Arkansas has pretty permissive gun laws. It does not require handgun owners to obtain licenses, does not ban so-called assault weapons, issues concealed-carry permits to anyone who meets a short list of objective criteria, accepts carry permits issued by other states, and since 2013 arguably allows people to openly carry handguns without a permit.

Although Bill Clinton was the governor of Arkansas from 1983 to 1992, he and his wife, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, prefer a decidedly more restrictive approach. On Sunday the former president highlighted the couple’s disdain for the right to armed self-defense by declaring that “you can’t have a bunch of people walking around with guns.” The Second Amendment says otherwise.

Clinton made that comment in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, in response to a question about Baltimore’s high unemployment rate. He was trying to explain the unrest in that city and others where police have been accused of using excessive force.

Given the context, you might surmise that Clinton favors disarming the police. But instead he seemed to be talking about guns carried by young black men, which he likened to guns carried by combatants in European civil wars.

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