Trump’s Violent Claim About The Second Amendment And Hillary Clinton Echoes What The NRA Has Said For Years

Outcry over GOP nominee Donald Trump’s claim that “Second Amendment people” could do something about Supreme Court nominations made by Hillary Clinton follows years of National Rifle Association efforts to normalize the notion that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to overthrow a “tyrannical” government. As NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre has put it, “The guys with the guns make the rules”

Trump Offers Second Amendment As Antidote To Hillary Clinton’s Judicial Nominations

Trump: If Clinton “Gets To Pick Her Judges, Nothing You Can Do, Folks. Although The Second Amendment People, Maybe There Is.” In a remark that was interpreted as a call for a violent overthrow of the government if Hillary Clinton were to be elected and make nominations to the Supreme Court or as a call for her assassination or that of her nominees, Trump said during a August 9 rally, “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is.” [CNN.com, 8/9/16]

Trump’s Violent Interpretation Of The Second Amendment Echoes What The NRA Has Said For Years

NRA Head: “The Guys With The Guns Make The Rules.” Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president and CEO of the NRA, said during the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference, “Our Founding Fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules”:

[YouTube.com, accessed 8/9/16]

LaPierre: The Purpose Of The Second Amendment Is To Overthrow Government “Tyranny.” LaPierre claimed during a 2013 U.S. Senate hearing that “I think without any doubt, if you look at why our founding fathers put it there, they had lived under the tyranny of King George and they wanted to make sure that these free people in this new country would never be subjugated again and have to live under tyranny.” [Huffington Post, 2/4/13]

NRA Board Member Ted Nugent In 2012: If Obama Gets To Pick Supreme Court Justices, “I Will Either Be Dead Or In Jail By This Time Next Year.” During an appearance at the NRA annual meeting promoting Mitt Romney, Nugent ranted about liberal members of the Supreme Court, saying, “If you want more of those kinds of evil, anti-American people in the Supreme Court, then don’t get involved and let Obama take office again. Because I’ll tell you this right now, if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year”:

[YouTube.com, accessed 8/9/16]

Nugent: “If You Want Another Concord Bridge, I've Got Some Buddies.” In an interview at a January 2013 gun industry trade show, Nugent told assembled reporters that the Obama administration “is attempting to re-implement the tyranny of King George” and that “if you want another Concord Bridge, I got some buddies” :

NUGENT: I'm part of a very great experiment in self-government where we the people determine our own pursuit of happiness and our own individual freedom and liberty not to be confused with the Barack Obama gang who believes in we the sheeple and actually is attempting to re-implement the tyranny of King George that we escaped from in 1776. And if you want another Concord Bridge, I got some buddies. [Media Matters, 1/22/13]

NRA Spokesman Chuck Norris: If Our Leaders Don’t Listen We “Need To Record A Second American Revolution.” Norris, who has led the NRA’s “get out the vote” campaigns wrote at a conspiracy website, “How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution? [WorldNetDaily, 3/8/09]

NRA Promoted Article That Depicted Democrats Hanged At The Gallows Following Second Civil War. The NRA tweeted a column in which gun blogger Bob Owens fantasized about a second Civil War in a 2015 post, writing that if the “radical left” attempts to “impose their ideas on the American people” -- which Owens claimed includes gun confiscation -- “it would end poorly and quickly” for them after they are confronted by “armed free citizens.” Owens illustrated his article with an image of gallows with the caption, “This is where the survivors of the Democrat rebellion will meet their end”:

[Twitter.com, 8/20/15, Media Matters, 8/21/15]

To read more about the NRA’s attempt to normalize the “insurrectionist” view of the Second Amendment, visit the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s “Insurrectionist Timeline” and read CSGV executive director Josh Horwitz’ book Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea.  

The NRA, Which Endorsed Trump, Is Helping Him Soften His Comment

NRA Rewrites Trump’s Comment To Make It Less Extreme. While Trump spoke about “Second Amendment people” doing something after Clinton was elected, the NRA wrote on Twitter that Trump was “right” that if Clinton is elected and nominates judges to the Supreme Court “there’s nothing we can do”:

[Twitter.com, accessed 8/9/16]

[Twitter.com, accessed 8/9/16]