Hillary Clinton

Clinton Is a Threat to the 2nd Amendment—and the 1st

Her positions on gun ownership and political speech are at odds with the Bill of Rights.

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Hillary Clinton
CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Newscom

Donald Trump is a clear menace to our democratic form of government, the rule of law and my James Madison bobblehead. The teenage Ted Cruz could recite the entire Constitution from memory. Trump wouldn't know it from Two Corinthians.

But it's not exactly safe to entrust your copy of the Constitution to Hillary Clinton, either. You might get it back with some parts missing or mutilated—like the First Amendment and the Second.

When it comes to gun rights, Clinton has taken a position appreciably to the left of Barack Obama's. From his first presidential campaign, he has assured gun owners he respects their cherished prerogatives and would never take away their weapons.

When the Supreme Court issued its landmark 2008 decision in D.C. v. Heller, he applauded it. "I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms," Obama said.

Not Clinton. When asked in June whether she endorses that interpretation, she conspicuously declined to do so. "For most of our history, there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment, until the decision by the late Justice Scalia," she groused.

Asked whether she agrees "that an individual's right to bear arms is a constitutional right," Clinton replied, "If it is a constitutional right, then it, like every other constitutional right, is subject to reasonable regulations." If?

In her final debate with Trump, Clinton was asked again about the Heller decision. She reiterated her opposition, insisting that "what the District of Columbia was trying to do was to protect toddlers from guns, and so they wanted people with guns to safely store them." She eventually said, "I also believe there's an individual right to bear arms."

So Clinton rejects the Supreme Court decision that established constitutional protection for that right—but now agrees the right has constitutional protection? As former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan once said, "If I seem unduly clear to you, you must have misunderstood what I said."

She and Obama both favor universal background checks for gun purchases, a ban on "assault weapons" and denying guns to anyone on the federal no-fly list. But her cramped view of the Second Amendment suggests she would favor additional curbs that she knows the Supreme Court would not abide.

Clinton seems to think that a new justice or two might set the Second Amendment right. On the First Amendment, however, she sees the Supreme Court as a lost cause.

Her target is the 2010 Citizens United decision, which established the right of corporations and labor unions to participate in electioneering. In the debate, she said it "has undermined the election system in our country because of the way it permits dark, unaccountable money to come into our electoral system."

But all the decision did was to prevent the government from suppressing speech about political matters. The justices noted that under the law it struck down, it would be a felony for the Sierra Club, within 60 days of a general election, to run an ad urging "the public to disapprove of a Congressman who favors logging in national forests." The court ruled that speech doesn't lose protection merely because it comes from corporations—a category that includes many advocacy groups.

Such expression would be censored if Clinton had her way. She proposes a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision—which would alter the Bill of Rights to restrict our freedoms.

The idea has drawn opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union, which says, "Our system of free expression is built on the premise that the people get to decide what speech they want to hear; it is not the role of the government to make that decision for them."

Her alarms about "dark money"—contributions to politically active groups that don't have to reveal their donors—are misplaced. In the 2014 campaign, 77 percent of political spending was fully disclosed, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, up from 45 percent in 2010.

What Clinton omits is that Congress could require more transparency from these groups if it wanted to. The Citizens United decision doesn't forbid such regulation. The obstacles are political. But the same obstacles stand in the way of her constitutional amendment.

Trump and Clinton make me miss Al Gore's famous Social Security lockbox. Over the next four years, it would be the perfect place to keep the Constitution.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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85 responses to “Clinton Is a Threat to the 2nd Amendment—and the 1st

  1. Both are terrible choices. Hell, democratically elected leaders are, as a rule, almost always terrible choices. People with terrible ideas and opinions are the ones that vote for them after all. A way to impose their view of the world on others.

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  2. True, which is why I’m bringing Reason’s Handy Guide to Downballot Libertarians and Principled Conservatives with me to the polls.

