In 2008 CBS News’ Fernando Suarez wrote that Hillary Clinton was asked at a campaign stop about “gun control, which prompted Clinton to talk about her days holding a rifle in the cold, shallow waters in backwoods Arkansas.”
At the time, a lot of gun owners had fun with the idea of Clinton hunting ducks with a rifle. This didn’t surprise me, as no doubt Clinton wants all the advantage in a duck blind she can get. With a rifle she could knock them out of the sky before her shotgun-toting hunting partners would have a chance.
To be fair, she didn’t use the word “rifle.” She said, “I’ve hunted. My father taught me how to hunt. I went duck hunting in Arkansas. I remember standing in that cold water, so cold, at first light. I was with a bunch of my friends, all men. The sun's up, the ducks are flying and they are playing a trick on me. They said, 'we're not going to shoot, you shoot.' They wanted to embarrass me.”
The two seasons, political and hunting, sometimes seem to stumble into each other, often with hilarious consequences.But she showed them, as she said she shot a duck. The thing is, as any hunter knows, giving her the first shot wasn’t a “trick,” but was the polite thing for the “men” with her to do. Though, to be fair again, some feminists view gentlemanly conduct as sexist.
Now Labor Day is a sunny memory and Election Day, Nov. 8, is a political sprint away, which means the craziest segment in presidential politics is here. Fall hunting seasons are also gracing calendars across this nation.
The two seasons, political and hunting, sometimes seem to stumble into each other, often with hilarious consequences. So we think it timely to touch on the candidates’ real records with regards to hunting and guns, as many candidates—and this could still possibly include Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine—don camo around this time to claim they support the Second Amendment.
In the past, some of the consequences of non-hunters politically pandering as they try to divide sportsmen from other gun owners have been hilarious. Perhaps you remember former Democratic presidential candidate and now Secretary of State John Kerry, saying, “I go out with my trusty 12-gauge double-barrel, crawl around on my stomach. I track and move and decoy and play games and try to outsmart them. You know, you kind of play the wind. That’s hunting.” He said this while claiming to be a deer hunter, which naturally baffled and amused everyone who does or knows anything about deer hunting, as no one crawls around on their stomachs as they “decoy and play games” to “outsmart” deer—much less with a 12-gauge double-barrel.Meanwhile, her running mate, Tim Kaine, has hidden his agenda behind hunter’s camouflage before.
In an interview I did for Outdoor Life magazine at the time, Kerry answered my question about his favorite gun by saying, “My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam. I don’t own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle.”
This disclosure, from a very anti-gun politician, brought him a lot of grief from The New York Times and other typically left-leaning publications. He received so much criticism, in fact, that he would claim his staff had answered my questions and that they had made a factual mistake.
Now, as we enter this meeting of the seasons once again, Clinton isn’t talking about hunting. This time she has publicly embraced every extreme anti-gun position imaginable, even as she claims her desire for gun bans, the inclusion of government black lists in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and more are not incompatible with the freedoms protected by the Second Amendment.
Meanwhile, her running mate, Tim Kaine, has hidden his agenda behind hunter’s camouflage before. Kaine even once had camo bumper stickers printed up for one of his campaigns to fool sportsmen into voting for him in Virginia.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump hasn’t claimed to be a hunter nor fisherman. He is, however, a proud gun owner. He has said he has a handgun for self-defense. And he has been very vocal about how he’ll protect Second Amendment rights.
Trump’s adult sons, Don Jr. and Eric, are both hunters. When I asked Don Jr. about his father’s view of guns, he said, “My father instilled a strong belief, in Eric and I, in individual liberty. At the heart of that is the necessity to protect, at all costs, the Second Amendment. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Lastly, is Trump’s running mate Mike Pence. Pence is a shooting sports enthusiast. He likes the shotgun sports. In fact, there are many photos of Pence properly shooting shotguns at ranges. Put these photos next to the image of President Barack Obama released by the White House showing him shooting an over/under shotgun with only one choke in (the top barrel), and you’ll really laugh at what fools non-gun-owning politicians become when they try to fake it.
Pence has signed many pro-Second Amendment and pro-hunting bills into law. For more on his record, this speech is a good place to start. You can find more here.