LOTT: On Guns, Clinton Runs Both Left and Right

LOTT: On Guns, Clinton Runs Both Left and Right

LOTT: On Guns, Clinton Runs Both Left and Right

What does Hillary Clinton really believe on guns? This year, she is running to the left of Bernie Sanders. In 2008, she ran well to the right of Obama, arguing against any kind of federal “blanket rules.” On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton gave an address at Philadelphia’s St. Paul’s Baptist Church. With a nod to Pennsylvania’s high rate of gun ownership, she declared: “There is a Second Amendment, there are constitutional rights. We aren’t interested in taking away guns of lawful, responsible gun owners.”

But in New York City in the fall, she told donors: “The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, and I am going to make that case every chance that I get.” In Maryland last Thursday, Chelsea Clinton reiterated that point, promising that her mom would appoint to the Supreme Court justices who would overturn past decisions that struck down local and state gun-control measures. Given that the only laws that the Supreme Court has objected to are complete gun bans or laws that made it a crime to chamber a bullet, one wonders what “constitutional rights” Clinton was talking about preserving in Philadelphia.
 
Clinton has shown this split personality on guns at other points in the campaign. In the month leading up to the New Hampshire primary, gun control was the focus of a quarter of her campaign ads there. By contrast, she ran not a single gun-control ad in rural areas of Iowa. In Iowa as a whole, only 6 percent of her ads discussed guns in any way.