Refusing to Bow to the Gun Lobby, Hillary Clinton Talks Gun Sense

Defying decades of beltway wisdom that taking on the NRA is akin to political suicide, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton continues to champion common sense gun reform on the 2016 campaign trail. In the past week, she has issued a call to action in speaking appearances in Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio. On Thursday, in Cleveland, she made reference to the live murder of two journalists during a Virginia newscast, by stating:

We saw the terrible consequences of gun violence in America. I don’t know how we keep seeing shooting after shooting, read about the people murdered because they went to Bible study or they went to the movies or they were just doing their jobs … and not say we can do something about this. It’s not just the deaths that are in the headlines. Most of you in this audience know that we lose people to gun violence every day.

While that statement didn’t explicitly outline the specific gun law reforms she would try to implement as president, it did signify her intent not to ignore the issue of gun violence in America. Clinton’s words in favor of doing something, have inspired right-wing pundits to grow hysterical. For example, The Daily Beast ran an article Saturday titled “Hillary Clinton Really Is Coming For Your Guns”.

While The Daily Beast piece is hyperbolic, Clinton does not appear to be concerned about a backlash from pro-gun voters. While many Democrats have cowered in fear in the face of the gun lobby and their apologists, Hillary Clinton seems to be betting on the American voter rather than hitching her hopes on placating the trigger happy voices of the NRA.

Clinton’s willingness to talk about gun sense defies conventional campaign consultant wisdom that often argues that Democrats should mute talk about guns for fear of offending the mighty political power of the gun lobby. Yet, Clinton’s stance is not only morally sensible, but it is also a smart political bet.

Public opinion polls consistently show that Americans overwhelmingly support common sense gun reform measures, including over 90 percent who favor universal background checks. Furthermore, for all the talk of the gun lobby’s political clout, two of the most successful Democratic campaigns of the 2014 election cycle were won by Governors who took on the NRA. Daniel Malloy of Connecticut and John Hickenlooper both won as candidates who advocated common sense gun laws. In a high turnout presidential election there is no reason to think that Hillary Clinton can’t be similarly rewarded by voters for her willingness to talk sense about guns.

34 Replies to “Refusing to Bow to the Gun Lobby, Hillary Clinton Talks Gun Sense”

  1. …honestly???
    …the NRA ceased to be relevant when they decided to be a political power/lobby group…

  2. Go Hillary! I will be happy with either her or Bernie, but I’d love to see her in the White House.

  3. Hillary has the sense and the experience to pick up where Pres Obama leaves off when his term ends. What he has accomplished would have been impossible for basically anyone else. HC, is the best candidate to keep Pres Obamas agenda rolling along, and she letting the NRA and Wingnut LaPew know she doesn’t get marching orders from them.

  4. Its so nice to have a politician thats not on the take from the nra. Hillary can take down this terrorist organization headed by wimpy “men”.

  5. In a another thread I posted a Frontline doc on the NRA. Now I don’t know if its true but it said that the NRA was instrumental in Gores defeat in 2000 in states while not big in electoral votes added up for bush to win.
    West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas.

    Do not underestimate them. Their members vote on this one issue alone.

  6. Common sense gun reform? You mean the kind that will put limits on only legal gun owners while those who work around the system are able to posses whatever they can get hands on. None of these gun reforms would have prevented any of the mass shootings lately nor most of the the individual ones. The problem with guns isnt that legal gun owners can buy different guns, its the people who steal guns or purchase unregistered street guns. If the punishment for using or having an illegal gun were much harsher, fewer people would have them. The shooter of the nine people in the Church in South Carolina passed a background check even though he was supposed to be barred from doing so. How do you prevent more gun deaths when most of them are with illegal guns? More legal guns. Places banning guns are only baning legal gun owners, which could be the difference of life and death for everyone in there, as no one who is bent on murder is going to see the sign and think he better not bring his gun in.

  7. By men for men? Not quite, they have been instrumental in getting more females licensed and armed. There is reason to be afraid of her stance, and it is not the NRA. The reason past politicians who go against the NRA often flounder is because they fight for gun rights and the people who are for gun rights make up a majority of this nation. Illegal guns are the main problem in gun violence by a long shot. You know what wont help curb the illegal gun trade? Restricting the legal gun owners. If anything it will increase the number of gun deaths. Common sense gun reform would be stiffer penalties for carrying/using illegal guns or expanding legal gun owners rights. Like making it where no gun signs just meant you couldnt open carry or where employers couldnt tell employees they cant be armed if they have a license. The fact is that someone who is going to shoot people arent going to stop because of a sign or because their boss said so. This just makes it more likely no one can stop them.

