In her recent interview with Chris Wallace, the one where she famously lied, saying FBI Head James Comey called her many lies to the American people “consistent and truthful,” Hillary Clinton also claimed that the majority of Americans want the kind of “common sense gun safety” she has promised to work every day to obtain. As with Barack Obama, the surest way to determine whether Hillary Clinton is lying is to confirm that her lips are moving:
The Washington Post’s Kessler awarded her ‘four Pinnochios,’ and noted, ‘Comey has repeatedly not taken a stand on her public statements.’
John Hinderaker of Powerline comments on her gun control scheming:
More gun control has never been a winning issue for the Democrats–not on the national stage, anyway. It recent years it has been used mostly as a means of whipping up the Democrats’ base, but conventions are staged for a broader audience, and I take seriously Hillary’s statements to the effect that it is a key part of her agenda. Apparently the Democrats are heartened by recent polls indicating that support for anti-gun measures is growing. This shouldn’t be surprising, given the extraordinary publicity accorded to every ‘shooter’ incident.
As Mark Twain said, “there are lies, damned lies and statistics.” Gun control polls can be, and routinely are, worded and applied so as to obtain predetermined results.
But is more gun control now a winning issue for the Democrats? I doubt it, for a couple of reasons.
First, they don’t have any plausible proposals. ‘Universal background checks’ are fine as a sound byte, but no one seriously thinks that imposing such a requirement on people who are not firearms dealers will have any impact whatsoever on crime or terrorism. Similarly, ‘assault weapons,’ a category that exists only in the realm of political fantasy, are used in a vanishingly small number of crimes. They were banned for ten years, and the effect was zero; therefore, the ban expired. The Democrats might as well agitate for reinstating Prohibition. Do Democrats learn from experience? Apparently not. We would all like to see fewer murders, but it is hard to get traction with a political issue when you have nothing constructive to say about it.
The Clinton “assault weapon” ban was passed with a ten-year sunset provision. At the end of that decade, even Democrats were forced to admit it produced no public safety benefit whatever. In addition, it–and its related gun control measures–was an electoral disaster for Democrats, turning scores of them out of Congress, and helping to defeat Al Gore’s bid for the White House, a fact confirmed by Bill Clinton himself. Since then, Democrats, beyond the usual rhetoric, have mostly avoided the issue, and Barack Obama’s presidency has caused an unprecedented increase in American gun ownership, even among women and progressives. While gun ownership has dramatically increased, violent crime has continued to decline, which is not a ringing acclamation for more gun control.
Second, the Democrats face, as always, a substantial intensity gap. Support for more gun control is perhaps widespread, but is also soft, especially given that the Democrats have no practical proposals to offer. Opposition to more gun control, on the other hand, may be more narrow, but it is far more intense. This calculus hasn’t changed much; while there are fewer rural gun owners than there were a couple of decades ago, due to the decline in rural population, there are more urban and suburban gun owners.
I suspect that the Democrats suffer from the Pauline Kael syndrome: everyone they know wants to ban guns, so how can it possibly be a losing political issue? In November, maybe they will find out.
Hinderaker’s analysis is on target but incomplete. There are several other important factors to consider:
The disarmament of the law-abiding American public, like universal health care–Obamacare–is a never-ending goal of progressives. They worked relentlessly for more than a century to get Obamacare, a law based entirely on lies, yet they continue to claim it a wonderful gift to the American people even as they continue to advocate a “single payer” system. Some honest progressives–nearly an oxymoron–admit Obamacare is a lie and a failure, but as is always the case, no progressive policy can possibly be wrong. As a result, they advocate for more of the policy, in effect longer, applied much more rigidly and fervently, and that far more money be spent. Only then will the wonders of universal health care be manifest. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand that gun control is a reflexive feature of progressivism. It is never far from the minds of progressives, even if they aren’t mentioning it in every speech. They are willing to wait for a century or more for an overwhelmingly Democrat Congress, or better yet, for an unassailable progressive majority on the Supreme Court.
Why do they see disarmament as a priority? Because the Second Amendment truly is the provision of the Constitution they fear most. As long as Americans keep and bear arms, progressive’s ultimate desires for domination can never be realized. Their desires have nothing to do with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists; their sights are eternally set on law-abiding Americans, people that represent a threat only to tyrants, and only during the hard tyranny phase of their seizure of absolute power. The most recent proof of this is Mr. Obama’s commutation of the sentences of at least 60 felons, all convicted of violating federal firearm laws. It is a truism, but nonetheless true: criminals don’t obey gun control laws.
Progressives want to ban “assault weapons,” specifically the AR-15 family of rifles, the most popular sporting rifles in America, for several reasons, all deceptive. Rifles of all kinds are used in a tiny portion–surveys normally range no higher than 2% of the total–of crimes. Non-existent “assault weapons” are used in only a tiny portion of that tiny total. However, it has long been a gun control tactic to try to convince the public that if a gun looks like a machinegun, it is a machinegun. Thus, gun controllers constantly call common semi-automatic AR-15 class rifles “weapons of war,” or “military style assault weapons,” and claim they have no place on America’s streets.
The rifles about which they agitate are not fully automatic, and are precisely the kind of arms the Founders envisioned in writing the Second Amendment.
Gun banners used to focus their vitriol on handguns, but eventually turned to “scary” looking guns like the AR-15. They know that if they are able to ban any single class of guns, handguns, semiautomatic rifles, or scoped “sniper rifles,” it will be much easier to ban every other class of gun. “Assault weapons” are simply the category they currently see as most likely to engender support for their deceptive goals.
Another, never-ending, component of gun control is progressive’s eternal loathing for their political opponents. They really do see the majority of Americans, particularly the denizens of flyover country who cling to God and guns, as sub-human. They truly do think themselves morally and intellectually superior to hard-working, honest Americans. They believe it is their destiny to rule those too stupid and deluded to rule themselves. They truly do hate America and Americans and all for which it and they stand. Accordingly, they see gun ownership as a particularly dangerous and disgusting obsession of the mindless underclasses.
Hinderaker’s mention of the Pauline Kael syndrome is apt. Many, perhaps virtually all, gun banners, in every way, surround themselves only with like-minded people, people who think, act, and speak in lockstep on every philosophical, political issue. However, we should not, particularly in this election year, imagine that the outcome of the presidential race will be a definitive indicator of American’s views on gun control or any other particular issue. It is entirely possible Donald Trump will figuratively defeat himself and put Hillary Clinton in the White House. If he does, that can hardly be taken as support for gun control.
If Hillary Clinton is right and the majority of Americans actually want the kind of gun banning she advocates, why does it eternally elude Democrats? Whey didn’t they pass it during Obama’s first term when Democrats owned the Congress and White House? The answer is simple: her lips are moving.