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From The Editor | There’s No Avoiding Gun Control In 2016 Campaign

From The Editor | There’s No Avoiding Gun Control In 2016 Campaign

A new Suffolk University/USA TODAY survey just released last week shows that the majority of Americans do not want gun control to be a “significant subject” in the 2016 elections. In fact, the survey, conducted June 25-29, indicates that 52 percent of respondents said they didn’t want to hear about guns this time around.

Unfortunately for them, they are going to be very disappointed—and for good reason.

A candidate’s attitude toward the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms might be more important than any other topic a candidate addresses. And several statements made by Democratic presidential candidates in just the past few weeks prove they have little respect for gun rights or gun owners.

Consider Hillary Clinton, widely believed to be the front-runner at this time. She recently came out with guns (or anti-guns) blazing, spouting disdain for law-abiding gun owners.Of course, when Clinton talks about “common-sense” reforms, we know what she really means.

“I lived in Arkansas and I represented upstate New York. I know that gun ownership is part of the fabric of a lot of law-abiding communities,” Clinton said. “I also know that we can have common-sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the violently unstable while respecting responsible gun owners.”

She continued:

“The stakes are too high, the costs are too dear, and I am not and will not be afraid to keep fighting for common-sense reforms and, along with you, achieve those on behalf of all who have been lost because of this senseless gun violence in this country,” she said. 

Of course, when Clinton talks about “common-sense” reforms, we know what she really means. Over the years that she has been in the public limelight, she has supported just about every imaginable kind of severe restriction on law-abiding gun owners.

She was once quoted as saying America “has too many guns.” Not too many criminals, just too many guns.

She favors reinstating a nationwide ban on semi-auto rifles, which are used in less than 2 percent of crimes. She has proposed raising the age for handgun ownership and limiting handgun purchases to one a month. She has called for national gun registration, which always leads to confiscation. And she is now pushing hard for so-called “universal” background checks—a veiled method for implementing gun registration, which, again, always leads to confiscation.

Not to be outdone in the gun-ban arena, former Maryland Governor and presidential candidate Martin O’Malley—a likely Clinton V.P. pick if he doesn’t win the nomination—is just as bad.

"I'm pissed that we're actually asking ourselves the horrific question of, what will it take?” O’Malley said. “How many senseless acts of violence in our streets or tragedies in our communities will it take to get our nation to stop caving to special interests like the NRA when people are dying?"

Of course, O’Malley then went on to propose several restrictions on law-abiding gun owners that would have had no effect on the recent disaster in Charleston, S.C.—including a national ban on so-called “assault weapons.” Such a proposal is completely disingenuous, since no semi-auto rifle—what gun-banners like to refer to as an “assault weapon”—was used in that shooting. And government studies have shown that the Clinton “assault weapon” ban of the 1990s had no effect on crime.As long as Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders are in the race, gun control must be a central conversation of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Even presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who claims to be the pro-gun candidate in the Democratic race, seems to somehow see the Second Amendment as applying differently to those living in rural or urban environments.

“I think we need to have a serious conversation about that,” Sanders said. “I think rural America needs to understand what urban America feels. Urban America needs to understand the culture of rural America. But I think together we have got to go forward to make certain that people who should not be having these weapons do not have them.”

Sanders also took the opportunity to attack so-called “assault weapons.”

“There are weapons out there that have nothing to do with hunting and are designed to kill people and kill them quickly,” Sanders said. “And this is an issue that must be dealt with.”

As long as Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders are in the race, gun control must be a central conversation of the 2016 presidential campaign. Gun owners—and even non-gun owners who value the right to keep and bear arms—deserve to know when political candidates reject the Second Amendment and harbor contempt for those who simply wish to practice their God-given rights as protected by the Constitution.