During the final presidential debate on Wednesday night, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told another unbelievable whopper about the country’s gun laws. In her answer to a question about her views on gun rights, Clinton said she opposed the Supreme Court’s Heller decision, which recognized the constitutional right for individuals to own and carry firearms, because it was about whether toddlers should have guns.
Yes, she said that.
It’s a lie so absurd that I honestly don’t know where to begin, but I’ll give it a shot: No, the Heller decision was not about toddlers. It had nothing to do with toddlers. Nothing. It’s no coincidence that the word “toddler” doesn’t appear in either the majority or dissenting opinions in the case. Nor does the word “toddler” appear anywhere in the 110-page transcript of the case’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court. Because the case had absolutely nothing to do with toddlers.
Hillary just described Heller in a hilariously dishonest way.
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) October 20, 2016
The words “child” and “toddler” appear nowhere in either the Heller decision, or the dissent.
— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) October 20, 2016
I just don't even know where to begin with Hillary's claim that Heller was about toddlers' access to guns. I mean, what???
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) October 20, 2016
So what was the Heller case really about? It was about whether Dick Anthony Heller, a 66-year-old police officer, should be legally allowed to own and bear a personal firearm to defend himself and his family at home. That’s it. Here’s how the Supreme Court described the facts of the case:
District of Columbia law bans handgun possession by making it a crime to carry an unregistered firearm and prohibiting the registration of handguns; provides separately that no person may carry an unlicensed handgun, but authorizes the police chief to issue 1-year licenses; and requires residents to keep lawfully owned firearms unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device. Respondent Heller, a D. C. special policeman, applied to register a handgun he wished to keep at home, but the District refused. He filed this suit seeking, on Second Amendment grounds, to enjoin the city from enforcing the bar on handgun registration, the licensing requirement insofar as it prohibits carrying an unlicensed firearm in the home, and the trigger-lock requirement insofar as it prohibits the use of functional firearms in the home. The District Court dismissed the suit, but the D. C. Circuit reversed, holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess firearms and that the city’s total ban on handguns, as well as its requirement that firearms in the home be kept nonfunctional even when necessary for self-defense, violated that right.
No mention of toddlers. Because the case wasn’t about toddlers. It was about whether the District of Columbia’s “total ban on handguns” — the Supreme Court’s characterization of the law at issue in the case — was constitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that D.C.’s ban on handguns was unconstitutional and that Heller, a police officer, had a constitutional right to own and bear a firearm in his home. It had nothing whatsoever to do with toddlers.
If Clinton opposes an individual’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms to protect his or her family, she should just come out and say so instead of blatantly lying about the Supreme Court’s decision on the matter. But it gets better: after claiming that the Heller decision was all about toddlers, Hillary then claimed that the Constitution guarantees a right to partial-birth abortion, a practice that requires an abortionist to rip an unborn baby from the womb, stab or crush her skull, and then vacuum out her brains. Because Hillary Clinton’s top priority is protecting innocent children from violence.