In February, Marie Claire was set to publish a series of data points and essays about women and guns in America, which included pieces from campus carry advocate Amanda Collins, Carly Fiorina, and how the NRA is rebranding by bringing more women into the fold. It also included a piece from Hillary Clinton.
As Wikileaks airs more of Clinton’s dirty laundry, there’s this January 12 exchange, where some aides seem happy that a black teen’s death would help push Clinton and the Democratic Party’s agenda concerning gun control. Speechwriter Lauren Peterson emailed Amanda Renteria, Clinton’s National Political Director, Corey Ciorciari, who is with the policy wing of the campaign, and De'Ara Balenger, Director of Engagement, Office of the Vice Chair, about the Marie Claire articles that were to be published in conjunction with the publication’s work with Harvard on the study about women and guns in America.
Peterson offered her draft of the essay by Clinton for the magazine, which was co-authored by Megan Rooney, another Clinton speechwriter. It was a typical “are there any edits” communication, with Peterson warning Balenger that there were mentions of Clinton’s meeting with mother who have lost their children to gun violence in Chicago and was double-checking to see if that was fine.
Everyone seemed content with the piece, edits were attached, but Balenger was wondering if there was another shooting that was not racially motivated. She felt it could be a distraction from Clinton’s gun agenda, as a racially motivated shooting takes the focus off firearms.
This concerns the Jordan Davis shooting in Florida in November of 2012. The shooter, Michael Dunn, was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole after it was discovered that he did not call the police after the shooting (he went back to his hotel room and ordered a pizza with his girlfriend) and there were no weapons found in the car Davis was in the car with three other occupants who were also shot; Dunn alleged that after an argument at a gas station in Jacksonville, Davis threatened to kill him and pointed a shotgun forcing Dunn, a concealed carry holder, to shoot and kill Davis. There were also racial undertones in the case.
“This is great. My edits are attached. The only flag here is that Jordan Davis was killed by a white man, so arguably - this crime was racially motivated, which takes this outside the discussion of gun violence. Was there another mother in the Chicago meeting where the shooting was NOT racially motivated? If yes, we should use that story instead of Jordan Davis,” wrote Balenger.
“You know where I stand on this. It can be racially motivated and gun violence should still very much be part of the discussion. Even more so here given that Jordan's mom is one of the leading gun violence prevention proponents in the country,” replied Ciorciari.
“I'm telling y'all - when I [sic] white man kills a young black boy - it is FIRST racial,” wrote Balenger.
In the end, Jordan Davis
At the same time, if she thinks she can use this incident as a carrot for those of us who support Second Amendment rights to help her accomplish Australian-style gun control in America, she’s on bath salts. No way should anyone who calls himself or herself a gun owner or Second Amendment supporter/enthusiast vote for this woman…ever.
Still, the whole notion that they couldn’t use the death of a black teen to make a point about gun violence in America because it was too racially charged is rather craven, especially since the victim’s mother is a gun control advocate.