There’s simply no way that the first Democrat presidential debate will slip by without some serious focus on the issue of guns… specifically how to get rid of them. Each of the hopefuls on stage has already staked out some turf on the subject, putting forward their own proposals for further restricting access to weapons by people who pay attention to pesky little things like laws. But the two main contenders on the stage each have their own weak spots among the liberal faithful when it comes to the Second Amendment. Bernie Sanders once had a passing (if not perfect) grade from the NRA, reflecting the rather independent streak of voters in his home state. He’s changed his tune this year, of course, but that doesn’t do much to turn back a decades long record of support for responsible gun ownership.
One might think that this is the rare but ideal opportunity for Hillary Clinton to hit back at Sanders and nail him on the apparent flip flop. Sadly for her, she’s got even more baggage hiding in her own closet. Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard takes us for a brisk stroll down memory lane.
Tonight’s Democratic presidential debate promises to focus heavily on gun control. But it wasn’t too long ago that the leading Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, touted her own gun usage and asserted that Americans don’t “cling to guns.”
As Clinton said in the 2008 presidential race, in response to Obama’s statement that Americans cling to their guns and religion, “I disagree with Sen. Obama’s assertion that people in our country cling to guns and have certain attitudes about trade and immigration simply out of frustration.” …
“You know, some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It’s part of culture. It’s part of a way of life. People enjoy hunting and shooting because it’s an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter.”
Sanders may not smack her too hard on this one given his own vulnerability on the subject, but O’Malley and Jim Webb have nothing to lose and everything to gain tonight so they may try to bring the hammer down on her. It’s not like her massive flip flops are any secret, and a campaign that’s even marginally competent should have been able to dredge up and memorize Hillary’s greatest hits from her 2008 campaign.
The version of Hillary running against Barack Obama got a bit more carried away than simply defending the rights of hunters. (Which has nothing to do with the core of the Second Amendment to begin with.) She waxed poetic about families passing down not only their guns but their love of the culture from one generation to the next. Say… I wonder if those families were conducting background checks before passing the weapons down to their children and grandchildren? Wouldn’t that be a loophole of some sort, Madam Secretary?
Clinton was one of the first out of the gate, calling for “common sense” gun control measures after the Charleston shooting. After the Oregon killings, she was widely lauded for essentially breaking down in tears when she spoke passionately about her new gun grabbing platform. She’s certainly been consistent on the subject… this year. But will the Democrat base buy the idea that she’s simply “evolved” on her positions? As we’ve noted here before, it’s not unusual for people to modify their views as they mature, and the positions taken by a forty year old may be quite far afield from the protest signs they carried at the age of eighteen. But Hillary’s evolution has come pretty much entirely in her sixties. How long does it take this woman to make up her mind about something?