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Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in Featured, Guns, Politics | 24 comments

Bill Clinton is Wrong

via Red State

WASHINGTON – It hardly matters, but I seriously doubt Bill Clinton knows squat about guns. I understand the culture he’s talking about, because I live amidst it too, especially considering to whom I’m married (a firearms expert, though not by profession). It also doesn’t matter that Mr. Clinton likely doesn’t own a gun or know how to shoot one either. What does matter, however, is his clear opportunism in using this moment to provide right wingers with a perfect sound bite that begins “Even Bill Clinton says…” Clinton’s main goal is to provide cover for conservative Democrats in NRA areas. Just maybe he’s also thinking about Hillary in 2016.

“Do not patronize the passionate supporters of your opponents by looking down your nose at them,” Clinton said. “A lot of these people live in a world very different from the world lived in by the people proposing these things,” Clinton said. “I know because I come from this world.” – Bill Clinton to Democrats: Don’t trivialize gun culture

The rifle shown here that Virginia Democrat Delegate Joe Morissey is holding [h/t RedState], with his finger stupidly on the trigger, is a Brady Bill approved AK-47 in all respects, because it doesn’t have a pistol grip. To be blunt, a person could still shoot and kill as many people with a Brady Bill approved weapon.

Banning assault weapons is not what people think it is. First, you can’t ban assault weapons, because even the Brady Bill approved AK-47 style weapon above can be outfitted with a 30-round magazine even in the face of a ban. That’s because there are so many of the high-capacity magazines around that anyone is able to get them. The way the weapon looks is all you’re changing. Additionally, the importing of assault rifles from other countries is not banned.

The restrictions is on how the gun looks, the cosmetics, not the weapon itself and what it actually does.

The biggest reason why Clinton’s comments are not only patronizing, but condescending, is that they’re also a straw man argument, because no one on the Democratic side is “looking down their nose” at gun owners and I bet Bill Clinton knows this. His opportunistic scolding is for purely political gain, which takes the attention away from where it needs to be and where the majority of Americans want it.

As a gun owning family, I don’t need Mr. Clinton or any other Democrat, certainly not one brandishing an AK-47, using this moment to scold people like myself who are demanding universal background checks, as well as serious consideration on banning high-capacity clips, not to mention putting the spine back in the ATF and gun laws.

Former President Bill Clinton is insulting those of us who own guns and also know the flagrant manner in which the NRA is torturing gun laws and the Second Amendment. The former president is posturing in a manner meant to deliver a Sister Souljah moment to his own, which only comes off as tone deaf to people who know anything about the gun issue.

President Obama and his administration are doing exactly what is required, with V.P. Joe Biden’s leadership pitch perfect, with no Democrat making light of people who are part of the gun culture of this country, my family included. We wouldn’t support them if they were.

Shame on Bill Clinton.

Taylor Marsh, is a veteran political analyst, a former Huffington Post contributor, Broadway babe and talk radio dabbler, and is the author of The Hillary Effect, available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. Her new-media magazine covers national politics, women, foreign policy, and culture.

TM Note: This piece has been clarified to include that my husband is a firearms expert.

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Copyright 2013 The Moderate Voice
  • dduck

    If the point is that Clinton’s remark gives cover to democrats that happen to “favor” the present lax control of guns, I partially understand and agree with you that it might give a sound bite to pro gunners. However, I don’t come from “there” so I don’t see why you assume BC doesn’t know anything about guns or the culture, and wasn’t what he said true, i.e, that we shouldn’t look down our nose at pro gunners, of which I am NOT, btw.

    The looking down the nose part has always bothered me when Dems do it on practically every issue that they hold an opposite opinion on, even here on TMV. Just because we don’t agree with them doesn’t automatically mean we are either demented or evil and as a result are all painted with the same broad brush stroke of derision. That’s why I like what BC said even though it may be spun to give cover to some and ammunition (sorry) for the NRA and fellow travelers.

    Anyway, sorry for the LONG diatribe (I hate them), and I am not criticizing as much as seeking enlightenment.

  • ShannonLeee

    I think it is a fair warning about tone.