    1. It’s not the end of the world. I saw a rainbow today. 🙂

      1. I see a rainbow everyday, but that’s due to recently being stationed in Hawaii. A democratic paradise … unless your poor or homeless. Evidently those groups don’t vote, so more rail and million dollar homes!

  3. For all the pants shitting about how Trump is questioning the legitimacy of a Hillary win this November (as if he’s going to roll in tanks vel sim.), Hillary is clearly against the notion of an independent judiciary given how she wants to overturn settled law.

    Her take on the Supreme Court is that it is some sort of politburo that rubber stamps the left’s agenda.

    1. The law is only settled when it is settled the way that the left wants it to be settled. Once they win the goalposts are firmly planted. But until they win, the goalposts are constantly on the move.

      1. Right, like Roe v. Wade.

        1. Because politics controlling medicine has worked so well?

        2. Yes, because if it were Roe v. Guns, it would mean that there could still be lots of “reasonable” regulations.

    2. For all the pants shitting about how Trump is questioning the legitimacy of a Hillary win this November

      Apparently there was something in the Podesta emails over the weekend about how the DNC and the Clinton campaign conspired to manipulate the media polls by strategically oversampling certain groups or filling quotas from other groups from areas that are Clinton-friendly.

      I didn’t get a chance to read the material or dive into the analysis – but I’m sure Reason will be all over it and have a detailed analysis so that we can all understand if there really is a coordinated effort to deceive the electorate and manipulate the vote into a Hillary win, or just some wishful handwringing by conspiracy nuts who didn’t understand what they were reading.

      1. I didn’t catch this. Thanks.

        Have you heard about the new Project Veritas video scheduled for drop today? I hear O’Keaffe has a “dead-man switch” for its release, just in case something happens to him over the weekend….

        1. I tried a quick google search, but the only folks covering it at this point seem to be far, far right blogs and Trump/Pence reddit.

          So I ain’t linking that. Commenting at Hit n’ Run is enough of a hit to my credibility.

          1. I saw it on his twitter account.

            James O’Keefe @JamesOKeefeIII

            Anything happens to me, there’s a deadman’s switch on Part III, which will be released Monday. @HillaryClinton and @donnabrazile implicated.

            4:41 PM – 21 Oct 2016 17,012 17,012 Retweets 19,745 19,745 likes

      2. It’s pretty straightforward. Aside from selecting more Democrats than Republicans in a supposedly representative poll, they deliberately select sub-groups that are more reliably Democrat.

        For instance, blacks are overwhelmingly Democrat supporters, so if your poll has 36% Democrats, 27% Republicans, and 37% Independents, if you pick only black supporters for the 36% that are Democrats, it will move the poll results towards Democrats by many more points than if you picked more on-the-fence Democrats.

        Basically they are hiding specifics behind aggregates. Happens all the time in politically-presented statistics.

  4. Hillary Clinton’s entire being is opposed to the US Constitution and natural rights.

    For her, only the centralized government can grant rights.

    We are not born free but are subjects to the state and must comply with the state’s demands.

    1. Freedom means asking permission and obeying commands.

      1. Freedom means free shit. It’s right there in the word dummy.

    2. Nothing outside the State.

      Everything inside the State.

      Nothing against the State.

  5. Hillary Clinton’s entire being is opposed to the US Constitution and natural rights.

    For her, only the centralized government can grant rights.

    We are not born free but are subjects to the state and must comply with the state’s demands.

    1. And those of the squirrelz.

      1. Hey!!!

        But now back to the article here…

        “As former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan once said, “If I seem unduly clear to you, you must have misunderstood what I said.””

        Wow, that’s classical! I’m saving that one for future reference? A prime example of our “leaders” whose thinking is, I am gonna be SOOOOO sophisticated that NO ONE can EVER understand me, and therefor, I can NEVER be wrong!

  6. I am stunned at the weak-willed arguments that have been promulgated against the left’s obsession with overturning Heller. This is such an obvious, black and white, good vs. evil kind of argument….. I just don’t get how anyone could see it otherwise or argue on some edge-case policy wonkery.

