In Hillary Clinton’s 2016 putative run for the White House, one rhetorical trend is already clear: speak only in platitudes, virtually never articulate principles. She wants everyone to think hard, and think carefully, and make hard choices. About which specific policies and the principles that inform those choices, well, that’s hard to say–with a single, notable exception. During a June 17th interview with Brett Baier and Greta Van Susteren, Van Susteren questioned Clinton about the 4th Amendment implications of domestic NSA spying, repeatedly and obviously inviting Clinton to express support for the Fourth Amendment and its warrant requirement . . .
Clinton expressed vague concern, but refused to do anything as incendiary as support any portion of the Bill of Rights. She followed the same pattern in discussing Benghazi and every other question posed by Baier and Van Susteren in a 30-minute interview. She spoke much, but said little.
But this has not been the case where the Second Amendment is at issue. When that part of the Bill of Rights is the topic, Clinton is not shy about outlining specific polices. In another interview on the same day, in a “town hall” format meeting organized by CNN, long appropriately known as the “Clinton News Network,” Hill made her anti-liberty desires plain.
“…a Maryland school teacher asked Hillary if she thought banning ‘assault weapons’ or ‘high capacity’ magazines ‘would do any good.’ Hillary said, ‘Yes,’ then expounded:
‘First of all, I think as a teacher or really any parent, what’s been happening with these school shootings should cause everybody to just think hard. We make hard choices and we balance competing values all the time. And I was disappointed that the Congress did not pass universal background checks after the horrors of the shootings at Sandy Hook, and now we’ve had more in the time since. And I don’t think any parent–any person–should have to fear about their child going to school or going to college because someone, for whatever reason–psychological, emotional, political, [ideological], whatever it means–could possibly enter that school property with an automatic weapon and murder innocent children, students, teachers.’
Clinton went on to say, ‘We cannot let a minority of people… hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.’
‘My view is, yes we need to thrash this out in the political realm. But the vast majority of Americans–even law-abiding gun owners–want background checks that work, information that is shared immediately, and an awareness that we’re going to have to do a better job protecting the vast majority of our citizens–including our children–from that very, very small group that is unfortunately prone to violence, and now with automatic weapons, can wreak so much more violence.’”
So many fundamental errors, lies and misrepresentations, so little time:
(1) The only way to lawfully “thrash this out in the political realm” is to amend or repeal the Second Amendment. Even Clinton knows that’s impossible, so she advocates passing and implementing unconstitutional laws that will destroy the lives of the law abiding until they are struck down.
(2) There is no such thing in accurate firearm nomenclature as an “assault weapon.” While the term has been written into some anti-gun legislation as a catch-all phrase that essentially means “any scary-looking gun we don’t like,” its use is always misleading and inaccurate.
(3) No actual automatic weapon has ever been used in a school attack, and while such weapons are technically legal, they are among the most highly regulated firearms available in America. One does not walk into a gun store and walk out with one ten minutes later, and one does not own one without the kinds of intensive and intrusive background checks, registration and express federal permissions gun banners want for everyone and every firearm transaction.
(4) None of the policies Cllnton advocates would in any way have deterred, hampered or stopped any school killer. Even many of the legislators writing bills with those features have admitted it. Magazine size limitations, so-called “universal background checks,” “assault weapon” bans, and more are nothing more than feel good measures that will do nothing but harass and persecute the law-abiding.
(5) School killers do indeed represent a “very, very small group…prone to violence.” This particular group of criminals is very difficult to identify and stop. Criminals don’t obey the law. So politicians like Clinton wish to turn law-abiding Americans that pose no threat to school children or anyone else into criminals.
(6) And what is this “viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people?” The Second Amendment. Clinton is directly advocating ignoring or abrogating one of American’s most fundamental unalienable rights on what she represents as a majority/minority consensus. Presumably, not even a vote is required. And who are these terrorists? The Founders? Every gun-owning American? Every American who may not own a firearm but standing on principle, supports the entire Constitution, not just the portions useful to their political party?
One of fundamental principles of American democracy is that there can be no tyranny of the majority. Fifty-one percent or more of the population may not do away with the rights of the minority. This is, in large part, why the Bill of Rights exists, to protect not what everyone loves and thinks grand, but to protect ideas, practices, beliefs and speech that enjoy less than universal support. It also exists to make permanent single-party rule difficult to attain and maintain.
