The next president will nominate a Supreme Court justice to fill Antonin Scalia's empty seat.
Chris Cox: If we want to preserve the Second Amendment, we must elect Donald Trump to make that nomination
Editor’s Note: Chris W. Cox is the executive director of the NRA-ILA. The views expressed in this commentary are his own.
Today, somewhere in America, Hillary Clinton will likely fly on a private jet under the watchful eye of armed security. For the last 30 years, Clinton has enjoyed the safety that comes with her armed security detail.
She has never had to worry about being alone in her home in an emergency situation. Unlike most Americans, she does not have to think about dialing 911 if she hears the glass break downstairs at 2 o’clock in the morning. And she never has to wait the national average of 11 minutes from the time she calls for help to the time the police arrive.
Despite that reality, she doesn’t believe you and I have the individual right to keep firearms in our homes to protect ourselves and our families. So where does that leave us? It leaves us with Clinton’s vision for America – one set of rules for her and a different set for the rest of us.
It’s easy for Clinton to casually dismiss a right she’s never had to rely upon – and a right she’ll likely never have to use. Though Clinton might ask, “What difference does it make?” To you and me, access to firearms might make the difference between life and death.
But Clinton’s anti-gun policies paint her as more than just an elitist politician; they prove how much of a threat she is to the safety and security of ordinary citizens. Take Marquita Turner of Birmingham, Alabama. Marquita was five months pregnant when an intruder broke into her home at 2:20 a.m. It was the third time in seven months this had happened. Not surprisingly, she was alone.
This story could have had a tragic ending. But thankfully Marquita had a firearm to protect her. And because of that, she was able to stop a violent criminal from ending her life and that of her unborn baby.
While we might easily take Marquita’s right to defend herself for granted, that issue is on the ballot this November. Eight years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court said the Constitution guarantees our fundamental right to keep a firearm in our homes for self-defense. You’d think that was a no-brainer, but it was a close vote: five to four. And after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February, there’s no longer a majority on the court who believe it.
One of the next president’s first tasks will be to fill Scalia’s seat, and that decision will determine whether Marquita’s right – and our right – to defend ourselves in our homes will survive or disappear.
Those who support Second Amendment rights have a clear choice in this election. Donald Trump has made known his support for our lawful right to keep and bear arms. He has put forth a list of potential Supreme Court nominees who strongly believe in the Second Amendment. And his running mate, Mike Pence, has been a consistent supporter of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen.
Clinton, on the other hand, said the Supreme Court “is wrong on the Second Amendment,” and called the case upholding the right to own a gun for protective purposes a “terrible decision.” Clinton has since tried to backpedal, but her shifting “clarifications” simply offer more proof that she cannot be trusted. Clinton has also said we should look to Australia’s gun confiscation scheme as a potential model for American gun policy.
Despite being protected by armed security for decades, she has a decadeslong record of opposing the same protection for average Americans. And her running mate, Tim Kaine, has voted against gun owners’ rights time and again.
The American people overwhelmingly believe the choice to own a firearm for self-defense is theirs to make. It doesn’t belong to the government. It is an individual freedom. So it is too important, too fundamental, to be subject to one set of rules for elites like Clinton and a different set for the rest of us.
This election will determine the future of American freedom. Our Founding Fathers understood the value of that freedom and gave us a system to preserve and protect it. Generations of patriotic Americans have fought and died for that freedom. We owe it to them to not sit idly by and allow Clinton to take it away.