Politics

Trump Talks About an Assassination Attempt on Hillary Clinton for the Second Time

For the second time, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump referenced violence against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

At a rally in Miami on Friday, Trump said that Clinton's bodyguards should disarm themselves.

“I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons,” said Trump. “I think they should disarm immediately. What do you think? Yes? Take their guns away. She doesn’t want guns. Take them. Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, OK, It will be very dangerous.”

Last month at a rally in North Carolina, Trump implied that gun rights supporters could potentially stop Clinton from appointing someone to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace deceased Justice Antonin Scalia.

"Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment," he said. "If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know."

Many people took that to be a suggestion for violence against Clinton, including Republican President Ronald Reagan's daughter Patti Davis, although the Trump campaign denied it.

Trump's poorly worded references to violence against Clinton are trying to make two points:

1. Clinton is anti-Second Amendment and wants to take people's guns away.

2. Clinton is surrounded by armed guards and therefore she shouldn't try to take people's guns away.

Both of these statements are misleading at best.

Clinton supports background checks on all guns sales including gun shows and internet sales. She also supports bans on domestic abusers and people with severe mental illnesses buying guns. Neither of these gun control measure are equal to "taking guns away."

"Americans have shown broad and consistent support for expanded background checks for gun purchasers," Pew Research reported. "In July [2015], 85% of the public – including large majorities of both Republicans (79%) and Democrats (88%) – favored making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks."

At a PBS townhall in June, President Barack Obama addressed this misconception that he and Hillary Clinton want to take people's guns away.

"And well let me...It's a multi- part question so let me just say a couple things. First of all, the notion that I or Hillary or Democrats or whoever you want to choose are hell-bent on taking away folks’ guns is just not true. And I don’t care how many times the NRA says it. I’m about to leave office. There have been more guns sold since I have been president than just about any time in U.S. history. There are enough guns for every man, woman and child in this country. And at no point have I ever, EVER proposed confiscating guns from responsible gun owners. So it’s just not true."

Also comparing a presidential candidate to an average person is somewhat of a false equivalency. High profile public figures, like Clinton and also Trump are targets for political violence. Four U.S. presidents have been assassinated, and a shooter attempted to kill President Ronald Reagan. Major presidential candidates began receiving protection from the Secret Service after the assassination of Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

"Protection of a candidate/nominee is designed to maintain the integrity of the democratic process and continuity of government," according to the Secret Service website.

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