Trump’s ‘Second Amendment people’ remark is way, way beyond the pale

Donald’s Trump little experiment with civilized conduct didn’t last long. He’s now calling for the assassination of Hillary Clinton.

OK, you might call that an exaggeration. I would not. You might say he didn’t mean it, or not literally, or whatever you might want to say. But it’s so, so far beyond the pale to say anything even remotely encouraging to would-be assassins.

In case you haven’t heard about it yet, today, in Wilmington, North Carolina, in trying to warn his audience of the horrors that a Clinton presidency might impose upon our great nation, he said:

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” and then, as the audience started to boo the horrible fate that would await them, he added: “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

The Second Amendment, I suspect you know, is the right to keep and bear arms. What is that people who bear arms might be able to do to prevent a President Clinton from appointing judges that non-Second Amendment people can’t do?

Give me a break.

Trump’s spokesman Jason Miller, and wouldn’t you love to have his job, came to the rescue with this explanation:

Second 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.

Yeah, right.

Is this a new low? It’s hard to tell, considering some of what’s gone before. Maybe First Amendment people need to speak, and pray, and assemble, and publish, and petition the government to do something about it.

Here’s the full text of the speech that contained the remark, and in which he said of Clinton:

 if she gets elected, she will cause the destruction of this country from within. Remember that. Remember that.

And one more Wednesday morning addition: New York Times columnist (and Minnesota native) Thomas Friedman tales the occasion of Trump’s statement to review the analogous incitement by various leaders of the Israeli right that contributed to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by a lone gunman who believed it was necessary to save his country.

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Comments (16)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/09/2016 - 05:08 pm.


    Seems to me I’ve heard people have posted far less suggestive things on Facebook and found themselves visited by the Secret Service or the FBI. But I guess it’s a different rule for those in a presidential race (remember Sarah Palin’s crosshairs on the Democrats she was targeting?).

  2. Submitted by Jim Million on 08/09/2016 - 06:12 pm.

    Aye, the rub for the meat of the matter:

    Most (not all) Second Amendment people are backed by First Amendment people.

  3. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/09/2016 - 06:31 pm.

    The second amendment

    Which states:
    “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
    has, for must of the history of this republic been interpreted as maintaining the right of the States (as opposed to the Federal Government) to raise and arm military groups. Thus, it refers to “the people’, not to “individuals”.
    This interpretation held until the Roberts court reinterpreted the amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 08/09/2016 - 10:02 pm.

      So Hillary is safe

      Thank you for clarifying and not painting 2nd Amendment folks with the wide brush.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/10/2016 - 10:26 am.

      In Other Words . . .

      What Trump must have meant was that, when President Hillary Clinton exercises her power to appoint federal judges, Trump supporters everywhere are going to rush out and join the National Guard.

      That makes about as much sense as anything the man has said this year.

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 08/10/2016 - 12:16 pm.


      My English Comp./Grammar/Syntax studies do give me a very clear view of “the State” as opposed to “the people” as used in the Constitution. When the authors mean “State,” they give us that. When they mean “people,” we read that. Having a strong relationship with British English, I read much of that in the writing of our Founders, as well. In an era when traditional writing tended to capitalize nouns, often indicating an amalgamation or collective body, we may infer that lower case nouns generally did not.

      Somewhere along the judicial trails and trials, “the people” seems to have become construed to be “the People,” meaning “the State.” If so, that’s tortured contrivance in my view, at least. There are also extant arguments that “Individual” does not mean a single human person. Given the authors’ very close care (and contentious discussion) in drafting of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, I prefer to read the authors in the meaning of that day as much as possible. [Note: In law we read both “person” and “people,” to delineate legal entities from humans, where more than one “person” is conventionally stated as “persons,” not “people.”]

      The Real Deal:

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/11/2016 - 09:33 am.


        The Constitution uses the term “person” when it clearly is referring to a single individual:
        ” No person shall be a Representative….”
        If they really meant the Second Amendment to refer to an individual’s right to possess weapons, they would say something like ‘no person’s right to own or carry a firearm shall be abridged….’
        “The People” is clearly a collective noun.