    When it comes to not teaching evolution…I dont care about tone. I would rather find a way to project myself above those people just so I can look down my nose at them.

    When it comes to owning guns, which is a basic legal right in the USA…we need to watch our tone in these discussions. We are not better than those people that believe every person has the right to a machine gun. We just view the basic right of gun ownership different.

    …we are better than those people that attend the creation museum. 🙂

  • Like dduck, I’ve never been a fan of derogatory words and accusations of hidden motives, no matter who’s doing it. I think Clinton was trying to raise the dialog level a little bit.

  • sheknows

    Well, it is a clash of cultures. I am certain that life in Arkansas is very different from life in New Jersey for example.
    Bill IS wrong. It is not the rural,southern, hunting culture that is looked down upon Bill. No one is saying that. It is the fact that urban dwellers in New Jersey,Miami,New York etc. have 2x as many guns or more, and what are they hunting?

  • brcarthey

    TM, as a gun owner, why don’t you (and others like you) speak out about the NRA’s “torturing of gun laws and the Second Amendment”? You have a platform as do many others like you. However, I feel like the only ones we hear from are NRA disciples and NRA-funded politicians.

    Though I don’t own one (and most in my family don’t as well), I come from a state where it’s purported that there are 7-8 guns per person. Those that do own a gun strictly have hunting rifles. I have never had a problem with hunting rifles or handguns. Like me, they don’t understand the assault weapons argument or the need for high capacity magazines/clips. However, they aren’t very vocal and certainly rarely get involved in online discussion forums. So, unfortunately it’s left up to people, such as yourself, who see the NRA for what it really has become under Mr. LaPierre’s leadership.

  • When I wrote Why Liberals Make Me Crazy , it began with this:

    Every time I find myself discussing something with a liberal an involuntary shudder courses through my body.

    Among the annoying aspects of the liberal demeanor is the utter inability to recognize how annoying they are.

    What I was referring to is exactly what Bill Clinton was talking about – the nose in the air, pinkie extended, wine sipping, holier than thou attitude trotted out by liberals on every subject under discussion.

    Look, Liberals! There’s a reason gun rights advocates think you want to take away their guns. Liberals are constantly telling everyone else what they should and shouldn’t do. Ever hear of political correctness (what you can and can’t say)? The food police (what you can and can’t eat)? The ACA (whether you have the freedom to choose whether or not to have health insurance)? They call you nanny-staters for a reason.

    Without putting too fine a point on it, Bill Clinton is right. There is a price to looking down your nose at others; there is a visceral reaction to being treated like a troglodite. Get out of the organic foods aisle and see what the rest of the world eats.

  • brcarthey

    Liberals are constantly telling everyone else what they should and shouldn’t do.

    yeah! conservatives never do that! LOL!

  • brcarthy,

    You might enjoy the companion piece, Why Conservatives Make Me Crazy . It begins with this,

    “Finally by way of preamble let me say to any conservatives who may read this: yes, I know you’re right about everything and to the extent that I disagree with you about anything I will be wrong as a matter of immutable doctrine.”

    Partisans are so much more alike than either side will ever understand. The principal difference is the extended pinkie off a wine glass stem versus the full throttle grip on a beer bottle. My view.

  • dduck

    ES, LOL at both sides, me and you included.

  • I’ll also have to add: there’s a lot of people (a growing number, in fact) who aren’t full Democrats or full Republicans. Saying “but the other guys do it too!” doesn’t resonate as well with them. Rudeness and stupidity should be shunned, no matter who is doing it.

  • brcarthey

    Partisans are so much more alike than either side will ever understand. The principal difference is the extended pinkie off a wine glass stem versus the full throttle grip on a beer bottle.”

    very, very true!! my apologies for thinking you were placing your thumb on the scale of one side of the argument.

  • ordinarysparrow

    When i read Bill Clinton’s post on gun debate, really felt he got it right, and that he spoke things that my rural family would listen without putting up a defense. Overall they feel the rest of the country does look down their noses at rural America. They often feel stereotyped; ignorant, unskilled, and poor.

