Hillary on guns: There’s a Constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, too

posted at 5:01 pm on February 25, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

There is? Perhaps Hillary Clinton’s copy of the US Constitution has bleed-over from a page containing the Declaration of Independence. Pick this up at the 2:12 mark for an interesting lesson in American civics (via Twitchy):

“We’ve got to say to the gun lobby, you know what, there is a constitutional right for people to own guns. But there’s also a constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that enables us to have a safe country. where we are able to protect our children and others from this senseless gun violence.”

This is, of course, sheer nonsense. The phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” does not appear in the Constitution at all, but in the Declaration of Independence. While that is a foundational document of our nation, it does not override the Constitution. The Declaration proclaimed the United States to be its own sovereign; the Constitution created the governmental framework for it — and more importantly, limits the authority government has and ensures that the people of the US remain free and its master.

Hillary’s understanding of that dynamic might be worse than her ability to quote properly from our founding documents. The Second Amendment allows free people the ability to defend themselves and their country, limiting the necessity of turning that power over to the state and thereby reducing or eliminating liberty. Hillary’s hilarious misinterpretation would do exactly the opposite — requiring more and more power to central government to determine what “happiness” is and imposing its definition on its subjects.

This is more than just a case of misspeaking. It’s a peek inside the ignorance of Hillary Clinton, for one thing, and an insight into her vision of a top-down governmental structure in which all things that are not explicitly approved are Double Plus Ungood.

At the very least, shouldn’t someone who’s been in Washington DC for a quarter-century be able to properly and accurately cite the correct founding document when making an argument on fundamental natural rights? If this represents the quality of civics education within the governing class of this country, small wonder our children and grandchildren come out of schools bemused by what should be a straightforward federalist system based on liberty and subsidiarity.

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