This feature appears in the July ’16 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
Hillary Clinton and her fawning members of the media would have the public believe that violent crime would be halted by her demand for new draconian gun controls on law-abiding citizens. As the core focus of her race to capture the White House, it is a lie of historic proportions—even by Clinton standards.
In fact, Hillary Clinton and fellow gun-ban travelers are the very people feeding the appalling carnage in our urban centers. Hillary talks about victims, but there is nothing in what she demands of peaceable gun owners—the loss of our freedom—that has anything to do with those who have suffered from armed criminal violence.
She is using victims of unchecked violence to further her political agenda. Yet they are the very people Hillary would disarm—keeping the innocent in a permanent condition as helpless victims. Worse, politicians like Hillary refuse to even recognize the one thing that would save lives—enforce existing laws against criminals acquiring, possessing, transporting and using guns—any guns. Where Hillary Clinton holds out the meaningless notion of getting the guns off the streets, the NRA has been saying, “Get the criminals off the streets.”
Take Chicago for example. Were it not for the NRA, millions of law-abiding residents would remain disarmed and vulnerable. The late Otis McDonald—the courageous, elderly, black resident from Chicago, who successfully challenged that city’s ban on handguns before the U.S. Supreme Court—would have remained at the mercy of violent thugs who overran his once-quiet neighborhood. That high-court decision, McDonald v. City of Chicago, carried the protection of the Second Amendment to every corner of the nation—including every urban center beleaguered by relentless violence.
Yet Hillary has emphatically said the court was flat-out wrong in upholding Mr. McDonald’s right to keep and bear arms. Were she to become president, she would turn back the clock on the Second Amendment. In her worldview, peaceable citizens in major cities could once again be disarmed by local government. Liberty denied at local option.
But there is something even more fundamentally evil in Hillary’s attitude toward the victims of urban violence.
Indeed, as the NRA has been saying for decades, what fuels the horrifying levels of armed crime is the total lack of enforcement of existing federal laws covering every conceivable aspect of criminal acquisition, possession and use of firearms. There is nothing that involves armed violence that is not already illegal and covered by swift and tough punishment under federal statutes.
Simple possession of a firearm—any firearm—by a violent felon calls for a mandatory five-year federal sentence. Under the law, any armed recidivist is at serious risk of going to a federal prison.
But with President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, those laws are rarely enforced, leading to a 10-year decline in convictions for “weapons-related” offenses.
Where Hillary holds out the utterly impossible and meaningless notion of getting the guns off the streets, the NRA for decades has been saying, “Get the criminals off the streets.”
The simple truth is that sending violent criminals to prison is a surefire deterrent—for them. If they are in prison, they are not in communities preying on the innocent.
While embracing Australian-style disarmament of law-abiding citizens, Hillary, like President Barack Obama, has refused even to acknowledge the surgical tools at hand that would remove violent predators from society.
A truly mind-numbing headline in People magazine tells part of the story: “Eight Dead, 43 Injured in Chicago over the Bloody Mother’s Day Weekend.” That’s just one typical week, representing every week in the Windy City.
Another headline tells the rest, this from the Associated Press, datelined Chicago: “Gunman killed by cops had 43 arrests, 5 felony convictions.”
That’s insane. The media outlets let this slide just as they do every time. Why was this predator still on the street? They had him cold in terms of a series of violations of federal law. He could have been put away in prison for decades.
And what about all of his victims? None of the gun control politicians care. But we care. The NRA cares very deeply about the victims of violent crime.
I have no doubt that today’s unprecedented murder rates in places like Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., are the work of criminals with long histories of felony convictions. These rates could be flipped upside down with the federal prosecution—to the fullest extent of existing penalties—of every drug dealer, gang member and violent felon with a gun. Were existing federal laws applied, many of the daily victims of criminal violence would be alive today.
Were existing federal laws applied, many of the daily victims of criminal violence would be alive today. They would be walking safer streets and going about their business unscathed. They would be enjoying the laughter of their families or just the beauty of a sunny day. They would have a future.
Instead, under Obama’s watch, those four cities are at the bottom of federal prosecutions against armed thugs and drug dealers; they are at the top of gun controls on law-abiding citizens; and they are at the top of unchecked violence. And Hillary promises to extend this misfeasance well into the future.
Clinton, like Obama, intentionally ignores the basic truth: Enforcement of federal laws covering armed criminals dramatically reduces violence and saves lives.
In Richmond, Va., Project Exile, which started in 1997, targeted armed criminals and took Richmond from a murder capital to a safer city, with a 41 percent drop in firearm-related murders in just 11 months.
A massive public information campaign warned criminals of the legal perils of armed crime and educated citizens as to the consequences of existing law. Project Exile was so effective that criminals disarmed themselves rather than face a sure and swift mandatory five years in a federal slammer.
Its success, however, has been erased from memory with the Obama administration, because when people know the facts about existing law, the demand for new gun control is DOA.
We are fighting back with the truth, and Americans are seeing through the Obama-Clinton lies. Hillary Clinton vows to turn the election into a bare-knuckled battle for the survival of the Second Amendment. To that, I say, “Bring it on!”