What does your child’s tee-ball team, an elementary school field day, and the institutional gun control lobby have in common? They all give out participation trophies.
On June 14, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (a recent combination of Americans for Responsible Solutions and Legal Community Against Violence) honored Hillary Clinton with their Courageous Leadership Award at their 25th anniversary dinner in San Francisco. According to a press release from the group, the dinner “honors the exceptional efforts of key individuals who have shown outstanding leadership in the gun violence prevention movement.” Some might question the wisdom of singling out Clinton as a leader for the gun control movement, as her favorability rating has been clocked at an embarrassing 27 percent.
Along with the awards presentation, the gathered gun control advocates were treated to a speech from the failed 2016 presidential candidate. As is her custom, Clinton used the opportunity to attack NRA.
The former secretary of state touted her 2016 effort to take on the NRA “for its opposition to saving lives.” Clinton also contended that NRA, “Never had the guts to take on any specific policy proposal,” adding, “in fact the ads they ran had nothing to do with guns, they were just outright lies.”
Of course, much of NRA-ILA’s efforts during the 2016 election were devoted to informing the public about Clinton’s gun control proposals, such as her support for Australia-style gun control and confiscation. Most importantly, NRA-ILA took Clinton on over her position that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms. Given her extreme view, NRA made Clinton’s attacks on the Second Amendment and her potential ability to nominate U.S. Supreme Court Justices a focal point of its messaging.
Aside from her attacks on NRA, there were several other points of interest in Clinton’s speech.
Clinton attacked the president over signing an NRA and ACLU-supported House resolution to repeal an Obama-era rule that would have stripped some Social Security beneficiaries’ Second Amendment rights - doing her best to further stigmatize this vulnerable group.
Clinton claimed that when it comes to gun violence, “the solutions are undeniable.” Someone should inform the Rand Corporation. Recently, “Rand researchers evaluated thousands of studies to assess the available evidence for the effect of 13 common gun policies on a range of outcomes…” The researchers found little evidence in support of gun control advocates’ favorite proposals.
Notably, the loudest cheers during the speech occurred when Clinton spoke of her and LCAV’s efforts to pass the 1994 ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. In addition to illustrating the gun control movement’s unremitting desire to ban guns, the moment revealed their disinterest in empirical data. Repeated studies of the effect of the 1994 semi-automatic ban have found little evidence of any impact on violent crime.
However, it wasn’t all dishonesty from the former first lady. Clinton called NRA,“One of the most powerful special interests in America.” Thanks to the support and grassroots activism of NRA members, that statement is absolutely true.
Following Donald Trump’s historic victory on election night 2016, NRA-ILA thanked supporters for their tireless defense of Americans’ Second Amendment freedoms. Once again, NRA-ILA would like to thank you for making Clinton’s participation trophy possible.