  8. Thats what you need until the you get the right wing crazies out of congress. That won’t magically change no matter which democrat or independant becomes president. It certainly won’t happen if a rethug gets elected.

  9. Republicans want to make it harder for a citizen to vote than for a criminal to buy a gun. How crazy is that?

    The 2nd Amendment isn’t under threat. Common sense gun reform isn’t about disarming ordinary citizens, i.e. collectors, hunters sportmen, and people who buy for proection.

    It’s about keeping guns away from criminals, abusers, stalkers, people with mental illnesses, terrorists, and suicides. And gun traffickers.

    This article says it all. Even the NRA should back this:

    We can’t keep doing nothing. Good people will put up with some extra inconvenience, because universal background checks and other measures DO protect the innocent.

    “One child is worth more than all the guns on Earth.”

  10. Maybe you don’t know what “common sense gun reform” is. Do the research: it’s not about taking away your guns.

    Example: “[T]he key to background checks is making sure the national database is complete, accurate and up-to-date…The database is spotty now — many states send information sporadically, if at all — but it could be a robust, lifesaving tool if the public and Congress demand it.” (

    Dylan Roof’s previous arrest wasn’t in the database. So he “legally” bought the gun he used to kill nine churchgoers in Charleston last month.

    Seung-Hui Cho, the gunman who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007, had been declared legally mentally ill by a judge. That wasn’t in the database either.

    So 41 people might still be alive if we had a reliable national database. And that’s just one step to common sense reform.

    Because doing nothing is not the answer.

  11. Hillary Clinton is going to be the next President of the United States and this is just one of the reasons why she connects with Middle America. Bernie Sanders has voted against every sensible gun control measure but for the assault weapons ban. He has defended his votes against commonsense background checks and other limits on guns to prevent public massacres. It’s good to have a serious candidate with a concern for everyday issues that confront Americans.

  12. OK. Enough of your NRA talking points. You are wrong. Most guns used in violent crimes are not illegal. Why? Because background checks don’t cover but a small percentage of gun transactions. Pick up your local newspaper and look at the classifieds under guns or “sporting equipment”. If you have enough money, you can be an instant armory overnite – and it’s all perfectly legal. There are more gun transactions in the parking lot of any tavern in town than all the legal dealers in that town. Giant loophole?

    Get serious.

  13. I am a gun owner.
    I have owned guns almost all of my life.

    That said, I agree with some of the things you stated.
    However, I do not agree with all of them.

    The following:
    “Illegal guns are the main problem in gun violence by a long shot. You know what wont help curb the illegal gun trade? Restricting the legal gun owners.”
    Is correct.
    Most gun crime is perpetrated by those who have stolen and/or obtained a gun.

    “Common sense gun reform would be stiffer penalties for carrying/using illegal guns”
    Is absolutely important due to the “stolen and/or illegally obtained” guns used in most gun crimes.

    ” The fact is that someone who is going to shoot people aren’t going to stop because of a sign or because their boss said so.”
    People intent upon ANY act typically pay absolutely no attention to something placed on a wall such as the “no guns” warning.
    Although it is important to have a comprehensive psyche test, gun thieves don’t submit to these and it’s only …

  14. I am a gun owner, a person who owns guns LEGALLY purchased.
    That said, I haven’t had any of my guns out of their cases other than to clean and oil them.
    I no longer hunt yet, I DO keep them as investments.

    Yes, there ARE guns advertised for sale.
    If you read/watch the news, you WILL SEE that, in most shootings, they were done with an ILLEGALLY OBTAINED, unregistered gun.
    It would be a positive step to require that ALL gun purchases carry with them a full psyche test and etc.
    Unfortunately, some sellers are as irresponsible and crinimal as a prospective purchaser, so~~~~???

    People with limited thinking and/or comprehension cannot understand that the REAL cause of most of these crimes are carried out by someone with some sort of mental and/or emotional problems.
    That FACT is why there needs to be comprehensive psychological tests of prospective gun purchasers, especially America’s true gun nuts~the police and those who want to become a cop.

  15. …ummm, no…that’d be a Live Trap permit…{lol}
    …wonder how many critters he goes through a year???

  16. Common sense gun laws are vital for a civilized society. Psych evaluations should be mandatory for all gun purchases, and should be required for all ammunition purchases. In fact even more common sense controls and restrictions should be on ammunition. I think it would be good if ammunition has quantity restrictions, grain restrictions, alloy restrictions on the bullet, etc. etc. etc. Let them have their guns. Take away their ammunition.