    The entire point of the 1st amendments free speech protection is protecting political speech. That’s it. Nobody was worried that the republic would fall if bakers couldn’t advertise their wares. Nobody in 1789 was concerned that gossiping about your neighbor’s new Sunday hat was under threat from the crown. No, the whole point was that under the British monarch, you couldn’t criticize the government and they believed that the only way to have a robust and honest republic was to strictly protect the freedom to criticize the government, its leaders and society at large.

    There might be some room for nuanced concerns when it comes to the super-wealthy (whether this be individuals or corporations) having undue influence in elections, the government and society – but any politician who stands on a platform that opposes the right of the people to offer their thoughts on politics in a public forum should rightly be run out of town on a rail.

    This should have been a career ender for every politician who supported it, and it should rightly be a disqualifying blunder for any candidate seeking office. That it isn’t even notably opposed is a national disgrace.

    1. But Trump has said obnoxious things about women, so fuck the constitution.

      1. Implies you actually think Trump would be better.

        At this point the election looks like a choice between dying in a fire, and being suffocated.

        1. At this point, it’s damage control. Hillary is a committed, full on Alinsky statist. I know exactly what she will do once in power. Trump is an unprincipled statist. He has promised to do a number of things (supreme court justices, tax plan) with which I agree and I don’t think he will be as bad on the constitution (1st, 2nd amendment), but who knows. I know I am rolling the dice with him, I know he will be five times of terrible, but she needs to be stopped.

          1. Trump will be much easier to contain, imho.

            The press will call him on everything, not act as an arm of his agenda.

            1. Agreed.

        2. Exactly. The “lesser of two evils” argument only works if the other evil actually lesser.

          Trump’s just as bad as Clinton, and might be worse.

          It’s irresponsible to vote for either one.

          1. I’m voting AGAINST the other one.

    2. The government is We the People. If you criticize the government, you are criticizing everyone. That is just plain offensive, and people have a right to not be offended. So any political speech that is offensive to the left must be banned in the name of tolerance, equality, and inclusiveness.

    3. “There might be some room for nuanced concerns when it comes to the super-wealthy”

      Hmmm thinking …. nope at least not if “nuanced concerns” is a euphemism for any kind of regulation or laws pertaining to speech. You might as well say there is “room for nuanced concerns when it comes to people who are really articulate and persuasive”. Free political speech is free political speech there are no exceptions or wiggle room for “nuanced concerns”.

      1. When the wrong people win it is because they were outspent by the super-wealthy.

        When the right people win it is because they got their message to the people (thanks to generous donations from the super-wealthy).

      2. The point being that there are concerns that are real in this arena. Not that “and therefore you can restrict all speech you disagree with”.

        If, for example, the major media companies were to begin buying up all of their smaller competitors, consolidating control of information distribution…. and then, hypothetically speaking, if those large media companies were to then begin colluding with the political establishment in order to obtain favors for their industry….. let’s say by coordinating with campaigns about which stories to cover and how to cover them… or perhaps by feeding planted questions to a candidate….. you know, just hypothetically….

        There could come a point where it becomes…. concerning.

        The same would be true if a handful of people worth in excess of 10 billion dollars were to pool their resources behind a candidate friendly to their cause…. and if that candidate were to in return ensure that contracts worth billions were sent their way, or regulations favoring their companies were promulgated…. Or maybe the make indirect cash payments to powerful politicians in order to ensure that their issues get addressed….

        You know…. just hypothetical stuff that could never happen. But there are areas where concern is warranted.

        Eliminating free speech is not going to be the answer to that concern. But the concern still exists.

        1. There is never a reason to clamp down on any political speech in any way period which is where you seem to be driving. If you believe there is no justification for any government controls on political speech regardless of the “nuanced concerns” we are on the same page. If you think “gee we could use some regulations to deal with those cases but we shouldn’t eliminate free speech completely” then as someone else here likes to say .