    Also, TM i have a friend, an Elder in one of the Native tribal groups in Oklahoma, he and BC have a kin connection. This Elder has shared times of BC and him going hunting in Oklahoma and Arkansas and also times of being on the campaign trail with the young Bill Clinton. Not for sure it is fair to discount Bill as not having at least a rudiment of gun knowledge, and growing up in Hope was rather rural and conservative.

    You are a great writer, just respectfully disagree with you on this one…and i like reading your posts…:)

  • sheknows

    Where are those extended pinkies coming from? The family of 5 living on $60k a year? Is the beer bottle grip coming from the corporate headquarters of bailed out banks or Mitt Romneys’european home? Careful about generalization. 🙂
    If the fact that Democrats oppose most things the Reps do on moralistic grounds, you would be correct.
    Republicans fought bitterly against social security, medicare, labor laws and reforms, unions, womens vote, civil rights,…just about every social movement to improve the human condition in this country.
    I am sure it is just coincidence that 90% of Congressional Reps are against gun control legislation and fear the 2nd amendment is in jeopardy and that it is a “superiority” complex that forces Dems to speak out now.

  • sheknows,

    Last week, while in Arizona on business, I had lunch with fellow TMV writer Marc Pascal, he of ranting fame. Marc and I do not agree on everything…far from it…and we discuss subjects where we disagree. But, the most important part of our three hour lunch discussion was about our families and what was happening in our and their lives.

    The key, at least to me, is that friendship and respect, such as that between Marc and I,is premised on not getting one’s nose too high in the air. Listening to the other point of view with respect, not with disdain or an eye to rebuttal before hearing what is said, matters in life. It is a part of life that partisans would do well to emulate. Just my view. And of course I am as guilty as any, and all too often.

    Btw, I do disagree that “just about every social movement to improve the human condition in this country” was bitterly fought by Republicans. Without Republican votes, the civil rights successes of the 1960’s would have been crushed by southern Democrats. The Progressives who were led by Teddy Roosevelt were Republicans too…as was A. Lincoln who did a small bit of social good. Don’t mean to be snotty about it. Just want to keep the history clean.

    Oh, Edit to Add: It was a Republican who wrote Roe V. Wade, and much of the social justice agenda that came from the Supreme Court in the 50’s and 60’s was led by former governor Earl Warren (R-CA).

  • The_Ohioan

    Well said, Elijah.

    Again, I wish people would say the GOP or the radical right or the Republican leadership instead of bashing Republicans in general; many of which are our friends here, are not radical and are as distressed at the way the party has been run recently as any of us are. I don’t hesitate to look down on the Tea Party, however, not with a lifted nose but with a nose with a clothespin on it. 🙂

  • sheknows

    You are correct. Civil rights act was due to Rep. votes because of southern Dems. ( don’t have many of those left) 🙂
    If this is the same Republican party that existed back in TR’s day, than I stand fully corrected. I wasn’t around then. I know that since I have been around and interested in politics I haven’t seen a whole lot of positivity coming from the right.
    So, call me partisan…get out the thumb screws… what can I say. But I too, happen to have friends on the other side, however…they are not at all like the typical Republicans you hear in the news.

  • dduck

    SK, the people in the news, Reps or Dems are not typical, they are caricatures. Your friends are the real ones.

  • ordinarysparrow

    dduck… agree… very few from the left or right or in between fit in the boxes … in the face to face, i find people to be less divisive and more open to be honorable to each other in the differences and to know we have to compromise to get things done…

    The chattering crowd, which probably includes many of us on any given day, is more like an audience in the Rocky Horror Picture Show….

  • ShannonLeee

    I was taught a simple lesson.

    It is not what you say, but how you say it.

    I now know better.

    It is what you say and it is how you say it.


  • The_Ohioan

    Well said, dd.

  • zusa1

    This is a great thread.

  • zephyr

    Elijah points out that republicans have contributed to improving the human condition in this country. This is true but we have to go back decades and further to find worthwhile examples. The Character of the GOP has changed significantly since then.

  • The_Ohioan



  • zusa1

    It’s looking past labels at humans and touches on some things both sides might be doing wrong in their approach.

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