Hillary Clinton has been reasonably consistent over her long career of attaining titles but accomplishing virtually nothing in one thing: her absolute fidelity to gun control. Clinton can be counted upon to flip flop, evade, obscure, stonewall, lie, dissemble and say anything necessary at any time to any audience–even adding the occasional, horrendously bad black and/or southern accent–to achieve her political goals, but she has never heard of an anti-gun/anti-freedom idea she didn’t embrace. If so, I’ve yet to find an example of it, and I’ve been paying attention since Hillary first stepped foot in the White House–and left it, “dead broke,” taking much of the furniture and silverware with her.
Since the abject failure of the Clinton gun ban–enacted in 1994 and sunset in 2004, and the subsequent horrific losses of Democrat congressional seats, most Democrats have been careful to avoid any overt mention of the issue. They’ve even broken the usual Democrat rule of swinging wildly to the left in primaries and back to the center in general elections where guns are concerned, unless they are one of the Congressmen or Senators in an absolutely safe, rabidly anti-gun district/state. Fortunately, they have been relatively few.
Hillary, however, is different. In swinging to the left of Socialist Bernie Sanders, she is not saying anything about the Second Amendment that she hasn’t already embraced, at least in spirit. The most recent example was her town hall event in Keene, New Hampshire, about a week ago where Clinton proclaimed that Australian gun control was “worth looking at.” From Townhall.com:
VOTER: Back to handguns. Recently, Australia managed to get away, or take away tens of thousands, millions of handguns. In one year, they were all gone. Can we do that? If we can’t, why can’t we?
HILLARY CLINTON: Australia is a good example, Canada is a good example, the U.K. is a good example. Why? Each of them have had mass killings. Australia had a huge mass killing about 20-25 years ago, Canada did as well, so did the U.K. In reaction, they passed much stricter gun laws.
In the Australian example, as I recall, that was a buyback program. The Australian government, as part of trying to clamp down on the availability of automatic weapons, offered a good price for buying hundreds of thousands of guns. Then, they basically clamped down, going forward, in terms of having more of a background check approach, more of a permitting approach, but they believe, and I think the evidence supports them, that by offering to buyback those guns, they were able to curtail the supply and set a different standard for gun purchases in the future.
Communities have done that in our country, several communities have done gun buyback programs. I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level, if that could be arranged. After the terrible 2008 financial crisis, one of the programs that President Obama was able to get in place was Cash for Clunkers. You remember that? It was partially a way to get people to buy new cars because we wanted more economic activity, and to get old models that were polluting too much, off the roads. So I think that’s worth considering. I do not know enough detail to tell you how we would do it, or how would it work, but certainly your example is worth looking at. [Applause]
It’s doubtful that Clinton, or most politicians, know the actual details of the gun control regimes of other nations. Her reference to “automatic weapons,” for example is entirely misleading. She almost certainly knows only that the Australian government, in significant ways, disarmed the Australian people of common, not exotic, arms, and she’s always been enthusiastically for that sort of thing. Quick Aside: The “Cash For Clunkers” program was a stereotypical Obama debacle. Not only did it fail to achieve any of its goals, it harmed the poor by temporarily drying up the inexpensive used car market, so of course Hillary would praise it.
My May 13, 29014 article at Bearing Arms—The Sensible Gun Control of Hillary Clinton–and my June 19, 2014 article at The Truth About Guns—Hillary Clinton: Platitudes, Never Principles, With One Exception–provide a detailed history of Hillary’s unwavering Progressive anti-liberty credentials.
Stung by the reality that Clinton’s New Hampshire gaffe directly implicates gun confiscation, her campaign spokesliar tried to walk back those comments. Via The Washington Free Beacon:
While speaking with Andrea Mitchell [MSNBC and a die-hard progressive], Jennifer Palmieri said Hillary Clinton does not support gun confiscation despite the Democrat presidential candidate telling a crowd on Friday Australian-style mandatory gun buybacks ‘would be worth considering doing it on the national level.’
‘Finally a quick question on gun control because the nra on the weekend really went after her,’ Mitchell said. ‘Was she suggesting in her town hall meetings in New Hampshire on Friday, which she said she would look into the australian system, was she suggesting confiscation of guns?’
‘Of course not,’ Palmieri responded. ‘She was, what she was referring to is places where there have been mass shootings and the countries have done something. She has put forward a very common-sense proposal that would have background checks for everyone, that would remove the special protections the gun industry has from liability but it’s all very common-sense measures the majority of the public supports.’
When asked if Clinton supports gun buybacks Palmieri said yes but seemed to cite only voluntary gun buybacks in American cities instead of the mandatory buybacks in Australia. ‘Yes, a number of cities do do that,’ she said. ‘It’s been effective.
Effective? That would depend upon the definition of “effective.” If it means in any way inconveniencing criminals, reducing crime, or having anything rational people would recognize as a positive societal effect, I’m afraid not.
When asked if Hillary is ‘going to be badly hurt’ by the NRA’s opposition, Palmieri chuckled at the suggestion. ‘I do not,’ she said. ‘She, as you have heard her discuss this, this is an issue she really cares passionately about. There is no reason why we can’t be doing more to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Most gun owners feel the same way.’
‘This is a fight she is very happy to have.
Anyone interested in the specific facts revolving around Clinton’ and Palmieri’s assertions can easily find them. What is of greater importance is whether Hillary is a dedicated gun grabber, and whether her definition of “doing more to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them” is anything like that of the gun owners she claims “feel the same way.”
It’s interesting that even The Chicago Tribune is less than happy about Clinton’s willingness to happily fight on this issue. Some excerpts from Steve Chapman’s column:
Recently, at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, she was asked about adopting a federal gun control program like the one enacted in Australia in 1996, which banned automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns and mandated the buyback of those already present. Some 650,000 guns were taken from citizens and destroyed.
Clinton replied, “I do not know enough details to tell you how we would do it, or how it would work, but certainly the Australian example is worth looking at.” The reason, she said, is that “by offering to buy back those guns, they were able to curtail the supply and to set a different standard for gun purchases in the future.”
It was an unforced error that she will never hear the last of. From how Clinton phrased her answer, though, it’s pretty clear that she was thinking of a voluntary buyback. She compared it to Obama’s “Cash for Clunkers” program and cited voluntary programs done in various cities.
I suspect the clarity goes in the opposite direction, Mr. Chapman. What Progressive gun grabber has ever been satisfied with a “voluntary” program?
Does the 1996 [Australian] law deserve credit for saving lives? Don Weatherburn, director of the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, told PolitiFact that the evidence is ‘far from conclusive.’ Harvard’s David Hemenway, a darling of gun control supporters, admitted, ‘We really don’t know.
Keep in mind that these are two distinctly gun-ban friendly sources. Here’s an English translation of their comments in answer to the question: “no.”
The Australian law has zero chance of being adopted here and probably wouldn’t work if it were, while a voluntary version would be a waste of time. But if Clinton wants to help the NRA, she’s found the perfect formula.
But wait a minute: didn’t Chapman just say he was sure Clinton was talking about a voluntary program? Odd, that. Of course, the NRA’s effectiveness is primarily due to its 5 million+ membership, its unwavering focus on protecting a fundamental unalienable constitutional right, and the willingness of NRA members to be well-informed and consistently involved.
A visit to my earlier articles will help clear up any confusion. Hint: unless “most gun owners” want Hillary reducing the Second Amendment to a very narrowly construed privilege, “most gun owners” do not, in fact, share her views.
Fun facts to know and tell.