Politics

Hillary Clinton Should Support the Overturning of the Second Amendment

Today, in the wake of the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States, which targeted the LGBTQ community, Hillary Clinton, the democratic nominee for President of the United States put out the following statement.

I join Americans in praying for the victims of the attack in Orlando, their families and the first responders who did everything they could to save lives.

This was an act of terror. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are hard at work, and we will learn more in the hours and days ahead. For now, we can say for certain that we need to redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroad. That means defeating international terror groups, working with allies and partners to go after them wherever they are, countering their attempts to recruit people here and everywhere, and hardening our defenses at home. It also means refusing to be intimidated and staying true to our values.

This was also an act of hate. The gunman attacked an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month. To the LGBT community: please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them. We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly and without fear. Hate has absolutely no place in America.

Finally, we need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals. This is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States and it reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets.

This is a time to stand together and resolve to do everything we can to defend our communities and country.

I’m glad that Clinton is using this as an opportunity to reiterate her support for the LGBTQ community and state what she is going to do as president to prevent tragedies such as the one that happened today from ever occurring again, but frankly her statement just does not go far enough.

Clinton says that “we need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals.” This is incredibly similar to many of the statements she has posted on the gun violence prevention policy page of her campaign website. I’m sorry, but no. It is not possible to sort the good people from the bad. It’s not possible to know a person’s motives so completely that we can make sure that only good people end up with access to guns. In a world where our own police officers use their guns to shoot black men in the streets and then come home to use their gun to threaten their wife, how can we truly believe that we can separate gun owners from those who will commit acts of hate and violence and those that won’t?

This statement also ignores the fact that much of the harm done by guns is done by guns going off accidentally or being used in suicides. The gun owners might be good people who would never purposefully use their gun to commit violence against another person, but that doesn’t change the violence that can and does still occur.

The fact is, the only way to stop terrorists and criminals from accessing guns and end all gun violence is a complete ban on guns and an overturning of the second amendment.

Hillary Clinton is the democratic nominee now and will hopefully become the next President of the United States. It’s time she step it up and act like it. I get that a constitutional amendment is a big fucking deal and probably a pipe dream, but the point is to state the end goal not the tiny steps we’re going to take on the way there.

She does follow-up her statement about keeping terrorists and criminals from guns by saying “weapons of war have no place on our streets.” I hope that as president, this is the statement that she will stand by. If she truly believes this, she needs to come out and tell us, the people of the united States, what she is going to do about it. She needs to state her commitment to banning all guns from all people, not just some people.

Extra note: The attack at a gay club in Orlando is a horrific tragedy and the victims need your help with donations of money and blood. Courtney posted this morning on Skepchick about what you can do to help the Orlando LGBTQ community.

Featured photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack

Jamie Bernstein

Jamie Bernstein

Jamie is a data, stats, policy and economics nerd who sometimes pretends she is a photographer. You can usually find her at skeptic events in Chicago or on Twitter or Flickr. She also blogs about music at Notes From Chicago Music Underground.

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8 Comments

  1. June 12, 2016 at 4:20 pm —

    Two problems with that:
    1) From a pragmatic perspective, “my proposed constitutional amendment” may as well be “lol disregard this” for all the good it’ll do.
    2) What about other hate crimes? In my experience, bigots like more sadistic means. This particular bigot was…well, this particular bigot was apparently ISIS or something.

    • June 12, 2016 at 9:56 pm —

      Jon Brewer,

      This particular bigot won’t be the last to commit mass murder unfortunately and as long as we have easy access to guns in America, stuff like this will keep happening over and over again. He was a supporter of ISIS? That’s hardly surprising, but so what? Islamists, even ones who think that ISIS is the best thing since sliced bread are not the only ones to have the motive to commit mass murder with guns. Neo Nazis and even angry teenagers have done the same.

      • June 13, 2016 at 7:27 pm —

        I’m just saying. Most of these types are far more sadistic. Remember Matt Sheppard? (And in the case of ISIS in particular, I can only point to the difficulties the Israelis have had with Hamas developing more, ah, exotic weaponry.)

        And of course, Wounded Knee began after we unilaterally disarmed. There’s an inherent denialism of that fact in a lot of gun control advocacy.

  2. June 12, 2016 at 10:00 pm —

    Jamie Bernstein,

    “The fact is, the only way to stop terrorists and criminals from accessing guns and end all gun violence is a complete ban on guns and an overturning of the second amendment.”

    I agree. We need to end this ridiculous notion that people have an absolute right to guns. No other nation has a significant number of people in it, who think that way. Unfortunately its easier said than done. The National Rifle Association is really powerful and will fight tooth and nail to stop such an amendment from becoming law. We will also have to get two thirds of the state legislatures to agree and many of them are controlled by Republicans who are beholden to the NRA.

  3. June 12, 2016 at 10:04 pm —

    Jamie Bernstein,

    Speaking of those who want to help, here’s something that makes this tragedy even worse.

    After Horrific Shooting At Gay Club, Most Gay Men Still Can’t Donate Blood To Help
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2016/06/12/3787460/gay-men-blood-ban-orlando/

    We should also work on getting them to repeal such policies. There are a lot of people out there, who could help but can’t because of them.

    • June 13, 2016 at 2:19 pm —

      Forget the policies, we should work on getting the anti-gay bigots in charge fired. The fact that the FDA still doesn’t have any condoms approved for anal use even after decades of HIV fills me with sadness and anger.

  4. June 13, 2016 at 12:48 am —

    100%

  5. June 15, 2016 at 6:55 am —

    The Second Amendment will not be overturned. But gun control regulations need to be crazy-stricter. Waiting to get approved for a mortgage or student loans; to search for a decent job takes time, energy, and reams of paperwork. Buying a gun, the primary purpose of which is murder, should not be like getting a candy bar out of a vending machine. There is especially no reason why AR-15s and the like should be easy to get. Gun-buyers should be willing to jump through as many hoops as this country wants to set up for them, if they truly care about this increasingly ceaseless slaughter of innocent people.

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