“If she [Hillary Clinton] gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do [about your right to bear arms], folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”
What to make of this suggestion? It is a tad cryptic but most understood that Trump was actually suggesting violence against Mrs. Clinton and/or Supreme Court Judges who would oppose the right to bear arms.
Mrs. Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, expressed disbelief. “Nobody who is seeking a leadership position, especially the presidency, the leadership of the country, should do anything to countenance violence, and that’s what he was saying,” Mr. Kaine said in Austin, Tex. He called Mr. Trump’s remark “a window into the soul of a person who is just temperamentally not suited to the task.”
And Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which has endorsed Mrs. Clinton, said Mr. Trump’s statement was “repulsive — literally using the Second Amendment as cover to encourage people to kill someone with whom they disagree.”
“For Trump, violence has become a standard talking point, a common punch line, and even a campaign strategy,” Mr. Gross said.
Paul D. Ryan, the Republican House speaker who has had a tense relationship with Mr. Trump, told reporters on Tuesday night that the remarks sounded “like a joke gone bad.”
He added: “You should never joke about that. I hope he clears it up quickly.”
Former CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden says if anyone else had made a similar comment that Donald Trump did about the “Second Amendment people” stopping Hillary Clinton, they would be questioned by the Secret Service.
A Secret Service spokesman said that the agency was “aware of the comments”.