The media is following the Clinton line that this remark by Trump was an "apparent Clinton assassination threat." Possibly that is how it sounds to them because they don't understand the 2nd Amendment community at all. The same community that produces these journalists produces the EEOC workers who can misinterpret the Gadsden flag as having something to do with racism, for example. They really don't seem to get what we're doing here, and so they think that the flag somehow must be a coded signal for white animosity -- rather than a clear and obvious signal that the government had better respect its constitutional limits and stop treading on our traditional freedoms.
Likewise, in decades of hanging around 2nd Amendment folks, going to gun shows, shooting, and so forth, I've never heard anyone argue that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to protect the capacity to assassinate one's political opponents. Such a claim would be obviously false and easy to reject, for one thing. Yet perhaps the press -- and Clinton herself, who hates hunters as well as other kinds of gun owners, and who refuses to admit that the 2nd Amendment protects any constitutional right at all -- really doesn't understand what we're talking about to such a degree that they think this is a plausible reading. There are three hundred million guns in America legally owned by tens of millions of Americans, who are taken together one of the most law abiding communities in the country. It is absurd to think that they are a nest of murderers. If that were true, you'd know it: after all, there are tens of millions of us with 300,000,000 guns. Yet gun violence is at historic lows, and two thirds of it are suicides and almost the whole of the rest conducted by guns that are not lawfully owned.
What the 2nd Amendment people endorse is the idea that the 2nd Amendment protects the capacity for a second American revolution. Now, you might say: "Revolutions are even more violent than assassinations! What kind of people would endorse revolution as a solution to political problems?"
Well, Bernie Sanders talked about it all last year. In fact, "time for a revolution!" is a standard line on the left. So let's not pretend that suggesting a revolution is somehow beyond the pale in American politics.
When we do it, we are thinking of the same people who gave us the Culpepper and Gadsden flags, as well as the Plattsburg flag, as well as the American flag.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.You can't argue against that without arguing against the whole American project. It is obviously legitimate to overthrow the government if it betrays its mission -- indeed, its sole legitimate purpose -- of securing the unalienable rights of the People.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Clinton has openly said that she intends to appoint justices who will restrict first amendment rights, both in terms of Citizens United and in terms of religious liberty and free association. She has made fairly clear her intention to infringe upon 2nd Amendment rights, which she does not even recognize as legitimate rights at all. It is striking that a woman so frequently proven to be willing to say anything at all to get elected cannot even bring herself to say that the 2nd Amendment protects a real right. We regard her as the enemy of our rights for good reason. She, by her own admission at the first Democratic debate, regards both the NRA and the Republican party as her "enemies."
Whether ignorance or malice motivates them, her faction had better learn to hear this message clearly. We have heard them clearly enough, and the long train of abuses grows longer by the day. They have elected to turn the law into a weapon against us, and a shield to protect their own from prosecution for obvious and provable crimes. They cannot now hide behind an appeal to the majesty of the law, not those who have done so much to undermine our faith in its legitimacy. The only question remains just how much longer the train must grow before the American people decide that "it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such a Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
And that is the most American of questions.