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Debating intent, meaning, consequences of Trump's 'Second Amendment' remark




Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the audience during a campaign event at Trask Coliseum on August 9, 2016 in Wilmington, North Carolina. This was Trump's first visit to Southeastern North Carolina since he entered the presidential race.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the audience during a campaign event at Trask Coliseum on August 9, 2016 in Wilmington, North Carolina. This was Trump's first visit to Southeastern North Carolina since he entered the presidential race.
Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is blaming faulty interpretations and media bias for an uproar over his comments about the Second Amendment.

He's insisting he never advocated violence against Hillary Clinton, even as undeterred Democrats pile on. Trump made the remarks at a rally in North Carolina yesterday.

Claiming that Clinton wants to revoke the right to gun ownership guaranteed in the Constitution's Second Amendment, Trump said there would be "nothing you can do," if she's elected, to stop her from stacking the Supreme Court with anti-gun justices. Then he added ambiguously: "Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is - I don't know. But I'll tell you what: that will be a horrible day."

Was Trump making an off-color joke? Was he suggesting gun owners take matters into their own hands if Clinton wins the White House? Or was he musing about the influence of the gun lobby? If so, wouldn't that undercut his argument that there's "nothing you can do" about gun-control judges?

How should Hillary Clinton's campaign react to the comment - exploit it or let it play out? Former CIA Director Michael Hayden suggested Trump could be arrested for the comments. How does that square with that other Constitutional Amendment?

With files from the Associated Press.

Guests:

Paris Dennard, Republican political analyst and former staffer for President George W. Bush and the Republican National Committee

Tamara Draut, Vice President of Policy at Demos - a public policy organization focused on equity; Author of the brand new book, “Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America” (Doubleday; April 2016)

Eugene Volokh, constitutional law professor, UCLA School of Law, where he specializes in the First Amendment