On October 19, Hillary Clinton campaign spokesperson Jennifer Palmieri walked back Clinton’s earlier suggestion that an Australian-style gun ban is “worth considering” for U.S. gun policy.
At a town hall meeting at Keene State College on Friday, Clinton was asked if America could follow Australia’s lead and ban guns? The questioner was referencing the mandatory buy-backs Australia’s government used for gun confiscation in the 1990s.
Clinton said “the [Australian] government was able to curtail the supply and set a different standard for gun purchases in the future.” She went on to say, “it would be worth considering doing it on the national level” here in the U.S.
But Monday morning, Palmieri told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that Clinton was not suggesting firearm confiscation.
Mitchell asked: “Was [Clinton] suggesting in her town hall meetings in New Hampshire on Friday, when she said she would look into the Australian system, was she suggesting confiscation of guns?”
Palmieri responded, “Of course not. What she was referring to is places where there have been mass shootings and the countries have done something to act on it. She has put forward a very common-sense proposal that would have background checks for everyone, that would remove the special protections the gun industry has from liability, but it’s all very common-sense measures the majority of the public supports.”
The problem with Palmieri’s statement is that Clinton talked explicitly about the Australian government’s method of “clamping down on the availability of… weapons [by offering] a good price for buying hundreds of thousands of guns and basically clamped down going forward.” Only after describing how hundreds of thousands of guns were taken from the Australian people did Clinton talk about a background check and permitting system, both of which are equally insidious and turn the right to keep and bear arms into the privilege to keep and bear them.
How so? Once all the guns of law-abiding citizens have been purchased by the government, then gun ownership becomes a privilege that can only be exercised by those who can convince the government to give them a permit to own a gun. Such a situation translates into guns for the wealthy and the politically connected, but sticks, rocks, and rakes for the peasants who were forced to give up their guns.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.