Campaigning yesterday in Wisconsin, Democrat front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton went full-bore on gun control in a state that last year had more than 717,300 paid hunting license holders and where the current Republican governor was elected partly on his now-fulfilled promise to sign concealed carry legislation.
So the question today is whether Clinton, who got trounced this past weekend by rival Bernie Sanders in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii, has lost her marbles as well as her momentum. Hunters paid more than $37.7 million to hunt last year in the Badger State, according to data from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). The state sold more than 2.9 million resident and non-resident licenses, tags, permits and stamps, the data noted.
Another bulletin from the USFWS noted that the state’s apportionment from the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration program for FY 2016 came to more than $20.9 million. That money comes from a special federal excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition, with USFWS administering the funds.
And, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today, Clinton was calling for “universal background checks, including for online and gun show sales, and for ending what she described as the ‘Charleston loophole’.” Translation: She wants to extend the time period on “instant” background checks, essentially leaving them open-ended so that a gun transaction cannot be completed if the National Instant Check System puts a delay on such a sale and then never gets back to the retailer to okay the transaction.
Clinton is playing to the inner city audience, for whom senseless violence has become a sand and disturbing part of life. The Journal-Sentinel noted that Clinton also talked about “enhanced police training and more support for young African-American men who are most at risk to become victims or perpetrators of violence.” But if she wins the nomination, and the November election, can she deliver on any of this rhetoric? What’s she going to do, walk into the middle of Milwaukee and just tell people to stop shooting one another?
Honest gun owners and hunters, in and out of Wisconsin, aren’t about to give up their rights on the say-so of someone whose email habits are under federal investigation. How well she does with this rhetoric will be known next week when Wisconsin holds its presidential primary.
Last year, according to a report from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the state approved and issued 40,452 concealed carry licenses. While permit applications may have slowed a bit since Gov. Scott Walker inked a concealed carry law as promised, after his predecessor, Democrat Jim Doyle, had twice vetoed concealed carry legislation, the state is part of a nationwide trend with increasing numbers of residents getting carry permits and licenses.
All of those law-abiding armed citizens know one thing for certain. Their guns aren’t contributing to any crime problem, and their rights are not what is wrong, to paraphrase a slogan from the National Rifle Association some years ago.
As The Guardian is reporting today, “Clinton has made gun control a pillar of her campaign. She has called for strengthening background checks and closing a number of loopholes that enable unmonitored gun sales.” She essentially declared war on the so-called “gun lobby” earlier in the campaign, and she hasn’t let up.
“This needs to be a voting issue,” Clinton was quoted as stating. “Not number 20 on the list, number one on the list.”
If Clinton actually said that, critics will be lining up to remind her that civil rights can never subject to the whim of a popular vote. If Clinton believes otherwise, she isn’t running to be president. She’s looking to become a queen.
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