In attempts to differentiate herself from her Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton is ramping up her rhetoric against the National Rifle Association (NRA). During a town hall meeting in Durham, North Carolina, on Thursday, Clinton said, “I will take on the gun lobby.… It is time, my friends, [to] stand together and say enough.”
On stage with her was a recently formed group called Mothers of the Movement including the mothers of victims of gun violence, such as the mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton. The group first popped up four days before the Democratic primary in Columbia, South Carolina, in February to voice their support for Clinton’s anti-gun agenda. At that meeting each of the mothers shed crocodile tears over the loss of their sons who, they said, were killed not because they were committing a crime but instead because they were “racially profiled” and “mistreated” because of their skin color.
This was red meat for Clinton, who outlined an updated and refined agenda that she promised to enact if elected president. She said she would move ahead by executive order if Congress didn’t go along. Her agenda includes:
• Reinstate her husband’s ban on assault weapons, enacted in 1994 but allowed to expire 10 years later because of its ineffectiveness;
• Provide more federal aid (and strings) to “support” local police departments;
• Expand domestic violence to include not just married people, but also anyone dating someone, as well;
• Pass a bill repealing the ban on suing gun manufacturers over illegal use of their products by criminals;
• Turn gun hobbyists into gun dealers by redefining just how many guns a hobbyist is allowed to sell privately before having to register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and
• Close the “Charleston loophole,” referring to the current rule that if a background check hasn’t been completed within three days, that the purchase is allowed to be completed. The criminal who gunned down churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, was allowed to purchase his weapon after three days when the FBI hadn’t blocked the purchase within the three-day period.
Clinton continues to promote her anti-gun agenda in the face of increasing public support not only of private ownership of firearms, in accordance with rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment, but for the NRA itself. A Rasmussen poll in December last year asked those polled if they agreed, or disagreed, that “the NRA supports gun policies that make all Americans safer.” Sixty-one percent of those polled agreed, with 35 percent indicating that they agreed strongly.
Previously a poll conducted by Gallup last October asked those polled if they held a “favorable” or “unfavorable” view of the NRA itself. Fifty-eight percent held a “favorable” view, with 26 percent holding a “very favorable” view of the group. An indication of just how much the culture has shifted in favor not only of the NRA, but gun ownership in general, can be shown: When Gallup asked that same question in 1995, just 42 percent of those polled held a favorable view, a 16-percentage point improvement in just 20 years. As Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist noted: “These poll results are even more striking given the negative attacks leveled at our organization during the last several months by President Barack Obama, Michael Bloomberg, [Hillary] Clinton, and other anti-gun elites who leverage vast media conglomerates to do their bidding. That a majority of Americans are able to see through the propaganda shows how much anti-gunners continue to underestimate the NRA.”
And not just the NRA, either. Support for Clinton’s reinstatement of her husband’s assault-weapons ban continues to diminish, as well. A poll conducted by the anti-gun establishment ABC/Washington Post following the shooting in San Bernardino, California, showed a majority opposed to reinstatement of the ban. Back in 1994, support for the ban touched 80 percent. Now it’s just 45 percent.
Clinton is speaking into the wind. Her message is not resonating in an increasingly pro-gun culture, but it does serve as reminder that the attack on the Second Amendment continues despite that cultural shift.