Hillary Clinton Talks Gun Control After The Charleston Shooting Reignites Conversations Of Regulation & Reform
In her first public comments since the horrific Charleston, South Carolina, shooting at a historic black church that left nine people dead, Hillary Clinton talked gun control Thursday and reiterated her stance for stronger gun control laws. Her decision to speak was heartfelt, having been in the city just hours before the attack on the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the oldest black churches in the country. She expressed sorrow over the tragic event, boiling it down to one simple question.
How many people do we need to see cut down before we act?
The hard-hitting comment came during a Las Vegas summit of Latino politicians, one of several stops planned for Nevada. Clinton said the attack "broke my heart" and was a serious sign that the country needed to address issues of gun violence and race relations in today's contentious times.
Cut down at prayer. Murdered in a house of God. It just broke my heart. That of course is the last place we should see violence. But we shouldn’t see it anywhere. In the days ahead, we will again ask what led to this terrible tragedy and where we as a nation need to go. In order to make sense of it, we have to be honest. We have to face hard truths about race, violence, guns, and division.
Clinton was actually in Charleston earlier on Wednesday attending a campaign event before heading to Las Vegas. Republican candidate Jeb Bush was also scheduled to appear in Charleston Thursday but canceled his events in light of the shootings. Police said they received the first call about the senseless killings at around 9 p.m. ET., and Clinton said she learned of the tragedy when she stepped off the plane.
I left feeling not only great about Charleston but also great about America. The shock and pain of this crime of hate strikes deep.
An outspoken critic, Clinton has long pushed for gun control, having previously said opponents of government regulations have a POV that "terrorizes" most Americans. During a live CNN town hall last year, Clinton referenced the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 children and six adults dead. That attack prompted mass calls for gun reform, but Congress in 2013 failed to pass bills that would have enacted a stricter ban on assault weapons as well as universal background checks.
We cannot let a minority of people, and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people, hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.
The gun control debate only becomes center stage when a tragedy like the Charleston massacre or Newtown shooting happens, and it wasn't expected to play a large part in this year's election. But given the mass outrage that once again has taken over the national conversation, you can be sure candidates will propose stronger reform. Whether those words will actually become a reality, though, is less likely.
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