Donald Trump drew criticism Tuesday for seeming to imply that "Second Amendment people" could employ an appropriate strategy for making sure Hillary Clinton doesn’t have her way with Supreme Court nominations should she become president. Speaking to an audience in Wilmington, North Carolina, Trump said his supporters could use the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution to defend that very same amendment.
If you’re unsure what exactly the Second Amendment says, read on to see the full text and meaning of the passage. It’s not very long — just a sentence of 27 words — but it is one of the most controversial pieces of the Constitution in modern American politics. Broadly speaking, the amendment ensures the right of Americans to have firearms and there are various interpretations as to what the words mean.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump said Tuesday. “By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” Trump continued, before pausing. “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
The interpretation of Trump’s words themselves may rely on a technicality that could easily be argued endlessly if it were found in the Constitution. The Trump campaign quickly released a statement saying that “2nd Amendment people” — no comma, meaning a group of people who support the amendment — could stop Clinton from naming her own nominees.
Others, noting the hypothetical situation Trump was describing would come after voting had taken place in November, say Trump was advocating a violent response to Clinton’s attempts to run the executive office as president. The Clinton campaign itself called Trump’s comments dangerous.
Here’s the text of the Second Amendment:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”