In a sense, I actually think she’s right. Guns, in and of themselves, won’t do a whole lot. They need to be carried, handled, and used by good, knowledgeable, and responsible citizens in order for them to do any good. Having a large arsenal in one’s basement – while useful in some ways – won’t contribute much to the overall safety of a society. CNS News reported:
Debate moderator Martha Raddatz noted that Clinton, in the wake of the San Bernardino attack, repeated her call for gun control: “But our latest poll shows that more Americans believe arming people, not stricter gun laws, is the best defense against terrorism. Are they wrong?” Raddatz asked Clinton.
“Well, I think you have to look at both the terrorism challenge that we face abroad and certainly at home, and the role that guns play in delivering the violence that stalks us,” Clinton replied.
“Clearly, we have to have a very specific set of actions to take. You know, when Senator Sanders talks about a coalition, I agree with him about that. We’ve got to build a coalition abroad. We also have to build a coalition at home. Abroad, we need a coalition that is going to take on ISIS. I know how hard that is. I know it isn’t something you just hope people will do and I’ve worked on that–“
“Secretary Clinton, can we stick to gun control?” Raddatz interrupted.
“I’m getting to that,” Clinton said. “Because I think if you only think about the coalition abroad you’re missing the main point, which is we need a coalition here at home. Guns, in and of themselves, in my opinion, will not make Americans safer. We lose 33,000 people a year already to gun violence, arming more people to do what I think is not the appropriate response to terrorism.”
Clinton said the right thing to do is to create “much deeper, closer relations and, yes, coalitions within our own country. The first line of defense against radicalization is in Muslim-American community. People who we should be welcoming and working with.
Lots of people these days are purchasing tons of guns and ammo. Gun sales are at a record high. There are an estimated 300 million guns in this country. But that certainly doesn’t mean that 300 million individual Americans are armed.
The key here is that in order for the “more guns, less crime” idea to work, good Americans need to be armed at all times wherever it’s legal. And I understand that the Constitution already recognizes that as a human right, but most states have some kind of restrictions (albeit unconstitutional) on carrying firearms that often disincentivize people from carrying out in public. Every state allows gun ownership, but that doesn’t mean people will want to carry outside their home, especially when law enforcement often severely frowns upon open and concealed carrying citizens.
Gun ownership – even when it’s at a record high – won’t prevent San Bernardino-type attacks. Gun ownership, coupled with doing away with gun-free zones, and creating an environment where responsible concealed carry is strongly encouraged is what will prevent gun violence.