At a rally yesterday (August 9) at Trask Coliseum in Wilmington, N.C., Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested that gun rights advocates could use their weapons of choice to stop his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. And, by the way, if she gets to pick her judges—nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people maybe there is, I don’t know,” Trump said in the speech, which you can read here.
Video—Trump: "If she gets to pick her judges —nothing you can do…Although the 2nd Amendment people maybe there is" https://t.co/eeofxE9qL4
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) August 9, 2016
The criticism was swift, as many felt he was encouraging his supporters to enact violence on Clinton. The former secretary of state’s campaign responded with a short, pointed statement via campaign manager Robby Mook: “This is simple—what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way.”
Many others also took issue with Trump’s rhetoric, including people whose lives have been rocked by gun violence:
.@realDonaldTrump might astound Americans on a routine basis, but we must draw a line between political speech & suggestions of violence.
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) August 9, 2016
As the daughter of a leader who was assassinated, I find #Trump‘s comments distasteful, disturbing, dangerous. His words don’t #LiveUp. #MLK
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) August 9, 2016
"The Second Amendment People" might take care of it. Mother of God.
— Jonathan Everitt (@jgeveritt) August 9, 2016
It’s absurd to think Trump was describing a post-election political maneuver he knows nothing about. He was talking about assassination.
— (((Touré))) (@Toure) August 10, 2016
People who keep saying maybe Trump was joking (journalists) seem to not understand what the structure of a joke is.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) August 10, 2016
Trump and his sycophants like Guiliani fail to realize (or don’t care) that even if he was joking, some lunatic will take it as an order.
— Anthony De Rosa (@Anthony) August 10, 2016
If Trump wasn’t GOP nominee, his comment might have earned him a visit from the Secret Service. #LockTrumpUp https://t.co/MoOX6dU26r
— (((AlanRosenblatt))) (@DrDigiPol) August 10, 2016
In fact, the Secret Service did acknowledge Trump’s comment, via this tweet:
The Secret Service is aware of the comments made earlier this afternoon.
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) August 9, 2016
Trump’s campaign responded to the criticism via a statement titled “Trump Campaign Statement on Dishonest Media”:
It’s called the power of unification—2nd 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.
And Trump himself hopped on Twitter to attack media for reporting on his speech:
Media desperate to distract from Clinton’s anti-2A stance. I said pro-2A citizens must organize and get out vote to save our Constitution!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2016