Hillary Clinton has the potential to be one of the most dangerous presidents ever when it comes to Second Amendment freedoms. Cato Institute’s Adam Bates explains Clinton’s “vague and ambiguous” positions on the Second Amendment here.
Hillary Clinton made two seemingly conflicting assertions about the Second Amendment: that she supports an individual right to bear arms and that the Heller case was wrongly decided.
Here’s the problem for Secretary Clinton: The Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a handgun for self-defense in the home. There were two dissents to the case. One by Justice Stephens, which rejected a self-defense justification for the Second Amendment, and another by Justice Breyer arguing that even if there is a right to self-defense, it does not include the right to keep a handgun or immediately operable long gun in the home. Each dissent received votes from the same four justices.
So what does Secretary Clinton mean when she says that Heller was wrongly decided? Both dissents in Heller would have upheld a law that effectively banned handguns. Both dissents would have upheld a law that rejects the ability to defend yourself from criminals in your own home as a fundamental right. Or would Secretary Clinton reject both dissents in favor of some fourth view of the case?
Her position is vague and ambiguous. To say that you accept an individual right to bear arms but also believe that the government can ban individuals from owning handguns or operable long guns in the home raises the question of exactly what this individual right does protect.