          Fuck off slaver.

          I’m really not sure which case it is so maybe you can clarify. I am concerned about a lot of things that people say or do but I am not mucking with core human rights because of my “nuanced concerns”.

  7. Clinton Is a Threat to the 2nd Amendment?and the 1st
    Her positions on gun ownership and political speech are at odds with the Bill of Rights.

    If Trumpistas and the knuckle-draggers were really serious about the constitution, they would’ve supported Rand. But they aren’t serious about the 1st or even the 2nd Amendment which is why they brought in a lecherous lout who was until a couple of years ago an anti-gun Democrat, only because he promised to protect the line against the army of Mexican rapists piling up just outside the gates, like Hannibal’s Gauls and Carthaginians. A lout who is also NOT serious about the 1st Amendment, either.

    1. Now you’ve done it.

      *braces for Trumphoon*

      1. Meh. I’m more anti-Hillary than Pro-Trump. (Disclaimer – I voted Cruz in the primary but might not next time given his actions post-primary)

        1. I’m also more anti-Hillary than Pro-Trump. She should be in at least the fifth circle of hell, he’d be a little higher.
          The best thing about a Trump presidency is that he would be challenged at every turn by the MSM and the leadership of both parties, while the MSM and DNC would support Hillary if she proposed killing the first born of everyone who didn’t vote for her. The GOP would probably say something about bipartisanship.

    2. One thing the Podesta emails have done is expose just how threatened the Democrats are by Rand Paul. But we already knew that two years ago when they fired up the “Paul is the devil” machine to go after him as he began gaining popularity.

      You gotta hand it to the Dems. They know how to identify potential threats to their power base and they go after them with ruthless abandon. When Bush II came out with a cabinet dominated by strong black leaders, the machine went in to overdrive to drive home the “Bush is a racist” meme. When Romney looked to make inroads with his quasi-progressive moderate republicanism they went apoplectic over “binders of women” to block his appeal to women voters.

      Rand has endured two rounds of “the politics of personal destruction”. He’s probably got one more bite at the apple in him. Hopefully they’ve shot their wad and he’ll be able to break through this time.

      1. It’s too late for Rand, Cyto. The GOP is now regarded as the party that builds up walls, thanks to Trumpistas, the nativists and the economically-illiterate right. It’s over for the GOP.

      2. You must have missed how stupid the republican electorate actually is. Of all the people on that stage Trump was probably the only one who could lose to Hillary and that is who they picked. You really think there is a snowball’s chance in hell they will ever go with the least of 15 evils on a republican stage? I expect them to go full idiocracy and nominate “The Rock” in 2020.

        1. Stupid, maybe.. Apathetic, certainly.

          Trump is owned by R voters simply not showing up to the primaries. So few showed up that the true believers and cross-party spoiler votes made him the nominee.

          I guess the real stupidity of the R voters who didn’t show up to nominate their candidate, is they will be forever considered Trump voters.

        2. Hey! “The Rock” is my 2020 LP candidate. The GOP can’t have him!

        3. Never underestimate the ability of the GOPe to shoot themselves in the foot. They were convinced they could shove another member of the Bush family down the electorate’s throat and the resulting s#i7storm went a long way to giving us Trump.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if their next “brilliant” move for 2020 is to try and eliminate primaries and go back to brokered conventions (or imitate the DNC and create a bunch of Bushbot “super delegates”).

      3. Rand Paul on the LP ticket would certainly do a lot better than Gary Johnson.

        1. Hear here! Harumph!
          If that would have played out, we would’ve saw 3 on stage in the debates. Herpes, The shit sandwich, and Rand Paul.

    3. This is exactly right. Apparently a large portion of republican primary voters value trying to block a few illegal Mexicans more than they value anything else. Trump also supports blocking gun purchases for people on the no fly list. He seems to want to chill the 1st amendment through intimidation and, of course, we know his views on imminent domain. I’d say the guy would trade 3 supreme court appointments to the dems for the hire of 3 new border patrol agents.

