Donald Trump's "Second Amendment People" Joke

Donald Trump's "Second Amendment People" Joke

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Updated Jul 30, 2020 at 08:42AM EDT by Y F.

Added Aug 10, 2016 at 01:31PM EDT by Adam.

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Donald Trump's "Second Amendment People" Joke refers to a joke the Republican presidential nominee made that seemed to suggest the only way to prevent Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton from "abolishing the Second Amendment" was assassinating her.


On August 9th, 2016, Donald Trump gave a speech in Wilmington, North Carolina where he tried to drum up support by insinuating that Hillary Clinton would abolish the Second Amendment that states Americans have the right to bear arms. While talking about the possibility of Hillary getting to put anti-gun judges on the Supreme Court, Trump appeared to jokingly encourage "Second Amendment people" to shoot Clinton.

“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment, and by the way, and if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks…Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I dunno.”


Shortly after the comment, many news outlets published articles interpreting it as a joke about assassinating Clinton, including Gawker,[1] TMZ,[2] Uproxx,[4] and more. Meanwhile, Twitter erupted with horror and humor as journalists, activists, and comedians voiced their takes.[7]

Andrew Stiles @AndrewStilesUSA Follow Tw when your candidate casually suggests armed insurrection... 3:33 PM-9 Aug 2016 다 113 124 0000000.000 iMessages Dave Itzkoff Follow @ditzkoff Paul Ryan's phone rn 3:57 PM-9 Aug 2016 370 729 LOLGOP @LOLGOP Follow Stop asking Ryan, Priebus and McCain if they still endorse Trump. Ask them if they support his effort to spark an armed revolt if he loses. RETWEETS LIKES 578 5:38 PM-9 Aug 2016 t3578 ·771

The Trump campaign quickly published a statement claiming "dishonest media" had misinterpreted the quote and that Trump was saying 2nd Amendment supporters should go out and vote.

New York Magazine[3] and The Washington Post[6] published articles investigating just how horrible Trump's comment was. Slate[5] noted how Trump's comments suggested he thinks Second Amendment supporters are "lunatics."

Notable Reactions

Several prominent political figures responded to the comments. The U.S. Secret Service's official Twitter account responded bluntly, "The Secret Service is aware of the comments made earlier this afternoon."[8] The tweet (shown below, left) gained 30,000 retweets. Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted ".@realDonaldTrump makes death threats because he's a pathetic coward who can’t handle the fact that he’s losing to a girl."[9] That tweet (shown below, right) has gained over 53,000 retweets and 98,000 likes.

U.S. Secret Service @SecretService Follow The Secret Service is aware of the comments made earlier this afternoon RETWEETSL LIKES 30,159 38,651OE 7:39 PM-9 Aug 2016 Elizabeth Warren @elizabethforma Follow @realDonaldTrump makes death threats because he's a pathetic coward who can't handle the fact that he's losing to a girl. RETWEETSL LIKES 53,266 98,852 6:51 PM-9 Aug 2016

On the Republican side, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani defended Trump on Good Morning America by arguing that if Trump really wanted to advocate assassinating Hillary Clinton, he would have said so outright.[10] Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan refused to condemn the comments, calling them "a joke gone bad."[11]

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