Civilized societies find the practice of hiding behind human shields to be despicable. When those humans are children, we struggle to find language strong enough to express the full measure of our revulsion.
What are we to make, then, of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton when she hides behind “toddlers” to explain her opposition to the Supreme Court’s historic Heller decision?
Of course, Heller is the seminal 2008 Supreme Court decision confirming that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. While efforts to regulate that right into oblivion persist, no reasonable person on either side of the issue disputes that this is the fundamental meaning of Heller.
Clear, too, has been Hillary’s opposition to Heller: She told a New York campaign event, “the Supreme Court got it wrong on the Second Amendment.” Campaign spokesperson Josh Schwerin removed any doubt about her intent, saying she “believes Heller was wrongly decided ...”Instead, she disguises her disgust for the Second Amendment as motherly concern for toddlers—effectively using them as human shields to ward off criticism.
Check. Got it. Thank you for clearing that up. That is, until the third presidential debate, when Clinton tried to redefine Heller, saying, “What the District of Columbia was trying to do was protect toddlers from guns. They wanted people with guns to safely store them, and the court didn’t accept that reasonable regulation …”
Benghazi was about a video. I only emailed yoga schedules and wedding plans. Perhaps our surprise was unwarranted ... but not our outrage.
She’s willing to use toddlers to get elected. Since Heller clearly wasn’t about toddlers, her attempt to mask her contempt for it as concern for kids constitutes the crassest political move in a campaign season full of them.
She thinks she can get away with it. She’s counting on low-information voters, not familiar with Heller, to be too busy to fact-check her.
She blurs facts with emotion. By co-opting “toddlers,” she simultaneously positions herself as a concerned mother while casting her opposition as uncaring. After all, who could be against toddlers?
She’s calculating. Does any reasonable person believe it to be a coincidence that the Brady Campaign released its “Toddlers Kill” campaign that same week? Or that the AP and USA Today released the results of a two-and-a-half-year study on accidental deaths among minors just five days before? Or that a Washington Post headline warned “Toddlers have shot at least 50 people this year” the very next day?
This latest sad episode in the Clinton campaign reaffirms what the public already believes about Hillary—that she and her handlers will say/do anything in their quest for power. Even so, the realization that she’ll blithely use children to achieve her ends is revolting—even to the most hardened observers.
If she opposes Heller, she should own it; at least she would earn our respect for standing up for her beliefs. Instead, she disguises her disgust for the Second Amendment as motherly concern for toddlers—effectively using them as human shields to ward off criticism.
We have a word for people who shield themselves behind children. We’re just … too appalled to think of it at the moment.