Presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are taking shots at each other over the Second Amendment.
The issue remains a heated one, as the candidates and the general public attempt to balance safety with the preservation of gun rights provided by the Constitution. The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Trump and Clinton have very different ideas about how that should be accomplished.
Speaking at a National Rifle Association (NRA) convention, Trump said he supports gun rights. The NRA has also endorsed Trump as the Republican presidential candidate.
Restrictions on gun ownership would mean people could not protect themselves as well, Trump has said. That especially applies to women and people living in high-crime areas.
He went on to say he believes Hillary Clinton would destroy the Second Amendment through more regulations on firearms. Among her proposed restrictions are firearm restrictions and deeper background checks for online purchases and gun show sales.
Crooked Hillary Clinton wants to essentially abolish the 2nd Amendment. No gun owner can ever vote for Clinton!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 21, 2016
Trump has suggested Hillary start with gun control by eliminating all of her body guards.
Trump’s website states his position on gun control.
“The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right – it ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.
“It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights. We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment. Protecting that freedom is imperative.”
Many mainstream media reports show they are decidedly trying to stack popular opinion against Trump. But it doesn’t appear to be working.
Other reports have portrayed Trump as a flip-flopper on gun rights. Aljazeera, for example, said Trump previously supported a ban on assault weapons, a stance that is opposed to NRA ideology.
A Trump spokesperson reportedly told ABC News licensed gun-holders who are guests of Trump hotels and golf clubs face no restrictions.
ABC News called various Trump properties and asked staff whether guests are allowed to carry guns. The report compared “gun free zones” on government property to policies relating to private properties.
During a Travon Martin Foundation Circle of Mothers event, Clinton accused Trump of pandering to the NRA.
“I believe it’s the most powerful lobby in Washington,” the New York Times reported her saying. “And we know some candidates will say or do anything to make them happy.”
According to the report, Clinton told the mothers she would not only pursue gun control, but would “overhaul the criminal justice system.”
“I love my daughter and granddaughter more than anything, and I worry about them as every mother does, and I want them always to be safe,” she said. “Parents, teachers and schools should have the right to keep guns out of classrooms, just like Donald Trump does at many of his hotels by the way.”
"Unlike Donald Trump, I will not pander to the gun lobby. We will not be silenced and we will not be intimidated." —Hillary— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 22, 2016
Clinton’s website says her position is to: “Strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in the current system, hold irresponsible dealers and manufacturers accountable, and keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill.”
Reports suggest a Trump vs. Clinton race could be extremely close. In some respects, Clinton could face a strong disadvantage. If elected, she would win the third consecutive democratic presidency. If past elections are any indication, that will be tough to pull off.
Various news polls show tight competition between Trump and Clinton. One of the latest polls by the Washington Post and ABC News shows Trump leading Clinton 46 percent to 44 percent.
However, as November nears closer, the polls will become even more telling.
[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]