News & Politics

Does Hillary Clinton Believe that Carrying a Gun is a Constitutional Right?

Donald Trump has been saying that Hillary Clinton would repeal the Second Amendment if she were president. ABC’s This Week host George Stephanopoulos asked her today: “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?”

George may have thought he was teeing one up for her. Instead, Clinton gave an answer that was puzzling, to say the least. In the end, she became nearly incoherent when trying to avoid offending anyone on gun rights.

Washington Free Beacon:

“I think that for most of our history, there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice 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,” she said. “So I believe we can have common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment.”

Well, no. If what she said were true, the right to own a gun for any purpose except military service would have disappeared long ago. Her referencing the Heller decision is telling, because long before Scalia was a gleam in his daddy’s eye, the Supreme Court was upholding the right of Americans to possess firearms.

“Nuance,” indeed.

And few, if any, gun rights advocates believe that there should be absolutely no regulation of any kind governing the sale and possession of firearms. She set up a ridiculous straw man and then knocked it down by changing the subject to “gun safety.” Registration has nothing to do with safety, nor does banning certain kinds of weapons.

Stephanopoulos tried to pin her down again:

Clinton then went into her gun control platform, but Stephanopoulos hit her for dodging his question, noting the D.C. vs. Heller decision that protected an individual’s right to have a firearm for lawful purposes.

“And the Heller decision also does say there can be some restrictions, but that’s not what I asked,” he said. “I said, do you believe that their conclusion that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right?”

“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,” Clinton said.

Clinton then went into her gun control platform, but Stephanopoulos hit her for dodging his question, noting the D.C. vs. Heller decision that protected an individual’s right to have a firearm for lawful purposes.

“And the Heller decision also does say there can be some restrictions, but that’s not what I asked,” he said. “I said, do you believe that their conclusion that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right?”

“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,” Clinton said.

She added it was “important to recognize” that responsible gun-owners have a right, but “the rest of the American public has a right to require certain kinds of regulatory, responsible actions to protect everyone else.”

Yes, but is it a constitutional right? Hillary Clinton has an odd understanding of the Bill of Rights. Free speech, according to her, is subject to “reasonable” regulations. I daresay that her definition of “reasonable” and yours are light years apart.

The same holds true for the protection of private property. My guess is that she, like most liberals, despises the idea of private property and places the needs of the “community” over the right to be secure in one’s own property. This would include using eminent domain to benefit political elites, as was decided in the Kelo decision.

Just some more “reasonable” regulation.

Trump exaggerates when he claims that Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment. What Clinton wants to do is to reinterpret the meaning of the Second Amendment to make it conform to her narrow view of gun rights.  This cannot be allowed for the obvious slippery slope reasons.

Clinton was caught hedging her bets by avoiding the question of whether the right for the individual to bear arms is in the Constitution. All she did was sow more suspicion about her ultimate goals with regard to gun ownership and regulation.