From campaign start to finish President-elect Donald Trump was pro-gun, and his defense of the Second Amendment was ubiquitous. However, eight pro-gun moments stood out from the rest, moments that resonated with Americans and were particularly damning to Hillary Clinton and the gun controllers who had hitched their cart to her campaign.
Trump’s eight best pro-gun moments:
- We must “maintain the Second Amendment in its strongest form”: Trump said this right out of the gate during an exclusive April 11, 2015, interview with Breitbart News. He explained, “It is so important that we maintain the Second Amendment and that we maintain it strongly. And one of the main reasons is because the good people, the upstanding people, follow laws and norms but the bad ones don’t. So if the Second Amendment weren’t there to protect our rights and someone tampered with them, the good people would be affected but the bad people wouldn’t care–they couldn’t care less.”
- He emphasized the need for concealed carry after the November 13, 2015, Paris attack: The Paris attackers claimed the lives of 130 unarmed innocents and wounded an unknown number of others. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Trump responded to the attack by saying, “If our people had guns … it would have been a much different situation.” He elaborated, “You can say what you want, but if they had guns — if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry, it would have been a much, much different situation.”
- Concealed carry reminds bad guys that “bullets go both ways”: Trump made this statement during the January 10, 2016, airing of Meet the Press. He was responding to the fact that two attackers had been able to shoot and kill 14 people in a gun-free zone in San Bernardino, California. Trump said, “If in Paris or if in California recently, where the fourteen people were killed and probably others to follow–in terms of that group because you have some people who are very, very badly wounded–if in Paris they had guns or if in California [they had guns,] on the other side, where the bullets go both ways, not just in one direction. You wouldn’t have had the kind of carnage that you had.”
- Americans ought to be able to own the “firearm of their choice”: This statement was part of Trump’s way of explaining his opposition to an “assault weapons” ban. He said, “Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like ‘assault weapons,’ ‘military-style weapons’ and ‘high capacity magazines’ to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice.”
- If Hillary Clinton wants to disarm Americans, she should start with her personal security force: During an August 24, 2016, speech in Manchester, New Hampshire, Trump pointed out the hypocrisy of Clinton working to abolish the Second Amendment for average Americans while living her life surrounded by good guys with guns. He said, “And it’s easy, no doubt, for Hillary Clinton to turn a blind eye to the ravages of crime when she has her own, personal, armed security force. Now she wants to essentially dismantle our Second Amendment. I think the first thing she should do is call up Washington and immediately request that her great Secret Service agents drop all weapons–let them walk around with no weapons–and let’s see how she feels about that when she wants to take away your guns.”
- Trump pledged to work with the NRA to “Save the Second Amendment“: During a September 14, 2016, rally in Canton, Ohio, Trump pledged to work with the NRA to “save the Second Amendment.” He added, “I am going to save your Second Amendment. The National Rifle Association has endorsed me, and they are great people. We are going to save your Second Amendment.”
- Trump pledged to use SCOTUS to protect the Second Amendment from “people like Hillary Clinton“: During the October 9, 2016, presidential debate, Trump contrasted his Supreme Court intentions with Clinton’s. He pledged to nominate justices “in the mold of Scalia.” He said his nominees are “people that will respect the Constitution of the United States. And I think that this is so important also, the Second Amendment which is totally under siege by people like Hillary Clinton.”
- Trump said he would not allow gun grabbers to dice up the Second Amendment: Trump actually emphasized this on November 13, 2106, five days after he won the presidential election, but it needs to be included with his campaign statements because it summarizes so many of them. During an interview on 60 Minutes, Trump was asked to describe again the kind of Supreme Court justices he plans to nominate. He responded by saying, “Well, there are a couple of things. They’ll be pro-life. They’ll be–in terms of the whole gun situation, we know the Second Amendment and everybody’s talking about the Second Amendment and they’re trying to dice it up and change it– they’re going to be very pro-Second Amendment. But having to do with abortion, if it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.