Trump Implies 'Second Amendment People' Could Stop Clinton

Aug 9, 2016
Originally published on August 9, 2016 6:47 pm
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Donald Trump has been saying for months that his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, wants to abolish the Second Amendment, which is, of course, the constitutional amendment that guarantees Americans the right to bear arms. That's never been her position. But now, the Republican presidential nominee's latest comments on the subject have ignited an immediate controversy. NPR's Sarah McCammon reports.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Speaking to supporters in Wilmington, N.C., this afternoon, Trump repeated a familiar refrain.

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DONALD TRUMP: Hillary wants to abolish - essentially abolish - the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick...

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MCCAMMON: And then he went on.

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TRUMP: ...If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks.

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TRUMP: Although the Second Amendment people - maybe there is. I don't know.

MCCAMMON: Many interpreted that as a call to arms. The response from Clinton and her supporters was swift. In a statement, campaign manager Robby Mook said, this is simple. What Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way. But the Trump campaign and his surrogates were quick to dispute that interpretation. CNN commentator and Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany explained it this way.

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KAYLEIGH MCENANY: I think he's referring to the fact that the National Rifle Association is the most powerful lobby hands down in the United States. So if anyone can stop a very anti-Second Amendment agenda, it would be the NRA and the Second Amendment folks.

MCCAMMON: In an emailed statement with the subject line Trump campaign statement on dishonest media, Trump spokesman Jason Miller also weighed in, saying, quote, "it's called the power of unification - Second Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers and it won't be for Hillary Clinton. It will be for Donald Trump."

Clinton, for the record, has never called for abolishing the Second Amendment. Though she does support stricter gun regulations, including expanded background checks. Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.