The establishment press is mostly ignoring what Hillary Clinton said about gun control at a New Hampshire town hall meeting on Friday morning. Searches on "Clinton Australia" (not in quotes), attempting to find her statement that a massive, coercive gun "buyback" such as that seen in the Land Down Under almost 20 years ago "would be worth considering doing it on the national level," indicate that the Associated Press has nothing, and that the New York Times web site has nothing. Related Google News results are overwhelmingly from center-right blogs and outlets.
Of the two exceptions I could find as of 10 p.m., one came from CNN. The other was a syndicated story from the New York Times which hadn't yet appeared at the Times's web site. Predictably, both are "conservatives attack" pieces which cherry-picked the NRA's criticism of Mrs. Clinton's remarks. A video and transcript of those remarks and excerpts from the CNN and Times writeups follow the jump.
Transcript (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The Australian government, as part of trying to clamp down on the availability of automatic weapons, offered a good price for buying hundreds of thousands of guns. And then they basically clamped down going forward, in terms of having more of a background check approach, more of a permitting approach. But they believe, and I think the evidence supports them, that by offering to buyback those guns, they were able to, you know, curtail the supply and to set a different standard for gun purchases in the future.
Now communities have done that in our country. Several communities have done gun buyback programs. But I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level, if that could be arranged. Remember I know after the terrible '08 financial crisis, one of the programs that President Obama was able to get in place was Cash for Clunkers. Remember that? You know, getting 'em off the road. It was partly a way to get people to buy new cars because we wanted more economic activity, and it was partly a way to get old models that were polluting too much sort of off the roads. So I think that’s worth considering. I do not know enough detail to tell you how we would do it, or how would it work, but certainly the Australian example is worth looking at.
In late 2012, an item at Reason.com's Hit and Run blog quoted historian Joyce Lee Malcolm about the lack of genuine success in Australia's and Great Britain's gun-control efforts:
Strict gun laws in Great Britain and Australia haven't made their people noticeably safer, nor have they prevented massacres. The two major countries held up as models for the U.S. don't provide much evidence that strict gun laws will solve our problems.
CNN's story focused mostly on the NRA's reaction to Mrs. Clinton's openness to the Australian effort:
NRA slams Hillary Clinton, claims she supports confiscating guns
The nation's largest gun organization unleashed a broadside against Hillary Clinton on Friday, charging that she supports confiscating Americans' guns.
Clinton, who has recently called out the National Rifle Association for its opposition to gun-control laws in the wake of the deadly college shooting in Oregon, said at a town hall in Keene, New Hampshire, that she was open to gun buyback programs, but did not endorse them.
"I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level if that could be arranged," she said in response to a question about Australia's nationwide buyback initiative that began in 1996.
That was enough to agitate the NRA, a powerful force in Washington that has successively suffocated recent attempts to limit gun ownership or manufacturing.
Hillary Clinton has promised to take on the National Rifle Association in aggressively pressing for gun-control measures that have eluded the Obama administration. On Friday, the powerful lobbying group gave her a fight.
It accused Clinton of supporting “gun confiscation” after she expressed interest in a buyback program that led to the elimination of the majority of Australia’s firearms.
At a town hall-style event in Keene, N.H., Clinton was asked whether she would consider the program, set up after a mass shooting, under which the Australian government bought back 650,000 guns and then imposed stricter purchase standards.
“I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level if that could be arranged,” Clinton said.
In a statement, Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist, said Clinton’s comments validated gun owners’ fears, and her “extreme views are completely out of touch with the American people.”
“The real goal of gun-control supporters is gun confiscation,” Cox said. “Hillary Clinton, echoing Obama’s recent remarks on the same issue, made that very clear.”
The NRA’s response could benefit Clinton as she contrasts her stance on guns with that of Sen. Bernie Sanders ...
It just wouldn't be a Times story without at least some "this may be good for Hillary" cheerleading.
CNN and the Times both "somehow" forgot to quote the key portions of the NRA's press release which detailed how Australia's and Great Britain's measures represented substantive confiscations:
The misnamed “buybacks” of Australia and Great Britain were nothing like the failed “cash for clunkers” program, which simply sought to update the cars Americans drove, not to ban them. They weren’t even comparable to local gun buybacks, which attempt to incentivize the voluntary surrender of guns that their owners are free in most cases to replace as they see fit.
No, the Australian and U.K. “buybacks” were merely an attempt to mollify firearm owners whose property had been declared contraband and subject to seizure. They were, to paraphrase Vito Corleone, an offer gun owners could not refuse. The owners had the “choice” to accept the money and turn the guns they had previously been forced to register (supposedly so they could keep them under grandfather provisions), or they could risk the government forcibly confiscating the guns and being sent to prison for possessing them (supposing, of course, that they survived the confiscation attempt itself).
If you own a gun now, take heed. President Obama and now Hillary Clinton finally made clear what they’re really after – national gun confiscation.
The logic is obvious:
- Hillary Clinton praised Australia's coercive, authoritarian "buyback" program.
- Australia's program was "confiscation for compensation."
- Therefore, Hillary Clinton would like to see the U.S. adopt "confiscation for compensation.
The establishment press clearly does not want the average American to know this.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.