We’ve detailed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s strident disdain for the Second Amendment many times over the past several months, most recently here, here and here. There’s no doubt she tops the list of rabid gun-banners in a devoutly anti-gun cast of 2016 Democratic presidential candidates.
Her support for banning semi-automatic rifles, banning normal capacity magazines called “high-cap” by some, dictating so-called “universal” background checks for all gun sales, and creating a national registry of gun owners are critical to our understanding of how she sees guns and gun owners. And newly revealed materials from 1993, when she vocally supported a 25-percent tax on all new gun sales, proved that she hasn’t just come upon these opinions lately.When you have 24/7/365 taxpayer-funded Secret Service protection for life—like Clinton has—it’s easy to dismiss the security concerns of “ordinary” Americans.
In recent weeks, however, she has turned a critical corner and come down solidly on the wrong side of the issue of law-abiding men and women having the ability to protect themselves with firearms. Statements she’s made on the campaign trail over the past month prove that she is just as against armed self-defense as she is against the Second Amendment in general.
Surrounded by armed Secret Service agents at a town hall event in Las Vegas in mid-August, Clinton criticized “Stand Your Ground” laws, which allow lawful citizens in imminent danger of death or grave bodily harm to meet force with force against criminal attack.
“I just think a lot of these ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws need to be rewritten,” Clinton said. “If somebody is breaking into your home and you are in imminent danger, or you go to your door and you see something that is deeply concerning, well, first thing you should do is call 911,” Clinton said.
When you have 24/7/365 taxpayer-funded Secret Service protection for life—like Clinton has—it’s easy to dismiss the security concerns of “ordinary” Americans. But the truth is that less than 5 percent of the 911 calls dispatched to police are made quickly enough for officers to stop a crime or arrest a suspect—and I’m willing to bet that Clinton knows that. She simply doesn’t have to worry about such technicalities because she is fortunate enough to have armed support mere steps away.
Of course, “Stand Your Ground” laws simply state that a person fearing for his or her life has no obligation to run away and be a victim. Under these types of laws, a person has the right to defend his or her life in a place he or she is legally allowed to be. They are not a license to kill. And they don’t “open seasons” on anybody.
In an Aug. 23 Facebook post, Clinton doubled down on her calls for Stand Your Ground reform, putting another twist on the conversation.
“What we’ve seen too much of in the last few years is a spate of people who have reached for a gun before they really figured out what was going on,” she said at another August campaign event. “They’ve been much too eager to use that gun—we’ve seen it with policing and we’ve seen it with civilians.”
She went on to write: “And with civilians—a lot of these ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws need to be rewritten. If you have to defend yourself, OK. But look at some of the instances we’ve had—Trayvon Martin, and too many more.”
First, Clinton’s mention of “spate” and “too many more” when referring to supposed unjustified Stand Your Ground shootings seems to insinuate that there are many such shootings of innocent people by law-abiding gun owners. That’s actually not true. It would be interesting for Clinton to provide an expansive list of this “spate” and “too many more” next time she mentions Stand Your Ground. But that won’t happen, because there is no “spate.”Zimmerman’s lawyers didn’t use Stand Your Ground as a defense at the trial. Rather, they simply argued that he was licensed to carry a concealed firearm, was being violently attacked, and used his firearm to defend himself.
Incidentally, rarity of such shootings aside, Clinton is fond of using the Trayvon Martin case when voicing her criticism of Stand Your Ground, having done so at least twice in just the past month. Regardless of your opinion of George Zimmerman and his shooting of Martin, Zimmerman was acquitted of murder charges by a jury of his peers. And despite an extended federal investigation into the shooting by the U.S. Department of Justice, not enough evidence was found for federal charges to be filed.
Equally important—and Hillary likely knows this, too—the Zimmerman/Martin case actually had nothing to do with Stand Your Ground, and Zimmerman’s lawyers didn’t use Stand Your Ground as a defense at the trial. Rather, they simply argued that he was licensed to carry a concealed firearm, was being violently attacked, and used his firearm to defend himself. Clinton’s use of the case when speaking of Stand Your Ground is both disingenuous and perplexing.
Clinton’s calls for citizens to dial 911 when face to face with imminent danger, plus her constant pleas to water down Stand Your Ground laws, likely come from the fact that she has hasn’t had to worry about her own safety and welfare for decades. But it’s unfair for her to push her agenda against armed self-defense onto those of us in the real world, who aren’t fortunate enough to have 24/7 protection close at hand.
And it’s one more reason to do everything possible to make sure that, after the 2016 elections, Clinton isn’t the new commander-in-chief of the freest country on earth.