Given the Democrats’ dismal record when they run on an anti-gun platform, it is hard to believe that Hillary Clinton wants to make gun control her signature issue. Nevertheless, that appears to be the case. Campaigning in Connecticut, she waxed hyperbolic on firearms:
I am here to tell you I will use every single minute of every single day if I’m so fortunate enough to be your president looking for ways that we can save lives, that we can change the gun culture.
Every single minute of every single day, on guns? Well, that would be a good thing for our foreign policy, but I don’t think she means it. Still, it is always interesting to try to decode liberals’ talk about firearms. What do you think Hillary means by “chang[ing] the gun culture”? My guess is that she knows next to nothing about the “gun culture” as it is experienced by those who own and use firearms, and what she has in mind is making it really, really hard for anyone to buy a gun. Except for her armed guards, of course.
Chelsea Clinton, campaigning for her mother, brought a moment of clarity to the Democrats’ usual obfuscation:
Chelsea Clinton said Thursday at an event in Maryland that there is now an opportunity for gun control legislation to pass the Supreme Court since Justice Antonin Scalia passed away.
“It matters to me that my mom also recognizes the role the Supreme Court has when it comes to gun control. With Justice Scalia on the bench, one of the few areas where the Court actually had an inconsistent record relates to gun control,” Clinton said. “Sometimes the Court upheld local and state gun control measures as being compliant with the Second Amendment and sometimes the Court struck them down.”
Clinton then touted her mother’s record on gun control issues and knowledge that the Supreme Court has an effect on whether many gun control laws stand.
Chelsea’s comment is stupid. (Normally I wouldn’t criticize a family member of a candidate, but Chelsea is an adult and Hillary sent her out on the trail as a surrogate.) The idea that upholding some gun control measures while invalidating others is “inconsistent” betrays a profound lack of understanding of the law and the Constitution. To point out the obvious, the Supreme Court has similarly upheld some restrictions on speech as constitutional, while finding that others violate the First Amendment. And it has found some searches and seizures to be legal under the Fourth Amendment, while others are unconstitutional. This is not inconsistent, it is what courts do.
And, of course, the reporter’s framing of the issue is even dumber: “legislation” doesn’t “pass” the Supreme Court. God help us.
But, while Chelsea may not know anything about the law–money, not legality, is the Clintons’ obsession–she probably has a pretty good idea what her mother thinks about firearms. (I mean the ones that aren’t carried by her bodyguards or by the Secret Service.) I don’t doubt that one of Hillary’s agenda items is to appoint justices to the Supreme Court who will vote to overturn Heller, and hold that there is no individual right to keep and bear arms.
Our readers who supported Donald Trump may live to regret it if he proves to be such an inept candidate that Hillary becomes president, against all odds, and nominates Supreme Court justices who effectively repeal the Second Amendment.
There is a chance, of course, that Hillary doesn’t really mean what she said in Connecticut and will drop her obsession with guns once she gets to the general election. Her motive may be entirely political: firearms are the only issue where she can get to Bernie Sanders’ left, since he voted for the federal statute that protects gun manufacturers against bogus lawsuits that would hold them accountable for the acts of criminals when their products work as intended. She also persists in the absurd claim that New York’s homicide problems are due to Vermont’s permissive gun laws, a silly position that she wouldn’t take if her opponent were not a senator from Vermont.
So maybe Hillary’s purported obsession with guns is merely a campaign tactic that she will abandon when the time is right. At InstaPundit, Ed Driscoll points out that Hillary sings a different tune while campaigning in rural Pennsylvania: “I know how important gun ownership and particularly hunting is here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.” This is, as Ed notes, reminiscent of John Kerry’s Ohio goose hunting expedition–the one where he staged a hunting excursion for TV cameras and marched out of sight with his fellow hunters, but returned without personally carrying a dead goose, lest he offend his party’s core constituencies. (Dick Cheney and I once shared a laugh over this incident, which exemplified Kerry’s lameness as a presidential candidate.)
Democratic politicians are generally lying; the question is, to whom? In this case, I think (like Ed Driscoll and Chelsea Clinton) that Hillary is sincere when she hints at her desire to ban guns, and lying through her teeth when she pretends to understand and respect those who like and use firearms. (Those other than her own armed guards, that is.) So watch for gun rights to play a significant role in this year’s presidential campaign.