Last week, Hillary Clinton refused to say that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms. On Monday, however, CNN’s Chris Cuomo pressed her on the issue again, and she finally admitted (albeit rather conditionally) that Americans do have a constitutional right to individual gun ownership:
I believe law-abiding, responsible Americans have a right to own guns. But I also believe with the vast majority of Americans, there are common sense, constitutionally permissible steps we can take to take the guns out of hands of criminals. That is what Justice Scalia has said in [District of Columbia v.] Heller. I have disagreed with some of the ways they’ve applied that. There have been more than 23 shootings by a toddler this year alone. we have to sort through the decision. Yes, there is a right for law-abiding, responsible Americans to own guns and, yes, there are reasonable common sense measures to try to keep people safe from guns. We have to figure out the best way to move forward on that. That’s what I’m committed to doing.
But don’t go jumping for joy just yet. In the same breath, Clinton stated that she wants to reinstate the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which was originally signed into law by her husband, President Bill Clinton, in 1994. The ban expired in 2004:
“I think we’ve got to get back to common sense safety reform, you can’t fall into the trap that was set up by the gun lobby that say you can’t stop every incident, that we should not try to stop any,” she said. “We did have an assault weapons ban for 10 years, and I think it should be reinstated.”
Clinton was responding to the heinous acts carried out in Orlando over the weekend by a suspected Islamic extremist. Speaking of that, unlike Obama, Clinton actually did use the phrase “radical Islamism” in relation to the attack. So at least there’s that.