About those 2nd amendment people

Wow, so I thought Trump just said another in a line of stupid things today– nothing really that all unusual for him, but damn did it blow up.  Vox’s summary:

Speaking at a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Tuesday, Donald Trump made an offhand comment that “Second Amendment people” might have some unspecified way to stop a President Hillary Clinton’s judges from abolishing gun rights.

“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump said. “By the way, and if she gets to pick — if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Trump’s remarks are a bit garbled, but they appear to be a joke that gun owners could use their weaponry to prevent the government from rolling back their gun rights.

I was most surprised by all the people on twitter suggesting this was a veiled reference to assassination.  It struck me as far more of the tree of liberty/blood of tyrants nonsense you are always hearing from the gun rights crowd.  Then again, I guess Hillary would be the tyrant.  Stupid, indefensible, and offensive, sure.  But, hey, isn’t that just par for the course for Trump?  Apparently not.

When I checked on Drum, I found his reaction was pretty similar to mine:

Trump is making a wisecrack about how gun folks could rub out Hillary—ha ha ha—which is pretty obviously not appropriate for a presidential candidate. Still, it’s just a dumb aside, and no, I don’t think Donald Trump really wants his supporters to assassinate Hillary Clinton. Next.

But no! The world is going nuts over this, and I’ve now read at least a dozen explanations of why “just a joke” is absolutely not an excuse. These have persuaded me to come around on this, but luckily the Trump folks themselves are not defending it as “just a joke.” Their official explanation is that gun owners have“amazing spirit and are tremendously organized,” and Trump was just noting that they can cast a lot of votes against Hillary.

More than anything, to me (and Drum), this was just more evidence of what a phenomenally bad and undisciplined candidate Trump is:

This is yet another example of Trump stepping all over his own message. Yesterday’s big economic speech was supposed to be the latest of his endlessly promised turning points toward greater seriousness, which would allow the news cycle to move off of Trump’s latest gaffe-of-the-day and instead focus on his policies. But within 24 hours of being unchained from his teleprompter, all that was toast. Nobody cares about his economic policies anymore. They just want to know why Trump thinks it’s OK to rally his supporters in favor of murdering Hillary Clinton.

Yep.  People are taking this awfully seriously.  And honestly, we all probably should.  Trump’s just been boiling me in a pot for a while.  Here’s the response from noted NC libertarian, Mike Munger:

I agree with the sentiment, but I’d say by now that last sentence has been made evident more than a dozen times.

Anyway, just another day in the crazy world of Donald Trump running for president.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to About those 2nd amendment people

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    If anyone thinks Donald was making a joke, take a look at how the people behind him reacted.
    Listen to the crowd applauding with some cheers. They got it.
    He followed it up with that comment about how horrible it would be if what he suggested happened. That’s called CYA.

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