Hillary Clinton has picked a fight with the NRA and Second Amendment supporters. It was not required. From 1995 to 2012, the Democrats had shied away from public fights with the NRA, because of the severe beating at the polls they took in 1994. It can be argued that the the Democrats gained the presidency of Barack Obama because they stayed quiet on Second Amendment issues during his elections. But after being re-elected in 2012, Obama and the Democrats fiercely attacked the NRA. They lost big in the 2014 mid-terms.
Hillary must believe that the demographics have flipped in her favor, and she can attack the NRA, claim she respects the Second Amendment, and say that the Supreme Court was wrong in holding that the Second Amendment is an individual right, all at the same time, and gain votes.
Here is the clip where she says the enemy that she is most proud of making is the NRA.
Link to video
Her problem is that she is not trusted nearly as much as the NRA. Her favorability rating is between 10 and 20 points below that for the NRA. In spite of surveys that have been widely circulated in "progressive" circles, gun ownership is likely at some of the highest levels ever in the United States.
The other problem is that Second Amendment supporters are highly motivated, and often single issue voters. Gun haters, on the other hand, are not nearly as motivated, are a much smaller group, and are almost all in the Democrat base to start with.
Trump, on the other hand, has been consistently pro-Second Amendment during the campaign. He has high unfavorables; but an NRA endorsement works to raise him up, and against Hillary.
The extent to which the establishment media and Hillary allies are spinning her position on the NRA and the Second Amendment are extraordinary. Politifact is a good example. From Politifact:
Speaker: NRAPolitfact conveniently ignores that Hillary is a lawyer, and the Heller case did not make a finding about people going to the store with an AK47. The case was all about the right of the people to own guns in their home for self defense. She said:
Statement: Says Hillary Clinton “doesn’t believe in your right to keep a gun at home for self-defense.”
Ruling: Clinton has never said that. The NRA cited a recording of her saying she disagreed with a Supreme Court case affirming some gun rights, but the same recording shows Clinton is clearly talking about concerns other than keeping a gun at home for self-defense. She specifically talks about someone going armed to a grocery store. We rate this claim False.
"So I’m going to speak out. … The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, and I am going to make my case on that every chance I get."Politifact then goes on to claim that Hillary's statement in 2015, long after the Heller decision in 2008, was the same as the Bush administration concerns about the case before it was decided.
Politifact makes the unconvincing argument that President Bush could not be against the right to self defense in the home before the decision was made (far from proven). Therefore Hillary's statement years after the decision, which was all about the individual right to self defense in the home, could not be against self defense in the home.
The argument simply makes no logical sense. What does President Bush have to do with the question? What does his position before the decision was made, have to do with Hillary's definitive statement years after the decision was settled law? This is what passes for a defense of Hillary's stand on the Second Amendment.
The Washington Post echoed politifact's argument.
The NRA ad will resonate with voters. It is not that the NRA has a direct quote of Hillary Clinton saying that she wants to confiscate all American's guns in her first term. No one, at least until recently, would believe that Hillary would be so stupid as to say such a thing directly.
But very few believe what Hillary says, because the vast majority of people know that she is a liar with a long history of lies. When some one catches her in an unguarded moment saying that she believes the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, they believe her. They do not believe she is making some nuanced policy that is really Republican.
If it comes to a choice between Hillary and the NRA, the NRA wins.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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