Hearing any politician argue for the tyranny of the majority in any context should not only send a chill up the spine of any honorable American, but should absolutely disqualify that politician from political office in our constitutional republic. To so much as think of such a thing is to imagine the destruction of liberty and the triumph of despotism.
Unfortunately for Clinton, she has a very long rhetorical trail of anti-gun statements and beliefs. In fact, even before her latest gun control gaffes (Gaffe: noun. when a politician accidently says what they really believe), Clinton’s strident anti-liberty views left even Clinton News Network’s John King and Peter Hamby unable to adequately protect her from herself.
“On May 7th CNN’s John King played a video of Hillary Clinton saying, ‘We have to rein in what has become [an] almost article of faith, that anybody can have a gun anywhere, [at] any time.’
King quickly added, ‘She’s talking in the context of mental health,’ but then he expressed obvious concern that this soundbite is going to make a great anti-Hillary commercial…
…Hillary was not talking about mental health issues at this point but about ‘fully licensed’ and ‘fully validated’ gun owners. She said so herself.”
CNN’s Peter Hamby did his best to help Clinton but she was so obvious, so Hillary, he had no choice but to observe that Clinton’s anti-gun record was “going to be something of an issue for her I think.” If any media outlet bothers to review its own coverage of Clinton, Hamby’s parsing will shine as an extraordinary self-parody. As much as she will try to present herself as a moderate, seeking only “sensible,” “common sense” gun control measures, her record speaks loudly otherwise.
Clinton’s 2008 presidential run is a blueprint for her 2016 tactics. McClatchy’s David Lightman explained in a March, 2008 article:
“When Supreme Court justices debate the legality of the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns in coming weeks, their file will include a legal brief from Vice President Dick Cheney, Arizona Sen. John McCain and 54 other senators asking that the law be overturned.
But they won’t find anything from Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York or Barack Obama of Illinois. They didn’t sign the rival brief from other members of Congress who back the tough handgun restrictions.
The Democratic presidential candidates’ silence is part of a pattern. For years, the national party has downplayed its historic sympathy for gun control for fear that emphasizing it would be politically costly.”
Fortunately for the cause of liberty, the Supreme Court didn’t listen to Clinton and affirmed the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental, individual right in the landmark Heller decision. As much as Clinton and most other democrats avoid strident, public anti-gun advocacy, their true colors bleed through. Lightman again:
“A rival brief, signed by 18 Democratic members of Congress, counters that lawmakers long have had the right to regulate — and ban — ‘the use and possession of certain weapons.’
Clinton has a long history as an outspoken supporter of tough gun-control measures, but she, too, has moderated in recent months…
At a January debate, she called herself a ‘political realist, and I understand that the political winds are very powerful against doing enough to try to get guns off the street.”
“Political realist?” No. Clinton is a political opportunist willing to say whatever is necessary to any audience to advance her political fortunes. In this, Clinton is a common leftist politician. Like Barack Obama, she rhetorically supports the Second Amendment–sometimes–but she has never seen a restriction of the Second Amendment she does not support, and is of a kind with President Obama, the most effective inadvertent gun salesman in history.
Why is Clinton fit to be president? She was First Lady; she was a carpet bagging senator from New York; she ran for President once before. Her ghost writers wrote two books about her, and she was a Secretary of State without a single accomplishment that can be identified by anyone, not the State Department, not her supporters, and not even Clinton. However, if elected, she would do no less than Barack Obama to make life difficult for the law-abiding gun owner, just as she would make life easier for criminals, including school shooters who, plotting mass murder and usually, suicide, tend not to care overmuch about obeying gun laws.
Even though her views and preferred policies on many other topics are as ephemeral as integrity at the IRS, a brief summary of her clear beliefs on guns—by no means exhaustive, is easily available through nothing more taxing than a brief Google search.
On making self defense in the home essentially impossible (Good morning America, 06-04-1999):
“If you own a gun… make sure it’s locked up and stored without the ammunition. In fact, make it stored where the ammunition is stored separately. We’ve made some progress in the last several years with the Brady Bill and some of the bans on assault weapons, but we have a lot of work to do.”
Mrs. Clinton, speaking to children at the South Side Middle School in Nassau County, 07-15-1999):
“We will not make progress on a sensible gun control agenda unless the entire American public gets behind it. It is really important for each of you [kids] to make sure you stay away from guns. If you have guns in your home, tell your parents to keep them away from you and your friends and your little brothers and sisters.
