of the financial markets and of relaxing federal control. “Yet, I do not have loans from Goldman Sachs,” Sanders quips with a hint to Ted Cruz and his embarrassing loans he had not declared during his campaign as a Senator. The two candidates seem to agree more on foreign policy. They used caution on the Iranian question, praising the improved relations after the nuclear deal. but warning about the need ‘to keep an eye on Tehran’s work. As to Syria, both agreed on the following point: fight against terrorism is needed, but there will be no ground intervention; diplomatic ways will be used to solve the crisis, which will involve other Islamic countries.

Clinton took the opportunity for a thrust against Trump and his proposal to ban Muslims: American Muslims, she said, “are our best line of defense”, “certain comments I hear from the Republicans are not only shameful, but also dangerous.” The rivals made no insinuation on Hilary’s husband, whereas she boasts his successful fight against inequality, then jokes: “He’ll begin to give me advice from the kitchen table, then I’ll see whether we should go further…”.

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