      1. Didn’t most of this hysteria about the border start after 9/11 and the fear of terrorists crossing the border. And then it morphed into hysteria of illegal immigrants in general? Now, unbelievably to me, you have to have a passport to go into Mexico and Canada. It’s just not the world I grew up in and I don’t like it much at all.

    4. They’re not serious about the constitution. They’re a broad collection of people who have had it with the sjws, combined with those who find a hillary presidency a non-starter.

    5. I didn’t support Trump until the convention was over.

  8. If you hadn’t prefaced this article with an attack on Trump I would have shared it.

    1. All Reason articles between now and the election have to have at least one attack on Trump, to ensure the editors can still get invited to the right DC cocktail parties.

  9. my friends daddy just got a nearly new gold Audi from only working part time on a computer.
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  10. IF the 19th Amendment is a Constitutional right, then it, like every other constitutional right, is subject to reasonable regulations.

    1. well done.

    2. Well naturally. It’s too dangerous to allow hysterics or woman of low moral character to vote.

      1. Stop women’s suffrage NOW! With a picture of Herpes Hillary.
        I should have made T-shirts, and sold them at Clinton rallies. (The girl that wore the “Latinas contra Trump” tee-shirt, and got a picture with Eric Trump)

  11. The core problem with Her Shrillness is that she basically doesn’t believe in a government limited by its own laws. She doesn’t want to be President. She wants to be Queen. Preferably Goddess/Queen, with supplicants showering her with ‘gifts’ in the hope of finding favor.

    I’m not saying Trump is a lot better, but I have the feeling that he’s basically a middling corrupt deal-broker, One Each. I don’t think he has Grandiose Plans. He’s saying what he thinks the customer wants to hear. Shrillary MEANS her plans. She’s deeply invested in them, and will likely throw tantrums if she gets opposed.

    1. Probably the worst part of a Hillary win is that the media will not only give her a pass on everything she does, no matter how corrupt or even illegal, they’ll actually cover for her. Whereas with Trump, they’ll be watching him 24/7 and he’ll get called out on the slightest hint of corruption.

      Hillary will gut the 2nd amendment, tax us into oblivion, and start more dangerous conflicts all over the globe. That’s a 100% sure thing.

      What will Trump do? I have a feeling it will be blowhard a lot and get nothing done. Which is a good thing.

      1. So much this. With the Media and democratic party being full on against him, and with the establishment Republicans obstructing him, I really don’t see Trump getting much done, either.

        1. Not getting much done is the American way. That is why there are three branches, all vying for power.

          The problem is that as it is currently going, it is the unelected federal bureaus who are issuing 1000s of pages of rules and regulations per year that are unchecked by anyone. I don’t think this problem will go away if Trump were to pull out a Brexit/Columbia outcome, but I am confident that any Supreme Court justice appointed by Hillary/Obama will say OK to any rule the bureaucracy issues. And that is why so many people voted for Trump in the primaries. It is the symptom of lack of border control that they see as one more example of rules in obvious violation of the letter of the law, supported by courts who say “well, it is the spirit of the law that matters, not the letter.”

  12. Donald Trump is a clear menace to our democratic form of government, the rule of law and my James Madison bobblehead. The teenage Ted Cruz could recite the entire Constitution from memory. Trump wouldn’t know it from Two Corinthians.

    But it’s not exactly safe to entrust your copy of the Constitution to Hillary Clinton, either. You might get it back with some parts missing or mutilated?like the First Amendment and the Second.

    You know Steve, we understand how horrible Trump is. You don’t have to throw that qualifier in there before pointing out that Hillary doesn’t know what the Constitution is.

