In an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, former president Bill Clinton discussed a number of cultural topics including racism and the NRA’s pro-gun agenda.
When asked if they country was more racist now than in the past Clinton said, “I actually think we’re less racist, less sexist, less homophobic than we used to be.”
“I think our big problem today is we don’t want to be around anybody who disagrees with us,” he continued. “And I think that in some ways can be the worst silo of all to be held up in.”
Clinton addressed a number of high-profile cases such as the recent fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen that was killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Feb. 2012.
Clinton said the National Rifle Association’s pro-gun narrative, (The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun) has encouraged violence in the public square.
“I think we have enhanced the risks by changing the environment, basically, because it seems we bought the NRA’s theory that we would all be safer if everybody in this audience had a gun that was a concealed weapon,” the former president said.
“Then if one of them felt threatened by another, they could stand up right here and stand their ground,” he continued. “And we could watch the whole saga unfold. That is what happens.”
Of course, Clinton is wrong. The NRA’s pro-concealed carry agenda has not led to a material increase in crime. Over the past two decades concealed carry rights have greatly been expanded to the point where over 40 states have permissive shall-issue concealed carry laws and no state outright prohibits the practice. Illinois was the lone hold out until it was forced by a federal judge in 2013 to overturn it’s ban; Washington, D.C. is now undergoing a similar transition from complete ban to a may-issue standard. Meanwhile, over that same period of time property crime, violent crime and the homicide rate have all declined.
Bottom line, Clinton is sorely mistaken about the NRA. But that’s nothing new.
EDIT: Hey everyone! I mis-quoted the NRA’s narrative in the initial article which was causing you all some confusion. I apologize. I’ve now corrected it to reflect what NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in the past.