If it was a surprise to you that Hillary Clinton was about to launch her presidential campaign, then I’d like to welcome you back from your year-long Australian outback walkabout. Hillary has been the assumed front-runner for the Democratic nomination since Barack Obama tagged out on his presidential elections, and today she has finally officially announced her candidacy. As a reminder to our readers, here’s a quick run-down of Hillary Clinton’s history with firearms.
On the idea of respecting the right of people to keep and bear arms, Hillary had the following to say just last year.
“We’ve got to rein in what has become an almost article of faith that anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime,” she said. “And I don’t believe that is in the best interest of the vast majority of people.”
Note the language in use. Not that the majority of people agree with her point of view, but that she knows what’s best for everyone and wants to make her vision a reality. That’s slightly concerning, but as we start reaching further back in history things get worse. Earlier in the year, Hillary appeared to believe that American gun owners are potential terrorists.
We’re going to have to do a better job protecting the vast majority of our citizens, including our children, from that very, very, very small group that is unfortunately prone to violence and now with automatic weapons can wreak so much more violence than they ever could have before.
I think she meant “semi-automatic” instead of “automatic,” but I’m not discounting the idea that just like CNN’s anchors they don’t care enough to look up the difference and just want to ban all the scary looking guns. She went further, bemoaning the fact that the proposed universal background check bill failed, and demanding that we “do something” to “protect our children” from the scourge of “automatic weapons.”
“What’s been happening with these school shootings should cause everybody to just think hard,” she said. “I was disappointed that the Congress did not pass universal background checks after the horrors of the shooting at Sandy Hook and now we’ve had more in the time since.”
Clinton, thought to be a likely 2016 presidential candidate, then made a glaring error when making an emotional plea to promote gun control.
She said she couldn’t understand how an individual could walk into a school with an “automatic weapon” and “murder innocent children, students, teachers.” In fact, automatic weapons are highly regulated and very difficult to acquire. It is likely the former first lady was actually referring to semi-automatic weapons.
She referred to “automatic weapons” for a second time later during the town hall, saying they can do more damage than ever before. There have been two homicides committed with legally owned fully automatic weapons since 1934, according to GunCite.com.
Stepping back to the last real presidential campaign, Hillary admitted during a debate in the Democratic primaries that her goal is to re-instate the failed Assault Weapons Ban:
I will also work to reinstate the assault weapons ban. We had it during the 1990s. It really was an aid to our police officers, who are now once again, because it has lapsed–the Republicans will not reinstate it–are being outgunned on our streets by these military-style weapons.
As we have stated many times, the Assault Weapons Ban is widely acknowledged even by President Obama’s own staff to have had no effect whatsoever on reducing crime and only impacts law abiding citizens. But Hillary doesn’t care — “assault weapons” are scary and need to be banned. For the children.
Beyond simply banning “assault weapons,” Hillary has also publicly stated her belief that all firearms should be registered.
“I stand in support of this common sense legislation to license everyone who wishes to purchase a gun,” Clinton said. “I also believe that every new handgun sale or transfer should be registered in a national registry, such as Chuck is proposing.”
The following is a cut-and-pase of Hillary’s 2010 manifesto about her stance on gun issues, including her desire to require “smart gun” technology in all firearms
Make America the “Safest Big Country” in the World
After climbing relentlessly for three decades, crime rates started to fall in the 1990s. Nonetheless, the public remains deeply concerned about the prevalence of gun violence, especially among juveniles, and Americans still avoid public spaces like downtown retail areas, parks, and even sports facilities.
We need to keep policing “smart” and community-friendly, prohibiting unjust and counterproductive tactics such as racial profiling; focus on preventing as well as punishing crime; pay attention to what happens to inmates and their families after sentencing; use mandatory testing and treatment to break the cycle of drugs and crime; and enforce and strengthen laws against unsafe or illegal guns. Moreover, we need a renewed commitment to equal justice for all, and we must reject a false choice between justice and safety.
Technology can help in many areas: giving police more information on criminal suspects so they do not rely on slipshod, random stop-and-search methods; allowing lower-cost supervision of people on probation or parole; and making it possible to disable and/or trace guns used by unauthorized persons.
Above all, we need to remember that public safety is the ultimate goal of crime policy. Until Americans feel safe enough to walk their neighborhood streets, enjoy public spaces, and send their children to school without fear of violence, we have not achieved public safety.
Goals for 2010
Reduce violent crime rates another 25 percent.
Cut the rate of repeat offenses in half.
Develop and require “smart gun” technology to prevent use of firearms by unauthorized persons and implement sensible gun control measures.
Ban racial profiling by police but encourage criminal targeting through better information on actual suspects.
Require in-prison and post-prison drug testing and treatment of all drug offenders.
“Until Americans feel safe” she plans to keep pushing for more gun control. Not based on actual facts or statistics, but based on her personal feelings of how safe America is with all these proto-terrorist gun owners and their automatic assault weapons, unregistered handguns, and “cop killer” bullets.