Yeah, They're Basically the Same (and That Was Sarcasm)

[Content Note: Guns.]

Reuters: "Trump Rallies Gun Owners with Fiery Anti-Clinton Speech."
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump assured gun owners on Friday he would protect their constitutional right to bear arms and eliminate gun-free zones if elected, accusing Democrat Hillary Clinton of wanting to weaken gun rights.

Trump, who will almost certainly be the Republican presidential nominee, picked up the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, a politically powerful lobbying group which claims more than 4 million members.

...Trump, who is trying to unite the Republican Party behind him after a brutal primary battle, accused Clinton, a former secretary of state to President Barack Obama, of wanting to end the 2nd Amendment, which says in part that the people's right to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed."

"Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment, not change it; she wants to abolish it," Trump said.

...Trump told the NRA he would eliminate gun-free zones imposed in some areas, noting that the 2015 shooting deaths of four U.S. Marines at an armed forces recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, took place in a gun-free zone.
During the same speech, Trump said, incredibly, that Clinton's policies would be a particular danger to women: "You have a woman living in a community, a rough community, a bad community—sorry, you can't defend yourself." Which is garbage for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that women are at greater risk because of the ubiquity of guns and the lack of laws preventing domestic abusers from procuring them, and including the fact that women (especially black women) who use guns in self-defense typically end up on trial, because "castle doctrine" and "stand your ground" laws are unevenly applied by both race and gender.


New York Times: "Citing Family, Hillary Clinton Affirms Gun-Control Stance."
Hillary Clinton invoked her roles as mother and grandmother on Saturday to deliver an impassioned rebuttal to Donald J. Trump's contention that her push for stricter gun control would make families less safe, saying the presumptive Republican nominee would put more children "at risk of violence and bigotry."

The day after Mr. Trump received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, Mrs. Clinton assailed her probable general election rival as pandering to the group.

"I believe it's the most powerful lobby in Washington," Mrs. Clinton said of the N.R.A. at an event in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to benefit the Trayvon Martin Foundation's Circle of Mothers. "And we know some candidates will say or do anything to make them happy."

Speaking in a ballroom full of mothers who had lost children to gun violence, Mrs. Clinton defended her position on gun control and her promise to overhaul the criminal justice system.

"I love my daughter and granddaughter more than anything, and I worry about them as every mother does, and I want them always to be safe," Mrs. Clinton said. "Parents, teachers, and schools should have the right to keep guns out of classrooms, just like Donald Trump does at many of his hotels by the way."

She mentioned his speech to the N.R.A. on Friday, which included a vow to allow teachers and principals to arm themselves. "This is someone running to be president of the United States, a country facing a gun violence epidemic, and he's talking about more guns in our schools," Mrs. Clinton said. "He's talking about more hatred and violence in our streets."

Mrs. Clinton delivered her remarks to a group named after Mr. Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old who was fatally shot in 2012 by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman. Before she spoke, Mrs. Clinton sat for dinner alongside Mr. Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton.

"We will carry the memories of your sons and daughters in our hearts every day, as you do," Mrs. Clinton told the group as she affirmed her plans to strengthen background checks and take other measures to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Seriously: Anyone who can look at their differences on this issue alone and say that these two candidates are basically indistinguishable from one another has their head up their ass. I can't sugarcoat it. That is a catastrophically ignorant and dangerous position.

And you don't even have to like Hillary Clinton to acknowledge these differences. You don't even have to support her. All you have to do is have the merest discernible trace of intellectual honesty and a modicum of concern for the most vulnerable people in our society who will be most pointedly affected by the vast differences in policy between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

If you don't live in a place where gun violence is an immediate concern to you, LUCKY YOU. Not everyone is so fortunate.

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