Trump Parrots Right-Wing Media’s Bogus Claims About Clinton’s Gun Policies
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump echoed conservative media and the National Rifle Association by baselessly claiming that Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton wants to “abolish the Second Amendment” and “take your guns away.” In fact, Clinton says that Second Amendment rights can be “protected” while the government also implements “common-sense” measures like universal background checks to keep guns from dangerous people.
Trump: Clinton Wants To “Abolish The Second Amendment” And “Take Your Guns Away”
Trump Falsely Claims Clinton Wants To “Abolish The Second Amendment.” Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said that in addition to wanting to nix the Second Amendment, Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nominee, wants “to take your bullets away.” He made the remarks during a May 7 rally in Washington state, according to CNN. From the CNN report:
Lynden, Washington (CNN) -- Donald Trump on Saturday accused likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton of wanting to abolish the right of Americans to legally own guns.
“Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump said at a rally here. “Hillary Clinton wants to take your guns away and she wants to abolish the Second Amendment.”
Trump also accused Clinton of wanting “to take your bullets away” and vowed he would protect the constitutional right to bear arms.
Trump added: “We're going to cherish the Second Amendment, we're going to take care of the Second Amendment.” [CNN.com, 5/7/16]
Trump's Baseless Characterization Of Clinton's Gun Policy Position Comes From The Right-Wing Media Playbook
Former FOX 5 Investigative Reporter Faked Quote To Claim Clinton Said “Nobody Should Have Guns.” Emily Miller, the then-chief investigative reporter for Washington, D.C.’s Fox affiliate and frequent source of conservative misinformation about gun policy, fabricated a quote to claim that Clinton said “nobody should have guns” during a 2014 speech. Video of the speech revealed that Clinton had actually said you can support regulations on firearms and “and still support the right of people to own guns”:
EMILY MILLER: One of the things, I wrote about this week, it's on our website, about gun control, about Hillary Clinton especially, because last week she came out and talked about how -- that we need to have stricter gun control, we shouldn't have people with guns, not everyone should have a gun. She really, really pushed far left.
And I think that shows more than anything that she is running for president, because why else now? Back in 2000 when she was running on a national level she said, “I was duck hunting as a kid, I was -- ” you know she used her southern accent, she talked about hunting and fishing and all that stuff. Now she is like, “We need to pull back guns, nobody should have guns.” And you see the sudden -- that's a political move. [Media Matters, 5/20/14]
The NRA Has Tried To Smear Clinton By Claiming She Is Coming For Your Guns
NRA Magazine: Clinton's Gun Policy “Inevitably, Invariably, Leads To Gun Confiscation.” America’s 1st Freedom, a magazine published by the NRA, conspiratorially claimed that Clinton has a secret plan to confiscate privately owned firearms. From a May 11, 2015 article:
Now Clinton proclaims her support for the focus group-tested, “new and improved” anti-gun scheme of “universal” background checks. But as even Barack Obama’s own Justice Department has admitted, the effectiveness of “universal” checks depends on “requiring gun registration.”
Indeed, legislation to retain records on approved firearm-related NICS background checks has previously been introduced in Congress.
So despite the serpentine twists and turns of her admitted agenda over the years, Hillary Clinton’s apparent ultimate aim is as direct and undeviating as an argon laser:
“Universal” background checks ... which depend on universal gun registration ... which inevitably, invariably, leads to gun confiscation. [America’s 1st Freedom, 5/11/15; Media Matters, 5/13/15]
Clinton Has Explained That Guns Can Be Regulated While Also Respecting The Second Amendment
Clinton “Knows That Gun Ownership Is Part Of The Fabric Of Many Law-Abiding Communities” And Her Proposals “Focus On … What Can Be Done To Prevent” Gun Deaths. ThinkProgress reported that Hillary Clinton’s proposal to tackle gun violence includes “universal background checks and” a closure of “the gun show and internet sales loophole that currently allow criminals to purchase firearms.” Clinton’s campaign policy briefing says gun ownership "'is part of the fabric of many law-abiding communities,'” as ThinkProgress, reported, but “her proposals focus on violent criminals, the mentally ill and domestic abusers and what can be done to prevent the roughly 30,000 gun deaths the United States sees every year.” From the October 5 ThinkProgress report:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced her aggressive plan to tackle gun violence on Monday, saying she would enact universal background checks and close the gun show and internet sales loophole that currently allow criminals to purchase firearms.
According to her campaign’s policy briefing, Clinton “knows that gun ownership is part of the fabric of many law-abiding communities,” including many in New Hampshire where she presented her plan. But her proposals focus on violent criminals, the mentally ill and domestic abusers and what can be done to prevent the roughly 30,000 gun deaths the United States sees every year.
Under her plan, Clinton will advocate for comprehensive federal background check legislation, but if that fails, she has vowed to take administrative action to tighten the gun show and internet sales loophole. Her plan also calls for repealing a law which prevents victims of gun violence from suing gun manufacturers and pushing for legislation to prevent domestic abusers from buying guns. [ThinkProgress.org, 10/5/15]
Clinton: Having A “Gun Anywhere, Anytime” Is Not “In The Best Interest Of The Vast Majority Of People,” But “You Can Say That And Still Support The Right Of People To Own Guns.” During a May 6, 2014, question and answer session at a National Council for Behavioral Health conference, Clinton said, “We've got to rein in what has become an almost article of faith than anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime, and I don't believe that is in the best interest of the vast majority of people. I think you can say that and still support the right of people to own guns.” [Media Matters, 5/20/14]
Clinton: Protect Second Amendment Rights While Enacting “Common-Sense Ways To Make Sure People Are Not Using Guns To Commit Mass Murders.” A March 14 PolitiFact article debunking a false claim about Clinton and guns included several mentions of Clinton's common refrain that guns can be regulated in a “common-sense” manner while still protecting gun rights:
On Aug. 26 in Ankeny, she responded to the on-air murders of a news crew in Virginia:
“We've got to do something. It's a very difficult political issue. But we are smart enough, compassionate enough to balance legitimate Second Amendment rights concerns with preventive measures and control measures, so whatever motivated this murderer ... we will not see more needless, senseless deaths,” she said.
On Oct. 6, she described her views again, in response to a mass shooting in Oregon: “I feel like this is unfinished business in our country, and I am very determined that we are going to try to bring some sanity back, so that people's Second Amendment rights are protected — but they are not absolute, the way the NRA wants them to be,” Clinton said at an event in Davenport. “There are common-sense ways to make sure people are not using guns to commit mass murders.” [PolitiFact.org, 3/14/16]