        • Submitted by Jim Million on 08/12/2016 - 11:28 pm.


          Took it as common understanding “person” is singular of “people.” Just noting the differentiation in legal person/persons.

          You concisely capture the longstanding debate of 2nd Amendment meaning/application. Could one unitary family be a “militia,” especially given the lack of shared protection in their “neck of the woods”?

  4. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/09/2016 - 10:53 pm.

    The only question is

    why the Secret Service personnel present didn’t immediately take Trump into custody for endangering the life of a presidential candidate.

  5. Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/10/2016 - 08:26 am.

    He’s trying to wear us down

    I just read this very interesting piece:

    The author makes a lot of good points, but for me, here is the one sentence that captures a critical premise of the article:

    “It is difficult to renew outrage day after day.”

    Trump just keeps saying these outlandish (and sometimes bordering on illegal) things and we keep jumping up and saying “He can’t do that!”, but he does, and nothing happens, and another day comes bringing the next outrageous thing.

    Nothing happens, and it gets fatiguing.

    And I think that’s what he’s counting on.

    Sadly, of course – short of someone in a position of legal authority deciding he’s finally crossed a line and filing some sort of charges against him – the only “thing that can happen” to stop him is to make sure he’s not elected by electing Clinton.

    And we have to wait all the way to November for that to happen.

    Yes, it gets exhausting and discouraging.

  6. Submitted by Steven James Beto on 08/10/2016 - 08:47 am.

    When irresponsibility becomes culpability

    It doesn’t matter what Mr. Trump’s intentions were. What matters is what a reasonable person might infer, and in this case, what a deranged mind might also infer. Recall Sarah Pallin’s rifle scope patterns and the Gabby Gifford tragedy. That the Republican Party refuses to unendorse Mr. Trump makes them culpable as well.

  7. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 08/10/2016 - 09:00 am.

    I Don’t Get It

    In 2010 conservatives loved Tom Emmer. They said that he was like a typical politician, and he says what’s on his mind. Then he said that bartenders make $100K/year so there is no need to raise the minimum wage.

    Oh, the outrage! His backers said he was taken out of context, he didn’t really mean it the way it sounded. Odd, since they said his unfiltered style was what endeared him to them.

    It’s similar with Trump. I’m told he’s not “politically correct”, he “says what’s on his mind”. And yet his supporters make excuses for him when he suggests something outrageous and he pulls back.

    So, which is it? Do his supporters want us to take him at his word or not?

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 08/10/2016 - 11:09 am.

      Excellent Point, Frank

      One significant 2016 difference is the choice of a highly-edited speaker or a fundamentally non-edited one.
      In speaking/listening jargon, Trump emits far too much “noise,” so that what might be realistic and even sensible proposals (debatable, of course) are not easily received by audiences, but easily scorned by opponents and gleefully grabbed by media marketers.

      Unlike most public figures (some we know to the extreme), Trump seems to have no self-editing ability. Unless his children put him up against that wall of reality, he will simply reinforce his rapidly growing negative image all the way into November.

      Frankly, I’m quite intrigued by his dedication to “loose cannon” tactics that fire shots all over the field of battle, even far outside the zone. One can only want to believe he has some heavy ordinance to lay down come September-October. So far, one must truly believe he has none in reserve.

      No candidate of my adult life has ever made Democrats look so enticing, as has Trump. Given all that, HRC is still not all that far in the lead. A truly good DNC candidate would probably be ahead at least 15 points by now. [but I haven’t checked yet this morning…]

  8. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/10/2016 - 03:31 pm.

    Donald Trump is terrorizing a huge swath of Americans who, like me, have never heard any candidate for national office advocate assassination of his opponent and incite to mob violence (“Kill her! Kill her!”). He is creating a nightmare America with his every utterance in a rally or interview or by tweet.

    I can’t fathom the kind of person who would support him for President of our country.

  9. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/10/2016 - 07:12 pm.

    ” A truly good DNC candidate….”

    facing a truly good GOP candidate would not have a double digit lead.

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