Hillary Clinton Refuses To Say We Have A Constitutional Right To Bear Arms

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jun 06, 2016 1:05 PM
Hillary Clinton Refuses To Say We Have A Constitutional Right To Bear Arms

On Sunday, former Clinton political operative and host of ABC News’ This Week George Stephanopoulos interviewed Hillary Clinton, where the Second Amendment came up due to Donald Trump’s attacks that the former secretary of state will essentially abolish our right to firearms. Stephanopoulos asked if Clinton felt the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right to bear arms under the Constitution, wherein the former first lady walked a waffled line on the matter. In the end, she refused to say if this was an individual right, instead opting to hit back at some of Trump’s claims and focused on what she would do to curb gun violence.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about the Second Amendment. As you know, Donald Trump has also been out on the stump talking about the Second Amendment and saying you want to abolish the Second Amendment. I know you reject that. But I want to ask you a specific question: Do you believe that an individual's right to bear arms is a constitutional right — that it's not linked to service in a militia?

HILLARY CLINTON: I think that for most of our history there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice Scalia, and that there was no argument until then that localities and state and federal government had a right, as we do with every amendment, to impose reasonable regulations. So I believe we can have common-sense gun-safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment. And, in fact, what I have proposed is supported by 90 percent of the American people and more than 75 percent of responsible gun owners. So that is exactly what I think is constitutionally permissible and, once again, you have Donald Trump just making outright fabrications, accusing me of something that is absolutely untrue. But I'm going to continue to speak out for comprehensive background checks; closing the gun-show loophole; closing the online loophole; closing the so-called Charleston loophole; reversing the bill that Senator Sanders voted for and I voted against, giving immunity from liability to gun makers and sellers. I think all of that can and should be done, and it is, in my view, consistent with the Constitution.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And the Heller decisions also does say there can be some restrictions, but that’s not what I asked, I said do you believe that their conclusion, that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right?

CLINTON: If it is a constitutional right, then it, like every other constitutional right, is subject to reasonable regulations. And what people have done with that decision is to take it as far as they possibly can and reject what has been our history from the very beginning of the republic, where some of the earliest laws that were passed were about firearms. So I think it’s important to recognize that reasonable people can say, as I do, responsible gun owners have a right, I have no objection to that, but the rest of the American public has a right to require certain kinds of regulatory responsible actions to protect everyone else.

Oh, where to go with this. First of all, it’s painfully inauthentic, packaged, and poll-tested. The focus group is often a guiding light with the Clintons, and I’m sure they know that an increasing amount of voters view her as a liar and untrustworthy. Nevertheless, the interview came off as if one of her staffers was showing her the cue cards on the periphery concerning everything the campaign has discussed about Second Amendment issues.

Second, “if it’s a constitutional right,” is how she responded to the follow up? Of course, the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to own firearms. It’s the oldest civil right in the books. The prevarication on this issue isn’t going to assuage the feelings of skepticism that Clinton is going to put the Second Amendment in the crosshairs. That’s good because that’s exactly what she’s going to do.

She has said that Australian-style gun control is a “good example,” and that their gun buyback program is “worth considering.” Everyone who has read up about Australia’s gun policy knows that it centers on firearm bans and confiscation. Period. She’s either engaging in willful ignorance or outright lying to us about what she would do concerning pushing so-called common sense gun regulations.

Laying down the legal groundwork for the anti-gun left to sue the gun industry out of existence (i.e. Protection Of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act) isn’t common sense. What Charleston loophole is Clinton talking about? The three-day waiting period is a provision in the pro-gun control Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act. People with very common names (i.e. John Smith) sometimes go through a longer background check process since not every “John Smith” is a law-abiding person. If the check isn’t resolved within three days, which is an insane amount of time to finish a background check, then the transfer can go through, albeit that decision is up to the dealer. They can choose to withhold until all the paperwork is completed. Now, say the National Instance Background Check System completes the background check and finds that the transfer was to a person who should own firearms, then the FFL dealer involved in the purchase is notified—and the matter is referred to the ATF firearms retrieval unit. There’s no loophole.

Also, it was the FBI who screwed up the Dylann Roof gun purchase. Roof had admitted to a narcotics charge, which if the paperwork were processed properly, would’ve flagged him in the NICS system. There was a clerical error, however, and the sale went through.

This was an abject failure in government. Period. But liberals can’t say that because their incessant crusade for universal background checks requires them to support the concept that government is competent. These are liberals, government can do no harm, nor is it incompetent—it just needs more money if things are a bit shabby. That’s precisely wrong. What’s interesting about the post-Charleston shooting is how liberals viewed the three-day waiting period, which is already a rare occurrence in gun sales, as a real problem after it was discovered that the FBI totally dropped the ball enforcing something established under their own bill. Lastly, again, nothing in President Obama’s post-Sandy Hook wish list concerning gun control would’ve stopped Sandy Hook or this horrific tragedy in South Carolina.

Universal background checks are already law in Oregon. That didn’t stop Christopher Harper-Mercer from killing people at Umpqua Community College in Rosebud. Harper-Mercer had no prior run in with the law, but he possibly had a history of mental health problems. Alas, that’s where the solution to mass shooting rests. How to prevent the severely mentally ill from obtaining firearms? Harper-Mercer, Elliot Rodger, Aaron Alexis, Seung-Hui Cho, and James Holmes all had a history of mental illness that was documented, but in some instances, not properly filed with the proper authorities. In some cases, like the Navy Yard Shooting, if the proper paperwork was filed on Alexis’ mental health, his security clearance would’ve been revoked and he would not have been able to get inside the facility with a shotgun. In 2012, even the liberal Mother Jones magazine said that maybe we just need a better mental health system. They analyzed mass shootings over the past three decades, found 62 in the last 25, and noted that that “nearly 80 percent of the perpetrators in these 62 cases obtained their weapons legally. Acute paranoia, delusions, and depression were rampant among them, with at least 36 of the killers committing suicide on or near the scene.”

This is certainly an area where both the left and right can find common ground, but the left isn’t willing to come to the table.

If there’s one thing that I can find that’s positive about Clinton’s exchange with one of her husband’s former operatives is that she described our country as a republic. At the same time, it’s a bit disconcerting that she doesn’t know that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to own a firearm. Even pro-gun control Barack Obama was able to recognize this fact in a Facebook post on the anniversary of the Newtown shooting last December. Granted, it was in support of more gun control, but said, “let me be absolutely clear – like I’ve said many times before, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. Period.”

With Clinton, she was a total mess in her answer on gun rights, as was her reaction to the email server—and the State Department IG report on said server. Then again, it’s expected from a liberal like herself. They’re just waiting it out, like what they did with the email server, probably confident that they’ll win the election, whereby they will pack the Supreme Court (starting with the late Justice Scalia’s vacancy) with anti-gun jurists. I mean, Chelsea Clinton pretty much admitted that with Scalia gone, liberals, with her mom at the point of the lance, have the chance to deliver a death blow to Second Amendment rights in this country.

With David French not running, and Libertarian Gary Johnson being the longest of shots to win the presidency, Donald Trump seems to be the only option left for Americans who believe in gun rights. Trump already has the NRA endorsement. Yes, he’s taken very Everytown-esque positions on the matter in the past, but he now says he’s fully committed to protecting Second Amendment rights. With Hillary, we know what she’d do.With Trump, it's a shot in the dark, but those looking for conservative purity, we all know Clinton is the worst choice on this subject. Far worse—almost as bad as Clinton’s answer on the subject.