The Second Amendment and the 2016 Presidential Race

The Second Amendment and the 2016 Presidential Race

The Second Amendment and the 2016 Presidential Race

The 2016 presidential election has developed a number of flashpoints and spawned a lot of ugly discussions, yet the Second Amendment remains conspicuous in its absence from both mainstream campaign talking points and the debates. Trump’s voiced some nicely unspecific support for the right to keep and bear arms, generally while discussing some other issue, and Hillary Clinton has occasionally fallen back on worn-out talking points from elections past: gun-show loopholes, online loopholes, “too many military-style weapons on our streets.”

To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan: there they go again.

So what are we—the rank and file of American gun ownership—to make of all this? What should we do? And what might be coming our way in 2017 when the new administration takes charge?

Well, first of all, don’t panic. Panic never helps, and panic buying in particular just fuels more panic buying. Keep a cool head, and continue stocking what you need as time and budget allow. Likewise, don’t become that person ranting about “they’re comin’ for our guns” ever time the election comes up in conversation. Many of us feel strongly about this—I know I do—but we need to put our best foot forward and continue to build support for our cause.

So that having been said, here’s my checklist for the time building up to the election:

Make plans for Election Day

Double and triple check that you’re registered, that you know for sure where your polling place is, and that you have transportation/ID/time off from work, etc when its time to drop a ballot. Your voice and vote counts, so make sure you can drop a ballot.

Do Your Research

As with anything, do your research. Not just for the presidential election, either. Your Senator, Congressional Representatives, state representatives, governors, and local reps all shape legislation on a host of important issues—including the Second Amendment. Know what you’re voting for.

Get Involved

Get involved on the local level. Find candidates you like and canvas for them. Get together with your local gun club and politely educate folks on Second Amendment issues. Take some non-shooters to the range and introduce them to the freedoms we enjoy . Just reaching out and listening to what folks have to say can be a big step toward getting them on board. Be polite, be friendly, keep an open mind, and stay engaged.

Make Your Voice Heard

Let your reps and candidates know how important these issues are to you. It makes more of a difference than you might think, particularly on the state and local level.

Now let’s move to the elephant in the room: What’s going to happen after this election? Well, barring something truly unexpected and ugly, I strongly suspect that life will proceed on apace. Neither likely winner will be a particularly effective president, due to opposition from Congress and the many competing state-level lobbies. However, we need to remember that this isn’t a final victory for us: we need to stay vigilant and we need to keep tracking legislation and lobbying for the causes we believe in. Our rights, including the Second Amendment, are under constant pressure and we need to keep fighting the good fight. 

Those are just my thoughts, and I’m sure that y’all have ideas to share. Please reach out via email or jump into the discussion in the comments section. All I ask is that you remain respectful of each other. 

Until then, stay safe out there.

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Michael Jenkins is a writer and editor based in Wilmington, North Carolina. He is a lifelong reader, gardener, shooter, and musician. You can reach him at
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Clark Kent

The author forgets the Second Amendment is ONE Supreme Court justice away from being obliterated. And POTUS HiLIARy will nominate at least one justice. And his comments regarding panic buying are just wishful thinking. P.S. ‘They’ ARE coming for your firearms, period.

Jim Lagnese

So we know who not to vote for.


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Jim Lagnese

I wish there was a way to send 5000vac at 500 amps your way. You people waste your time and ours.

John F Nice Jr

Hillary has gone on the record that gun legislation (read that confiscation) will be top priority if she gets elected. She believes the United States should follow the Australian model. Do Not for one minute think she is not going to attack our 2nd Amendment rights. She has for decades been anti-2nd Amendment, anti-Christian, anti-freedom and all about making the United States over into a European style country. I’m sorry, Clark Kent, but you appear to have gotten a dose of Krypton which has severely affected your perception.

Clark Kent

John: It is ‘kryptonite’, not ‘krypton’. And I agree with you 100%. Next time put down your crack pipe before posting; it messes with your (incorrect) perceptions.


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@John F. Nice, Jr. . . . John you seem to be going after Clark Kent’s posting when in fact he is spot on correct in what he said. The two of you seem to actually be on the same page in support of our gun rights, so why take shots at him. This is NOT a time for gun owners to start slamming one another. Sad to say, but it looks like Hillary just may win this and we are going to need every single Second Amendment advocate to remain strong. We have all got to vote Trump and even more importantly vote as conservative as you can for every member of Congress so that we can at least block the slash and burn proposals she is about to attempt toward all our conservative positions.

Tim Pearce

I want to emphasize the last point. Write letters to them. Call them. Go visit them, if at all possible.
However (and this is a very important part of this!), always keep your tone calm and your statements rational and well-reasoned. Absolutely zero threats or threatening statements, including things like, “you won’t get re-elected if….” Absolutely zero insults or slurs.
Further, I don’t mean a few of you. Every. Single. Gun owner. 100+ million of us.
I don’t mean once an election cycle. Once a month would be good.
Further, our expectations should be higher than just prevention of new gun control. Ask them to repeal unconstitutional gun laws. Give them suggestions. On “big” things, like the National Firearms Act, suggest removing the fangs from it as a first step. Ten years in prison for putting a piece of plastic on an AR-15 pistol, regardless of if you used the gun in a crime, is well outside of rational. It’s a paperwork error. Charge the person a $500 fine and be done with it.


I think it goes like this:
As so eloquently stated by the great progressive socialist governor of the great progressive socialist state of NY Andrew Cuomo – “NO ONE NEEDS TEN BULLETS TO KILL A DEER!”

Next we can derive:

So the second amendment is outdated, and no longer necessary.