Fareed speaks with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore about the politics of gun control. For the full interview watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS" this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
You and Bill Clinton passed the first big assault weapons ban. Do you believe that that was responsible for your losses in the midterm election, which has cast a shadow on the Democratic Party making even today's conservative Democrats or moderate Democrats very, very reluctant to embrace any kind of tough gun control laws?
I think it was only one of many factors, Fareed. Others, including some with keen political minds, have focused on that as a central element in the 2000 campaign. I think it was only one of many issues. And I think that some have given it way too much responsibility for the result in 2000.
I think that the tragedy at Sandy Hook school is really a watershed event that is likely to change the political discourse. I’m so heartened by the many pro-gun advocates who have said in heartfelt terms, we need to make some changes. It still remains to be seen whether our sclerotic political system can process this change. It’s an open question. But I certainly hope so, and I am encouraged.
And you would say to Democrats, don't run away from this, you're not going to pay a price at the polls.
I think the price – whatever price to be paid – pales in comparison to the duties that they and all of us have to respond to this tragedy.