The WikiLeak’s email releases, which come from John Podesta’s email account, have proven to be extremely informative in regards to Hillary Clinton’s plans for gun control. The latest release shows Clinton’s campaign staff has been discarding evidence of shootings that don’t meet her agenda. In an email exchange dated January 14, 2016, Clinton campaign staffers can be seen discussing which shootings to highlight in a gun control essay intended to appeal to mothers.
The case of 17 year old Jordan Davis is one such email. Davis was shot to death in a parking lot in September, 2012 after an argument with Michael Dunn about loud music. Davis, a black teen, was killed by 47 year old, white, Michael Dunn. He has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Marie Claire composed an essay that was in draft form when exchanged in the emails. Hillary Clinton had been asked to deliver it but Clinton staffers were uncertain how to respond.
Clinton staffers had to decide if they would include Davis’ fatal shooting or if it would be disregarded. De’Ara Balenger, campaign director of engagement, was in charge. She reviewed the draft and then sent an email stating:
“This is great. My edits are attached. The only flag here is that Jordan Davis was killed by a white man, so arguably – this crime was racially motivated, which takes this outside the discussion of gun violence. Was there another mother in the Chicago meeting where the shooting was NOT racially motivated? If yes, we should use that story instead of the Jordan Davis story.”
Staffer Corey Ciorciari replied, “You know where I stand on this. It can be racially motivated and gun violence should still very much be part of the discussion. Even more so here given that Jordan’s mom is one of the leading gun violence prevention proponents in the country.”
As it turned out, the Davis story was disregarded and replaced with a plea from Clinton to domestic abuse victims and moms overall, with a mere mention of firearm-related child deaths. Here is her statement:
“Maybe someone you love has been affected by domestic violence, and you care about keeping guns away from abusers. Maybe you love hunting but think felons shouldn’t be able to buy handguns. Maybe you’re a mom who wants guns nowhere near your kids. Maybe you have a gun in your home for protection and went through a background check to get it and think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with other people having to do the same. Or maybe you’re just deeply concerned about a political system that can’t get the most basic law passed, even as thousands of children die. Whatever your reason, I hope you’ll join me in insisting that ending gun violence is a priority in this election.”
Clinton’s suggestion that thousands of children die from guns isn’t entirely accurate. Her numbers rely heavily on known gang members up to the age of 18, which many opponents argue shouldn’t be included when considering the number of children killed by firearms.