In a fact-check on the gun claims Hillary Clinton made during the last presidential debate, the Wall Street Journal reports that she “misleadingly suggested” the District of Columbia v Heller (2008) decision endangers toddlers.
WSJ goes on to show that Heller was not about toddlers but about the Washington, D.C. handgun ban, which took effect in 1976.
The discussion of Heller arose after debate moderator Chris Wallace pointed out that in 2015, Clinton said, “the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.” Her statement was in reference to the Heller decision, so Wallace asked if she would explain why she believed the decision was a mistake.
I disagreed with the way the court applied the Second Amendment in that case, because what the District of Columbia was trying to do was to protect toddlers from guns. So they wanted people with guns to safely store them.
Clinton also admitted being “upset” by the decision and reiterated her suggestion that toddlers would be endangered by it.
WSJ quoted Clinton saying the Supreme Court’s decision represented a rejection of “reasonable regulation.” Then WSJ showed that her claim “glossed over the thrust of the city’s gun law, which effectively barred private ownership of handguns.” In other words, Heller was not about toddlers but about the nature of the fundamental rights protected by the Second Amendment.
WSJ quoted a Clinton spokesman who attempted to justify the anti-Heller statements by “[noting] that attorneys for the District of Columbia did argue in the case that the city’s weapons regulations were meant to protect children.” But the paper explains that even though “the high court’s majority did consider a secondary question about the storage of firearms, …[that consideration was] only in the context of the right of a citizen to use a handgun for self-defense.”
Again, Heller was about the nature of fundamental rights, not about toddlers.
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.