A politician's intentions

As Hillary Clinton continues to insist that she’s the right person for the Democratic Party to nominate as their presidential candidate, gun control advocates have shifted their attention from Obama to her, now asking us how many guns she has taken from Americans or what evidence we have for her intentions if elected.  An example of this is to be found in an article on Media Matters for America, titled, “Watch CNN Commentator Rip Donald Trump For Lying About Clinton’s Gun Position.”  The source of this is a CNN discussion featuring Boris Epshteyn and Angela Rye, political commentators for Republican and Democratic causes respectively about claims that Clinton would abolish the Second Amendment, given the chance.

As Rye pointed out, a president cannot “abolish” an amendment to the Constitution.  Epshteyn replied that Clinton wishes to dismantle the Second Amendment, and the two of them ended up debating semantics.  But as with Obama, we have a long record of Clinton’s statements about gun rights.  We can work out her attitude and intentions on this subject.

The gun control signed into law by her husband that she supported—the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban—woke many gun owners up to what anti-rights people will try.  And as a senator, Clinton sought to “extend and reinstate” the ban on weapons she regards as belonging solely to the military.  Why would she want this ban?  Gun control advocates claim that such a law would make America safer, but the evidence is unclear at best.  The Brady Bill also shows little reason to believe that the law has had a significant effect in reducing violence.  As the work of Philip J. Cook, professor of public policy at Duke University, found in the early 2000s, the effect of the background check requirement on sales done by licensed dealers has been minimal.  (Cook himself takes the usual line of gun control advocates—namely the belief that given the failures of current laws, we need more of the same.)

And then there’s Clinton’s praise for the Australian model.  She specifically names the program by the Australian government to buy guns from ordinary citizens, but this leaves out mention that these guns were banned and the sale to the government was compulsory.  And it fails to acknowledge that once again, the new laws there did little to reduce the homicide rate.

What does this all add up to?  Her statements over the last more than two decades and her current campaign website give us a long list of measures that she wants to impose on law-abiding Americans.  If she has her way, the immunity of gun makers and sellers from nuisance suits would be gone, a new and broader assault weapons ban would be enacted, private commerce in guns would be illegal, handguns would require licensing and registration to own, legal carry would be much harder and more limited, and local jurisdictions would be given the authority to pass stricter laws than the states they’re found in.  Or that’s what she’s called for at various points in her public career.  And it’s consistent with her promises now.

Would she abolish the Second Amendment?  If she had the votes, I have no doubt that she’d seek a repeal.  Short of that, her record makes it clear that she would gut the legal protections of gun rights, making ownership and carry a privilege granted to an approved few  It’s up to Americans during the general election campaign and in voting this November to send an unambiguous statement to Clinton and all other politicians that we won’t tolerate efforts to chip away at this basic freedom we all are entitled to enjoy.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.

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