The Left got their undergarments in a twist in August when Donald Trump noted that “the Second Amendment people” could prevent Hillary Clinton from fundamentally transforming the Supreme Court.
“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” Trump said, before adding: “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
Dan Gross, head of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, thought he heard gun violence in Trump’s remark. According to Gross, Trump was “literally using the Second Amendment as cover to encourage people to kill someone with whom they disagree.”
Or maybe Trump was “literally” urging gun owners to get out and vote.
Trump, who only recently started using a teleprompter, could have spoken more clearly – but his underlying message was on the money.
With an estimated 80 to 100 million gun owners in America (about a third of the electorate) pro-gun voters could put an end to the political aspirations of the current generation of Clintons.
And gun owners have every reason to shudder at the thought of another Clinton in the White House.
With the Supreme Court evenly divided on several crucial gun decisions, the justice who replaces the late Antonin Scalia could potentially erase the Second Amendment as an individual right.
Before the D.C. v. Heller ruling in 2008, most Courts of Appeals held that the Second Amendment protected a collective, states’ right. In Heller, the Court ruled in favor of an individual right.
If Hillary wins, you can all but kiss the Court’s recognition of that individual right goodbye.
But Hillary Clinton’s attack on the Second Amendment involves more than just stacking the courts with anti-gunners.
Hillary talked about the Second Amendment with George Stephanopoulos, a Democrat operative who also happens to host an ABC news show, “This Week.”
Stephanopoulos asked Clinton about claims that she wanted to abolish the Second Amendment.
He quickly answered for her – “I know you reject that” – before letting her go on to explain why, under a Clinton presidency, the Second Amendment would be dead.
First, in her one sentence windup, she distorted more than 225 years of American history, maligned one of the great jurists of our time, and flat out made up her own facts.
“I think for most of our history,” Clinton said in the June 5th interview, “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 regulation.”
In other words, there really wasn’t a Second Amendment right until Scalia came around and invented it. Now that would be an odd position for an originalist like Scalia to hold, to say the least.
Clinton went on. She will continue to push for “comprehensive background checks, closing the gun show loophole, closing the online loophole, closing the so-called Charleston loophole, [and] reversing the bill [giving gun manufacturers] immunity from liability.”
Having established the fact that Second Amendment rights are “loopholes,” and that the only proper thing to do with a loophole is to close it, let’s look at these proposals in a little more detail.
#1 Comprehensive Background Checks
What, exactly, is meant by “comprehensive background checks?” Currently, any person who buys a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer, in every state and at any location, must undergo an FBI background check, in addition to various state laws.
Sounds pretty comprehensive. (Incidentally, this also gives lie to the supposed “gun show loophole.” The rules inside a gun show are exactly the same as outside the gun show.)
What Clinton is talking about is an unprecedented expansion of the police state. Under a “comprehensive” background check system, all PRIVATE gun sales will also be subject to a criminal background check.
Selling a gun to a neighbor? Under Hillary’s plan, be prepared to go to the FBI so the buyer can prove his innocence.
Giving a gun to a friend? Not until the FBI says you can.
“Comprehensive” background registration checks will eradicate the individual right that Justice Scalia sought to protect, turning it into a mere privilege.
#2 Gun Show Loophole
As we’ve already seen, no such loophole exists.
What Hillary is talking about are private sales at gun shows. It’s individuals with their individually-owned private property, selling it to another private individual at a place where such buyers and sellers are likely to gather – a gun show.
Such sales would be outlawed under the Clinton plan.
But there’s more to it. Gun show promoters would be held liable for unauthorized gun sales, a risk that promoters would be unlikely to take.
Closing the “gun show loophole,” therefore, is just a euphemism for ending gun shows completely.
#3 The Online Loophole
This is a more recent variation of the gun show loophole and, like its progenitor, is entirely made up.
The rules for gun sales – whether by a licensed dealer or an individual – are the same online, offline, in a gun store, at a gun show, from the back of a car or at your kitchen table.
All gun dealer sales go through a background check. And it’s illegal for anyone to sell a firearm to someone the seller knows to be a prohibited person. Likewise, it’s illegal for the prohibited person to attempt to buy a firearm.
Individuals cannot ship firearms across state lines, unless it’s to a licensed gun dealer. The fact that a contact for a sale is made online does not void the myriad of gun laws currently in place.
At least one, and probably several, laws will have to be broken for a prohibited person to buy a firearm under any circumstances. But the solution from the anti-gun crowd, as usual, is to pile on yet another law.
#4 The Charleston loophole
The so-called Charleston loophole gives the government carte blanche to delay firearms sales.
Currently, the federal government has three days to determine whether or not a gun purchaser is a prohibited person. The reason for this requirement is obvious. To borrow a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “a right delayed is a right denied.”
Hillary would remove that time constraint, allowing the government to put gun sales on hold indefinitely.
#5 Bankrupting the Firearms Industry
Hillary Clinton criticized her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, for voting for a bill to prohibit frivolous lawsuits against gun manufactures.
Passed in 2005, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was enacted at a time when some of the country’s largest cities employed a novel approach to eradicate the Second Amendment: bankrupt the firearms industry through a multitude of frivolous lawsuits.
Of course, gun makers could be held liable for injury caused by defective products. But these lawsuits sought to hold manufacturers liable for injuries caused by the criminal misuse of non-defective firearms.
It would be like suing Chrysler for damages caused by a drunk driver.
The purpose of the lawsuits was clear. What the gun control crowd couldn’t achieve through the legislative process, they would attempt to win in the courts.
One mayor behind the suits, Joseph Ganim from Bridgeport, Connecticut, admitted that their goal was “creating law with litigation.”
Hillary has vowed to repeal that law, opening the floodgates to lawsuits that, even if unsuccessful in the courtroom, would bankrupt the entire industry.
There’s more to Hillary’s anti-gun agenda than these five proposals. She supports the so-called “assault weapons” ban, which would actually ban many common semi-automatic firearms, and she supports a gun ban for people on the government’s secret watch lists.
Clinton also praised Australia’s mandatory gun buyback program, which resulted in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of firearms, as a good first step.
Donald Trump was right to single out the gun vote.
The author of “The Art of the Deal” may speak inartfully at times, but the “Second Amendment” people could very well determine the outcome of this election.
And between Hillary’s Supreme Court picks and her legislative agenda against gun rights, make no mistake – the Second Amendment itself may as well be on the ballot this November.