In an effort to use the recent tragedy at Umpqua Community College to boost her political campaign, Hillary Clinton has been attacking the National Rifle Association for days. Earlier this week, the Democratic presidential candidate went so far as comparing the NRA to Iranian terrorists and communists during a town hall style campaign stop. From The Hill:
“You know, the NRA’s position reminds me of negotiating with the Iranians or the communists," Clinton said at an Iowa town hall on Wednesday.
The Democratic primary front-runner accused the nation's largest gun lobby of spreading propaganda to keep its dues-paying constituents paranoid.
“The NRA tries to keep gun owners — the ones who are members — really upset all the time so they can keep collecting their money, because they tell them they’re the only thing that’s going to stop the black helicopters from landing in the front yard and people’s guns being seized,” Clinton said. “That’s the argument they make. And it works with some people and it has turned a lot of people into absolutists themselves.”
A few thoughts:
1) When Hillary Clinton compares the NRA to the Iranian regime, which is responsible for the murders of hundreds of American citizens around the world, she's comparing Americans here at home to Iranian terrorists. The NRA isn't a boogy man, it's a grassroots organization made up of 5 million law abiding, Second Amendment supporters. Clinton is running for President of the United States, which means she's obligated to represent all Americans.
2) The NRA, not the anti-gun lobby which Clinton is a part of, has been responsible for getting mental health legislation passed in Congress and signed into law by previous presidents.
Since 1966, the National Rifle Association has urged the federal government to address the problem of mental illness and violence. As we noted then, “the time is at hand to seek means by which society can identify, treat and temporarily isolate such individuals,” because “elimination of the instrument by which these crimes are committed cannot arrest the ravages of a psychotic murderer.”
More recently, the NRA has supported legislation to ensure that appropriate records of those who have been judged mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed to mental institutions be made available for use in firearms transfer background checks. The NRA will support any reasonable step to fix America’s broken mental health system without intruding on the constitutional rights of Americans.
Most recently, the NRA got behind new mental health legislation introduced by Texas Senator John Cornyn. Further, the NRA has dedicated millions of dollars and thousands of hours to firearms safety programs in every state across the country.
3) Clinton's anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment rhetoric might work in a far left primary, but it won't work in a general election. The number of Americans who believe gun rights should be protected now outweigh those who believe in new gun control measures.
4) Clinton supports the deal recently struck between the Iranians and the White House, so her comparison makes little sense based on her own arguments and positions.
5) If guns are the problem, when will Hillary demand her 24/7 security team stop carrying them for her protection?
It's easy to attack the NRA for political reasons, but it's hard to come up with real solutions to violence. I'll leave you with this: