Her rationalization to Wallace when called out on the matter is nothing more than classic Clintonian attempt to conceal her true beliefs and intentions.
Following her recent interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Hillary Clinton suffered justified ridicule for falsely claiming that FBI Director James Comey declared her private email server explanations truthful.
Unfortunately, what received far too little attention were Clinton’s damning contradictions regarding Americans’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
During a fundraiser just last year, Clinton declared unequivocally to a friendly audience, “The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.” So quoting her own words, Wallace asked, “In the 2008 Heller case, the Court said there’s a constitutional individual right to bear arms. What’s wrong with that?”
In response, Clinton attempted her trademark routine of word salad obfuscation:
Well, I think that what the Court said about there being an individual right is in line with constitutional thinking. And I said at the convention, I’m not looking to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not looking to take people’s guns away, but I am looking for more support for the reasonable efforts that need to be undertaken to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Unsatisfied, Wallace reminded her that Heller stands for the proposition that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual one, not some sort of collective governmental one. Clinton again attempted to avoid the direct question by replying, “Yes, but that right like every other of our rights, our First Amendment rights, every right that we have, is open to and even subject to reasonable regulations.”
To his credit, Wallace continued to press:
Wallace: I just want to pursue this a bit. In Heller, Justice Scalia said that the right to bear arms is reasonably limited. He left the door open to regulation. If you’re elected president, you’re going to appoint the ninth Supreme Court justice. Are you saying you do not want to see the Heller decision, the individual right to bear arms, overturned?
Clinton: No, I don’t. But here’s what I do want, and I want to be very clear about this. I want Congress to step up and do its job. I want to get out of the horrible cycle we’re in, where we go and mourn dozens, hundreds, thousands of people killed by gun violence. Everybody says, ‘Oh, let’s pray, let’s send our hearts and our feelings,’ and then nothing happens. We’re better than this. The gun lobby intimidates elected officials. The vast majority of Americans, including gun owners, support the kind of common-sense reforms that I’m proposing.
Here’s the problem. As a Yale-educated lawyer, Clinton knows that the Heller decision doesn’t prohibit “reasonable regulations” or “common-sense reforms.”
In fact, Justice Scalia’s majority opinion specifically resolved that concern:
Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those ‘in common use at the time.’ We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.‘
Accordingly, Clinton’s fundraiser declaration that “The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment” could not have meant anything other than contempt for the individual right to keep and bear arms. Her rationalization to Wallace when called out on the matter is nothing more than classic Clintonian attempt to conceal her true beliefs and intentions.
After all, in which instance was Clinton more likely to be speaking candidly: before a friendly audience of fellow liberals at her own fundraiser, or to a confrontational Fox News anchor and skeptical television audience?
Liberals like Clinton know that open hostility toward the Second Amendment is politically toxic. Consequently, they claim to respect the right to keep and bear arms while seeking only “reasonable restrictions.”
But anyone who values Second Amendment rights, or individual constitutional freedoms more generally, should see right through that.
Written by Timothy H. Lee for The Center for Individual Freedom ~ August 18, 2016.
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