At a meeting with families of gun-violence victims in Hartford, Conn., today, Hillary Clinton vowed to use “every single minute of every day” to “change the gun culture” in America.
Participants at the event included Erica Smegielski, daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung, and Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose 6-year-old daughter, Ana Grace, was also among the Sandy Hook victims.
Clinton, who has been hammering at Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) over gun control, said “if anything else were killing 33,000 Americans a year…we would be fully mobilized, doing everything we possible could to save lives.”
“I am not here to make promises I can’t keep. I am here to tell you I will use every single minute of every day, if I am so fortunate enough to be your president, looking for ways that we can save lives, that we can change the gun culture,” she said. “It is just too easy for people to reach for a gun to settle their problems. It makes no sense.”
“And we can do this consistent with the Second Amendment. We can do this with the support of responsible gun owners. And that is exactly what we will do. And I want you to know – that I know I don’t have all the answers.”
Clinton said she’s bringing the issue of gun control, including “comprehensive background checks” and “closing every one of the loopholes,” up “everywhere I go because we need a national movement.”
“The gun lobby is the most powerful lobby in Washington. You can talk about Wall Street, drug companies, insurance companies, big oil. They’re all powerful, don’t get me wrong,” she said. “Nobody is more powerful than the gun lobby because they have figured out how to intimidate elected officials at all levels, who basically just stop thinking about this problem because they’re too scared to stand up to the NRA.”
“That’s why what happened here in Connecticut really needs to be a model – to stand up and then fight for what you have done politically and convince a majority of people to stand with you. That’s what we have to do in Washington and nationally. We have to turn this into a voting issue.”
A February Gallup poll found gun policy to be “below average” importance to voters in both parties, along with government regulation of Wall Street — Sanders’ signature issue — and social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
Clinton has held media calls with family members of some of those killed in the Newtown school massacre, accusing Sanders of pandering to gun manufacturers with his stance that the producer shouldn’t be held liable for the use of a product produced legally.