Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON
A new attack ad from the National Rifle Association falsely claims that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton “disagrees” with the proposition that “every woman has a right to defend herself with a gun if she chooses.”
The ad is false because Clinton has repeatedly said that she favors law-abiding gun ownership -- for men and women alike -- and that she supports the Second Amendment while also calling for measures to prevent dangerous people from accessing weapons. Fact-checkers have ripped a previous false ad that claimed Clinton “doesn’t believe in your right to keep a gun at home for self-defense.”
According to Politico, the NRA plans to spend $6.5 million on the new ad, its largest ad buy of the 2016 presidential race. The NRA has endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and Politico reports that the gun group is “one of the only outside groups spending money on airtime in support of his candidacy.”
The October 5 ad features Kristi McMains, a woman who shot a man after he tried to rob and stab her during a January attack. In the ad, McMains says, “Every woman has a right to defend herself with a gun if she chooses. Hillary Clinton disagrees with that. Don’t let politicians take away your right to own a gun. Donald Trump supports my right to own a gun.” The NRA’s release of the ad comes as the gun organization is under fire for victim-shaming and ridiculing Kim Kardashian West after she was robbed at gunpoint.
The inaccurate claim in the ad echoes prior NRA attack ads on Clinton. A September NRA ad depicted a woman whose home is being invaded as a narrator says, “Hillary Clinton could take away her right to self-defense.” An August NRA ad claimed Clinton “doesn’t believe in your right to keep a gun at home for self-defense,” a false claim debunked by multiple independent fact-checkers.
Clinton’s campaign website says she “knows that gun ownership is part of the fabric of many law-abiding communities.”
And in recent months, Clinton has repeatedly said that Second Amendment rights should be protected while she advocated for expanding background checks on gun sales and other measures. She has also explained that you can call for stronger gun laws “and still support the right of people to own guns.” (According to PolitiFact, Clinton’s legal view of the Second Amendment appears similar to the Bush administration's position of “recognizing the right but allowing reasonable curtailment.”)
During her speech at the Democratic National Convention, Clinton said, “I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.”
In May, PolitiFact rated the claim that Clinton “wants to abolish the Second Amendment” false, finding “no evidence of Clinton ever saying verbatim or suggesting explicitly that she wants to abolish the Second Amendment” and noting that “the bulk of Clinton’s comments suggest the opposite.”