The third and final US presidential debate began here today with Republican candidate Donald Trump arguing that the Second Amendment giving rights to citizens to bear arms be upheld, while his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton called for measures to prevent killings by those who carry firearms.
Given that the next president is likely to appoint several Supreme Court judges, the views of the two presidential candidates – Clinton and Trump are crucial for the American people who vote in the November 8 general elections.
Clinton said she supports the Second Amendment but, there needs to be a move to prevent unlawful elements carrying fire arms for killing people.
“Some 33,000 people die every year in the US because of shooting. Trump is opposed to any kind of restrictions on the freedom being given to people by the Second Amendment,” she said.
“The next president will almost certainly have at least one appointment and likely or possibly two or three appointments,” debate moderator Chris Wallace of the Fox News said, firing off the first question.
“I feel that at this point in our country’s history, it is important that we not reverse marriage equality, we stand up for the rights of people in the workplace, that we stand up and basically say, the Supreme Court should represent all of us,” Clinton said in response to a question.
She added that the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful corporations and the wealthy.
“For me, that means that we need a Supreme Court that will stand up on behalf of women’s rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community, that will stand up and say no to Citizens United, a decision that has undermined the election system in our country because of the way it permits dark, unaccountable money to come into our electoral system,” Clinton said.
“I look forward to having that opportunity. I would hope that the Senate would do its job and confirm the nominee that President Obama has sent to them. That’s the way the Constitution fundamentally should operate. The president nominates, then the Senate advises and consents, or not, but they go forward with the process,” she asserted.
Disagreeing with his rival, Trump said, “We need a Supreme Court that in my opinion is going to uphold the Second Amendment, and all amendments, but the Second Amendment, which is under absolute siege.”
“I believe if my opponent should win this race, which I truly don’t think will happen, we will have a Second Amendment which will be a very, very small replica of what it is right now. But I feel that it’s absolutely important that we uphold, because of the fact that it is under such trauma,” he said, adding he has already shortlisted and made public names of 20 such nominations.
Arguing that America should not have judges appointed who decide what they want to hear Trump said, “it’s all about the Constitution of and so important, the Constitution the way it was meant to be. And those are the people that I will appoint.”
Clinton responded saying that she supports the Second Amendment.
“I understand and respect the tradition of gun ownership.
But I also believe that there can be and must be reasonable regulation. Because I support the Second Amendment, doesn’t mean that I want people who shouldn’t have guns to be able to threaten you, kill you or members of your family,” she said.
The United States need comprehensive background checks, to close the online loophole, close the gun show loophole, she added.
“There’s other matters that I think are sensible that are the kind of reforms that would make a difference that are not in any way conflicting with the Second Amendment,” she argued.
Referring to the National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsing Trump, Clinton said they are running millions of dollars of advertisements against her.
Citing examples of cities like Chicago, Trump said tough gun control laws does not help.
“In Chicago, which has the toughest gun laws in the United States, probably you could say by far, they have more gun violence than any other city. So we have the toughest laws, and you have tremendous gun violence.
“I am a very strong supporter of the Second Amendment. I’m very proud to have the endorsement of the NRA. And it’s the earliest endorsement they’ve ever given to anybody who ran for president,” he said.