Here’s a thought experiment. How viable would a GOP presidential candidate be if he expressed doubts about the sanctity of Americans’ fundamental right to freedom of speech. What if he said he believes in a more nuanced reading of the First Amendment, one in which “reasonable regulations” were needed to ensure peace in public discourse. Answer: it wouldn’t be pretty. That candidate would be the subject of no end of derision and criticism by the media and bien pensant commentariat. His candidacy would be declared, if not dead, certainly in mortal jeopardy. We’d be flooded with navel gazing think pieces on the imminent threat his candidacy posed to fundamental civil rights. So why isn’t the Mao jacketed, inevitable Democrat candidate facing the same withering fire for her failure this morning to support the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment? . . .
Is that a trick question? Here, as reported by The Washington Post, is the exchange she had with her former employee and Clinton Foundation contributor, George Stephanopoulos on his Sunday ABC gabfest:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about the Second Amendment. As you know, Donald Trump has also been out on the stump talking about the Second Amendment and saying you want to abolish the Second Amendment. I know you reject that. But I want to ask you a specific question: Do you believe that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right — that it’s not linked to service in a militia?
CLINTON: I think that for most of our history there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice [Antonin] Scalia. And there was no argument until then that localities and states and the federal government had a right — as we do with every amendment — to impose reasonable regulations. So I believe we can have common-sense gun-safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment. And, in fact, what I have proposed is supported by 90 percent of the American people and more than 75 percent of responsible gun owners. So that is exactly what I think is constitutionally permissible and, once again, you have Donald Trump just making outright fabrications, accusing me of something that is absolutely untrue. But I’m going to continue to speak out for comprehensive background checks; closing the gun-show loophole; closing the online loophole; closing the so-called Charleston loophole; reversing the bill that Senator [Bernie] Sanders voted for and I voted against, giving immunity from liability to gun makers and sellers. I think all of that can and should be done, and it is, in my view, consistent with the Constitution.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, and the Heller decision also says there can be some restrictions. But that’s not what I asked. I said, “Do you believe their conclusion that the right to bear arms is a constitutional right?”
CLINTON: If it is a constitutional right, then it — like every other constitutional right — is subject to reasonable regulations. And what people have done with that decision is to take it as far as they possibly can and reject what has been our history from the very beginning of the republic, where some of the earliest laws that were passed were about firearms. So I think it’s important to recognize that reasonable people can say, as I do, responsible gun owners have a right. I have no objection to that. But the rest of the American public has a right to require certain kinds of regulatory, responsible actions to protect everyone else.
If it is a constitutional right. Nice. She assiduously avoids conceding that Americans have a fundamental, enumerated civil right to keep and bear arms in order to defend themselves and their families. Yet some of the palace guard still manage to write — apparently with a straight face — that Fox News is somehow to blame for the surge in gun sales.