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October 10, 2016

Second Presidential Debate: What you Heard, Didn’t Hear, but What a Leaked Email Confirms


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Hillary Clinton’s comments in response to a question on Supreme Court nominations during Sunday night’s presidential town hall style debate were brief, but enough for her political base to hear that she had checked the box for more gun control:

“…And I just want to quickly say, I respect the Second Amendment. But I believe there should be comprehensive background checks, and we should close the gun show loophole, and close the online loophole.”

The comments were in keeping with Mrs. Clinton’s strategy since the party’s nominating convention this summer of backing away from her more strident gun control rhetoric of the primary season now that she must appeal to general election voters. About the Democratic vehemently pro-gun-control platform adopted by that convention, she now remains mostly silent.

Increasingly, those who bring up the national background check system use the words “comprehensive,” “enhanced” or “strengthened”, instead of the previously preferred and unobtainable “universal” to describe how the system must be extended to cover what are, in reality, a relatively small number of firearms transfers. Mrs. Clinton linked that goal more specifically with closing two supposed, but non-existent loopholes for gun show and online sales.

Mrs. Clinton has never let the facts get in the way of delivering focus-group tested messaging, based on what marketers would call “unaided awareness” questioning. On the surface, to Americans who don’t really know how the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) actually works, what she says sounds pretty reasonable. NSSF research shows, however, that when survey respondents are told that the vast majority of firearms sales at gun shows are already covered by background checks support drops considerably.

As for Donald Trump’s answer to the question, given in his own inimitable style, he said he would seek to appoint:

“… people that will respect the Constitution of the United States. And I think that this is so important. Also, the Second Amendment, which is totally under siege by people like Hillary Clinton. They’ll respect the Second Amendment and what it stands for, what it represents. So important to me.”

When it comes to what Mrs. Clinton really intends to do if she is elected President, the more important revelation came not from her carefully selected words in Sunday’s debate but rather in a Friday WikiLeaks release of a hacked email from her campaign press secretary, Brian Fallon. Here it is clear to see that the Clinton agenda of the primary season remains in force:

“… we are going to background reporters tonight on a few of the specific proposals she would support as President – universal background checks of course, but also closing the gun show loophole by executive order and imposing manufacturer liability.”

So, there you have it. We have the promised use of executive orders as opposed to trying to get laws changed through acts of Congress, as our Constitution provides, plus a promise to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which Mrs. Clinton has misrepresented seemingly at every opportunity. She would seek to allow America’s plaintiffs’ attorneys and big city mayors in search of a strawman enemy to use the courts to put America’s firearms manufacturers out of business.

There are less than 30 days until the election. Do your research.