    1. He’s so concerned he’s voting for her. Twice.

    2. Oh, she knows what the constitution is. And hates it.

  13. Opening with the “to be sure”, eh? Couldn’t even wait a sentence to signal that Trump is as bad or worse?

  14. 1st amendment sidenote: I was aware that Bernie Sanders had proposed several constitutional amendments to overturn Citizens’ United, but had never seen the content. This weekend I was down a political rabbit hole and actually read one of them. Key phrase:

    “Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to restrict the power of Congress and the States to protect the integrity and fairness of the electoral process.”

    I was appalled, but also really amused that (typical of 21st century progressives) the big progressive drum they’re beating, in the end, can be boiled down to “we need to protect the rights of the government from being trampled by the Constitution.”

    1. “integrity and fairness”? How vague is that? And who decides what is fair? (Whoever is in power.)

    2. Everything in the Constitution should be construed as restricting the power of Congress and the States.

  15. RE: Clinton Is a Threat to the 2nd Amendment?and the 1st
    Her positions on gun ownership and political speech are at odds with the Bill of Rights.

    What?
    A socialist slaver like Heil Hitlary against free speech and gun ownership?
    That can’t be right!

  16. Mr, Chapman appears finally to recognize Hillary is the greater threat to the Constitution.
    Yet I’d wager he still lacks the will to vote against her.
    Only Mr. Trump has a plausible chance.
    So will you toss your vote away to signal your virtue?

  17. Without the Second you won’t have the First. After that the Amendments will start falling like dominoes.

  18. I agree with everything Steve Chapman wrote — after his politically obligatory distancing from Donald Trump — about the dangers to the Bill of Rights that Hillary Clinton represents.

    I would remind Chapman that his James Madison was not a fan of democracy and as a revolutionary against British rule of law was contemptuous of an establishment’s rule of law trumping individual liberty.

  19. She’s a threat to the entire constitution, as in two different debates she promised outcome based appointments to the Supreme Court. Why even have a hearing if her picks have already decided their votes?

  20. The key now is the Republican Senate.

    If they hold a 51 seat advantage then they COULD, if they were willing to play by the Democrats rules, IE change the rules of the Senate to get rid of the 60 vote threshold, stop anything Hillary could try to do.

    But, the American people gave the House back to Republicans in 2010 and they did nothing. They gave the Senate back to the Republicans in 2014 and they did NOTHING.

    So, regardless of whether they hold 51 or not, I suspect Hillary will get her way, on SC appointments for example.

    If the Senate goes 50-50 then Katie bar the door because it will be a bloodbath.

  21. Of course. This isn’t a secret. They’re proudly admitting this.

  22. Left out in this article is Hillary’s threat to the religious freedom parts of the 1st Amendment. These are at least as dangerous as her objection to Citizens United. Hillary seeks to impose a state religion, that of transnational progressivism.

  23. But she can’t be a threat to the 2nd Amendment. PolitiFact said that Donald Trump was lying when he said she wants to take your guns away and abolish the 2nd Amendment.

  24. “Katie bar the door because it will be a bloodbath”

    This may be true but the imagery of bloodbath loses some of the charm in the lyric, which had the meaning “Katy bar the door or there will be trouble for sure.”

    I’m not sure even venerable Katy can be asked to stop a bloodbath.

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  26. In her own words, any speech that does not conform to Progressive goals is hate speech. Do the math.
    And of course as someone who is protected by an army of secret service agents (whom it is on record that she hates) carrying full automatic weapons, why would anybody need their own weapons?
    Hillary has lived in a bubble since becoming a governor’s wife in 1980, 36 years ago.

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  28. my James Madison bobblehead

    Dear Stephen, that isn’t a “James Madison bobblehead”, that’s a mirror.

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  30. Looking at the actions of Obama, rather than what he says or claims, his support for the people’s right to keep and bear arms has always seemed akin to the description of a river, “a mile wide, an inch deep”, a phrase that does not describe a “navigable waterway”. With that in mind, seems like we have a good description on Clinton’s “support” for Second Amendment Rights too.

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