Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

The Clinton campaign did not hesitate to express its disdain for the remarks and indicated Trump's invoking of "Second Amendment people" should be interpreted as a threat of violence. (Photo: Reuters)

Did Trump Just Suggest Gun Nuts Should Shoot Hillary Clinton?

Maybe the "Second Amendment people" can do something to stop his rival, says Republican nominee Donald Trump

Jon Queally

During a campaign rally in North Carolina on Tuesday, Republican presidential nominee casually suggested that "Second Amendment people" could take care of Hillary Clinton, which many interpreted as a thinly veiled indication that those concerned about their right to bear arms could actually shoot Clinton if they wanted.

"Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment," Trump told the crowd. "And if she gets to pick her judges [for the U.S. Supreme Court]—nothing you can do, folks."

Trump than paused, before adding with a shrug, "Although the Second Amendment people maybe there is. I don’t know."

Watch the clip:

The Clinton campaign did not hesitate to express its disdain for the remarks and indicated Trump's invoking of "Second Amendment people" should be interpreted as a threat of violence.

"This is simple—what Trump is saying is dangerous," said Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook in a statement. "A person seeking to be the President of the United States should not suggest violence in any way."

Josh Horwitz, executive director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said the comments were wholly out of bounds for a presidential candidate and only adds to the toxic discourse that fuels violence in the country.

"The threat of gun violence towards a political opponent, their possible appointees, or the United States Government is unacceptable from anyone, even in jest, and is especially egregious from a candidate for the highest office in the land," Horwitz said in a statement.  "Unfortunately, this is a point of view that has been mainstreamed by the National Rifle Association and parroted by candidates for political office in the past.  As a nation we have seen gun violence against our government workers, our law enforcement, and even an assassination attempt on a sitting member of Congress.  The comments today from Donald Trump show a blatant misunderstanding of the Second Amendment, United States Constitution and the ideals that make this country great."

According to the Huffington Post:

Trump’s campaign did not respond to queries about his remark, but at least one person attending the rally appeared to sense the comment was out of bounds. He was, presumably, joking.

But joking about assassinating the president or presidential candidates is not taken lightly by the Secret Service, whose agents are tasked with protecting their lives, even at the cost of their own.

Subsequently, Politico reports on how the Trump campaign's rapid-response team quickly tried to explain away the comments.

"It’s called the power of unification," Jason Miller, a Trump campaign spokesman, said in an email. "2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump."

However, on social media, the response to the comment was general outrage coupled with disbelief over how—despite an already impressive list of disturbing and offensive remarks—Trump continues to shock people with his rhetoric:

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

GOP 'Silence Speaks Volumes,' Says Ilhan Omar as Boebert's Bigotry Goes Unpunished

"Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress."

Brett Wilkins ·

Africans Should Be 'Applauded, Not Punished,' Say Advocates Amid Omicron Travel Ban

"What is going on right now is inevitable," said African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance co-chair Dr. Ayoade Alakija. "It's a result of the world's failure to vaccinate in an equitable, urgent, and speedy manner."

Brett Wilkins ·

Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·

UNESCO Members Adopt First Global AI Ethics Agreement 'To Benefit Humanity'

"We're at a critical juncture in history," said Ethics in Tech founder Vahid Razavi. "We need as humans to come together and decide what is the best course of action to take with these technologies before they surpass us in their abilities."

Brett Wilkins ·

Progressive US Lawmakers Mark Black Friday With Calls to Pass the PRO Act

"The right to organize, fight for better working conditions, and fair pay must always be protected."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo