Two important developments on the Second Amendment front: Hillary Clinton's recent approving statements about an Australia-style program that transferred guns from private owners to the government, and a brilliant ad campaign by the National Rifle Association that reveals the elitist nature of the anti-gun campaign.
First, Mrs. Clinton: Jacob Sallum has a good piece in Reason about Clinton's favorable remarks about Australia's form of gun control and her subsequent back peddling. Sallum writes:
When it comes to gun control, Hillary Clinton said last Friday, "Australia is a good example" for the United States to follow. That comment suggested the leading Democratic presidential candidate's plans in this area are much more ambitious than she usually lets on—so ambitious that implementing them would require ignoring or repealing the Second Amendment.
By Monday a spokeswoman for the former secretary of state was already backpedaling, saying Clinton did not mean to endorse mass gun confiscation, a central element of Australia's approach to firearms. But if that was not Clinton's intent, she has an alarmingly cavalier attitude toward laws that impinge on constitutional rights: The details don't matter as long as you mean well.
The question of what impact Australia's gun restrictions had on suicide and homicide rates remains controversial. But before you can intelligently discuss the results of what Australia did, you have to understand what Australia did, which Clinton apparently doesn't.
Mrs. Clinton made her comments on Australia's program in response to a questioner who observed that Australia had "managed to take away tens of thousands—millions—of handguns," and wanted to know if the U.S. could do something similar.
In 1996, as Sallum recounts, after the Port Arthur massacre, in which thirty-six people were killed by a lone gunman with semi-automatic rifles, Australia instituted a new system of gun control. Every gun owner had to have a license and a permit for every gun. Some weapons became illegal unless the owner could prove they were needed for her line of work.
Guns were transferred to the government under the National Firearms Buyback Scheme. Saying that the government paid "a good price" for the guns, Clinton seemed to think was voluntary and optional. It wasn't. The other thing Clinton ignored was that Australia has no Second Amendment. Sallum noted:
Yet in addressing the question of whether the U.S. could adopt Australian-style gun control, Clinton did not mention the Second Amendment once. The omission speaks volumes.
Meanwhile, the NRA has launched a powerful series of ads in which various people talk (including Navy Cross recipient Marcus Luttrell and Dana Loesch) do talk about rights. I agree with the Gateway Pundit that one featuring an African American woman will leave you speechless. I don't know who she is and Googling I can't find out if she is an actor or not. Since others on the series are real people, I am tentatively assuming she is.
The ad opens with a shot of an affluent neighborhood–the sort of place where people don't know firsthand about street violence and the need to protect themselves. The woman in the ad doesn't live in such a neighborhood; she lives in public housing. She wants a gun to protect herself from these people:
“Gangbangers and drug dealers walk down our hall everyday. My neighbors and I were scared. We called the police. But they can’t keep us safe. Some of us are too afraid to even leave our apartments. But the housing authority told me, if bought a gun to protect myself, they’d throw me to the streets. If I’m not free because of my address today. What makes you think you’ll be free tomorrow?”
Gangbankers won't be affected if Mrs. Clinton opts to try to ignore the Second Amendment. They don't get their guns legally. Law-abiding citizens who don't live in affluent parts of town are another story. They are among those who will be victims of Mrs. Clinton's supposed high-mindedness.
I say this as somebody who has never owned a gun and likely never will. I don't like guns. But I also want the woman in the ad to be able to protect herself and I recognize that the Founding Fathers thought guns were significant enough to include them in the Bill of Rights.
You can watch this powerful ad at Gateway Pundit.