On gun registration and licensing (CNN.com 06-02-2000):
Hillary Rodham Clinton offered her support for a legislative proposal to license handguns. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer [one of the most staunch gun grabbers in history], would require anyone who wants to purchase a gun to obtain a state-issued photo gun license. ‘I stand in support of this common sense legislation to license everyone who wishes to purchase a gun.’ ‘I also believe that every new handgun sale or transfer should be registered in a national registry, such as Chuck is proposing.”
Clinton twice voted against the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (03-02-2004 and 07-29-2005) which prohibited lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors, dealers and importers of guns and ammunition for so-called “gun violence” and the misuse of their products by third parties about whom they had no knowledge or control.
On how to deal with “gun violence” affecting African-American men (NAACP Presidential Primary Forum, 07-12-2007):
“I think it’s important to remember that the crime rate was driven down, & gun violence was driven down in the 1990s because of a combination of policies, like 100,000 police on the street and getting assault weapons off the street…Assault weapons are back on the street. We’ve got to go and do what works again. In addition to having policies that will get guns off the street…”
On the DC handgun ban that gave rise to the Heller decision, one of the few times a progressive has given lip service to anything resembling federalism (Philadelphia primary debate, 04-16-2008):
“I want to give local communities the authority over determining how to keep their citizens safe. This case you’re referring to is before the Supreme Court. [skip]
“I support sensible regulation that is consistent with the constitutional right to own and bear arms.”
The New York Times (05-09-1999) featured Clinton’s emotional appeal for gun control:
“Stepping up the Clinton Administration’s campaign against gun violence, Hillary Rodham Clinton used an emotional White House ceremony today to call on Americans to press Congress to ‘’buck the gun lobby’’ and pass several gun control measures. [skip]
“The Senate is to begin debate next week on a number of gun control measures, some of which mirror proposals offered recently by President Clinton. ‘The senators need to hear from all of us,’ Mrs. Clinton said. She urged voters ‘’to give them the encouragement to do what they know is right and to remind them that there are many, many millions of American voters and citizens who will stand behind political leaders who are brave enough to buck the gun lobby, wherever that may take us, so that they will vote for the measures that we know will save lives.”
The NYT also noted that Hillary:
“….has also been more forceful than the President in directly taking on the powerful gun lobby in the aftermath of the Littleton killings.”
In a 06-07-2011 opinion piece, Forbes.com noted:
“Although professing to support the Second Amendment during her presidential election bid, Hillary Clinton is not generally known as a gun rights enthusiast. She has been a long-time activist for federal firearms licensing and registration, and a vigorous opponent of state Right-to-Carry laws. As a New York senator she ranked among the National Rifle Association’s worst ‘F’-rated gun banners who voted to support the sort of gunpoint disarmament that marked New Orleans‘ rogue police actions against law-abiding gun owners in the anarchistic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”
In a 07-10-2012 op-ed, former Clinton advisor Dick Morris noted that as Secretary of State, Clinton had gun control goals that transcended the borders of the United States:
“Without much fanfare and with as little publicity as possible, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will go to New York City to sign the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), now in the final stages of negotiation at the U.N. The treaty marks the beginning of an international crusade to impose gun controls on the United States and repeal our Second Amendment rights.
The ATT is nominally geared toward the purpose of stopping international arms sales to gangs, criminals and violent groups. But, as is so often the case with U.N. treaties, this is merely a convenient facade behind which to conceal the ATT’s true intent: to force gun control on the United States.”
Can there be any doubt that had Clinton been successful at the UN, she would be citing that treaty destructive to American sovereignty and liberty as her single greatest accomplishment? From 1999 to the present these few but entirely representative examples of Clinton’s own words and actions mark her as a dedicated and predictable progressive gun grabber.
Too many Americans make the mistake of thinking the Second Amendment is secured, but progressive politicians waited and schemed patiently for a century to impose Obamacare. They never took their eyes off the prize. They will do no less to obliterate the Second Amendment. If elected president, Hillary Clinton will be, if nothing else, a leader in attempts to diminish liberty and to increase the power of the state.
No politician willing to impose the tyranny of the majority in any way should ever be allowed anywhere near the White House.
Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.