  17. While many **Democrats have cowered in fear in the face of the gun lobby and their apologists,

    **And one Independent Socialist running for the presidency…Bernie Sanders.

    Although I vehemently disagree with the name-calling, Mark Joseph Stern, writer on law and LGBT issues for Slate, is correct about Sanders’ pro-gun votes.

    Bernie Sanders, Gun Nut
    He supported the most reprehensible pro-gun legislation in recent memory.
    During his time in Congress, Sanders opposed several moderate gun control bills. He also supported the most odious NRA–backed law in recent memory—one that may block Sandy Hook families from winning a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the gun used to massacre their children.

    Votes matter.

  18. What makes you so sure Bernie Sanders isn’t being propped up by billionaires trying to derail Hillary Clinton? Because it’s not reported?

    Get real.

    Billionaires can easily use employees, friends, family members, etc., to donate to campaigns and it’s impossible to track where these “individual donors” are getting their money to give to campaigns.

    If Trump buys people to show up at his announcement to run for prez just to jumpstart credibility, don’t you think that strategy won’t be employed by the likes of Koch and Adelson?

  19. Shadow, I have to disagree with you on that point. The NRmafiA turned into a lobbying organization in the late 1970’s. They also have many trophies of opponents that they have defeated since then. Look what they did against Smith to help Sanders in 1990.

    The Brady Bill was passed and signed by Clinton in 1993 even with a No Votes by Sanders in 1991 and 1993.

  20. Well if you bother to check how Bernie learned how to spin. 1993 Bernie full support from the NRA and Bernie voted against the Brady bill. Now as an Independent Party Senator he learn how to cover his actions. Now that he is running for President the NRA gave Bernie the wink and rated him D just to assure voters believed it. If their is a problem Bernie has the policy he promised to pass. Now he assuring for a vote he can do all this without a vote/bill from Congress/Senate. Well President Hoover won saying he would put a chicken in every pot and people learned he lied after they gave him the vote.

  21. John, BS will take the money if he wins the nomination. If you believe otherwise, your kidding yourself. I personally don’t find it funny that you and many others are in denial over that fact.

  22. “The appearance on Bill Maher’s show to talk about the need for mental healthcare to curb gun violence makes Sanders look self-serving and untrustworthy.”

    That is the impression I am getting on him. When he first declared, before there was so much noise about him, I googled him and found tons of progressive bashings of his history – they laughed at him all over or they outright insulted him and called him out. Now they fawn? WTF?

    Counterpunch attacked him repeatedly over the years with aricles such as:

    Invest in Activism, Not Bernie Sanders
    Why Did Bernie Sanders Get Gaza So Wrong?
    Bernie Sanders Cannot Save US
    The Myth of Bernie Sanders
    Bomber Bernie Can’t Take the Heat

    And these are just a few of many titles in their archives filled with Bernie bashing.

  23. Then he doesn’t expect to be the nominee. If you don’t think the DNC will have some input on the subject your having a delusion. But then the DNC probably doesn’t think he’ll be the nominee, or that discussion would have already taken place. He WILL get national recognition for his agenda, and that is what seems to be the endgame for him. He’s a good guy, and I believe Pres Clinton will work with him on several issues important to him.

  24. John, yes, really. Again, how do you know he’s not receiving money from billionaires giving money to “individuals” in order to prop up his candidacy to damage Hillary Clinton – the only Democrat they fear because she’s so strong against any of their candidates.

    They’ve done this before with Ralph Nader both in 2000 and 2004. You think they won’t try it again? Really?

    THINK rather than spew kneejerk responses, then read my post further down. Enlighten yourself.

  25. Actually, you’d think the left wingers would be worried about being disarmed with all these right wing nutjobs roaming the country. I’m a mostly liberal gun owner and I am against any kind of gun control.

  26. Rep. Pete Sessions: America’s rampant gun violence due to American promotion of ‘diversity’

    On the Chris Salcedo Show last week, the radio host asked Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) to weigh in on the horrific shooting on live TV of two journalists in Virginia. After acknowledging that widespread gun violence is a daily occurrence in the United States, Sessions zeroed in on what he viewed as the real cause.
    “It has a lot to do with distrust of people. Chris, I have been in lots of societies, we could say like Japan, where they have a homogeneous society, where people are more alike,” Sessions said. He went on to discuss “this thought process that we have to have diversity in America

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