President's Column | Hillary Clinton’s Attacks On First Amendment Could Have Ramifications For Second

at President, NRA posted on June 19, 2015
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Michael Ives

This feature appears in the July ‘15 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association. 

Given Hillary Clinton’s history of attacks on the Second Amendment, it’s no surprise that she promises to erase the First Amendment’s essential protection of political speech.

In their ultimate wisdom, the Founders listed the right to keep and bear arms and rights of free speech and assembly at the top of the Bill of Rights. The two are entwined, each existing to protect the other.

NRA is the essence of a well-organized assembly as protected by the First Amendment. As individual citizens, we pool our knowledge, our beliefs, our energy and, perhaps most importantly, our funds to influence the course of our nation.

Hillary’s gun-ban machine sees our role all too clearly. Hillary knows that the best way to liquidate the Second Amendment is by ending free speech. Hillary’s target is the funds we raise and how we spend it to influence others.Hillary knows that the best way to liquidate the Second Amendment is by ending free speech. 

The irony is that while Hillary would ban expenditures in support of our issues, her political machine brags it will spend $2.5 billion to buy the U.S. presidency.

As Hillary put it in an op-ed in The Des Moines (Iowa) Register: “We can fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment.” (Emphasis added.)

Clearly, her view of freedom is what is “dysfunctional.” By “unaccountable money” she means contributions to NRA.

Hillary is taking her lead from former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In September 2014, Reid attempted to begin the process of diminishing the First Amendment through a Senate vote. Reid’s substitute for our First Amendment would have given Congress power to define at will what would be legal or illegal expenditures for political speech.

Reid’s losing effort, which garnered 42 party-line votes, was designed to moot a 2010 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision—Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission—that struck down federal provisions criminalizing use of corporate or union resources to speak for or against a candidate within specified blackout periods before elections.

In that case, Citizens United, a grassroots group, had produced and distributed an unflattering documentary about Hillary. It did not specifically advocate a vote for or against her presidential bid, but merely explored her negative role as a national figure. Even so, the FEC had declared the film and its distribution before an election to be illegal under federal campaign finance laws.

In ultimately declaring the FEC action unconstitutional, the high court unleashed a crescendo of “progressive” ire, which Hillary is now attempting to tap.

And that gets us back to Hillary’s newspeak about “unaccountable money.”At the heart of the scandals are huge sums of “unaccounted money,” contributed by foreign governments, foreign and domestic corporations, and shadowy billionaires to the family foundation...

Largely through the painstaking research by Hoover Institute fellow, Peter Schweizer in his new book, Clinton Cash, a firestorm of inquiry has erupted into a growing series of Hillary scandals. At issue is her tenure as U.S. Secretary of State and the involvement of the Clinton Foundation, which was created by her husband, former President Bill Clinton. At the heart of the scandals are huge sums of “unaccounted money,” contributed by foreign governments, foreign and domestic corporations, and shadowy billionaires to the family foundation while Hillary and her State Department were dealing with these individuals and entities.

The serious nature of these scandals is illustrated by the fact that The New York Times and The Washington Post are actually leading the charge—along with Fox News. A case in point is the Times’ pursuit of the relationship between Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state-owned mining conglomerate and the State Department-approved Russian control of 20 percent of U.S. uranium production.

The alleged deep improprieties involving the State Department’s role in clearing this Russian deal—which was arranged by a Canadian billionaire who contributed $31 million in mostly unreported contributions to the Clinton Foundation—will not go away. At the same time Hillary’s State Department was okaying this arrangement, her husband was paid $500,000 for a single speech in Russia before a group with ties to the deal. 

And this brings us back to Hillary’s pledge to gut the First Amendment.

A late April Washington Free Beacon report says it all: “Hillary Clinton’s proposal to get money out of politics could allow the federal government to restrict or ban the publication of a book (Clinton Cash) that has embroiled her presidential campaign in controversy.”

Were Hillary to capture the White House, and were we to lose our majorities in Congress, we could well expect to be living in a Clinton Brave New World.

We must urge all our Second Amendment colleagues to warn others of this grave danger to our liberty and to ultimately vote to assure the sanctity of the First Amendment in the upcoming 2016 elections. We cannot continue to save the Second without the First being intact.


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