Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laid out her plan to reduce gun violence Monday in New Hampshire. Clinton has spoken out about guns a lot throughout her career, but has been fiery of late, in response to the UCC mass shooting. While at a town hall event, Clinton introduced Nicole Hockley whose six year old son Dylan was killed in the horrible Sandy Hook tragedy. Clinton choked up and seemed obviously affected by all that she is bearing witness to in regards to such atrocious violence.
While discussing the horror of Sandy Hook and what the families of those killed by guns endure, Clinton’s voice cracks a couple of times. Her tone clearly changes. As Hockley took the stage, the brave mother was remarkably composed. But the passion for ending gun violence was apparent.
Hockley speaks about gun legislation and common sense solutions, as a mother and as the Managing Director at Sandy Hook Promise. Much of what she aims to do is in line with Clinton’s proposals, which she rolled out today as well.
- Comprehensive background checks: Known dangerous individuals must not own guns. Clinton says she will fight to ensure bipartisan legislation can get passed as this is one of the most common sense things Congress can do.
- Close the “Charleston Loophole”: This loophole says that an individual can purchase a gun without a background check if that check wasn’t complete within three days. This is how the Charleston shooter was allowed to get his murder weapon and she thinks this must end.
- Tighten Gun Show and Internet Sales Loophole: Clinton is prepared to take “administrative action” if she were President and Congress refused to act to regulate “high-volume” sales.
- Hold Dealers and Manufacturers Accountable: Clinton believes that too often, “bad actors” have unique protections when it comes to dealing guns. She wants to repeal the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” which prevents victims of gun violence to hold the manufacturers and dealers of the weapons used, accountable. Clinton thinks if these individuals and businesses were negligent, they should be accountable like anyone else. This is one of the more stark differences between her and other Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders.
She also thinks that we need to do a better job at enforcing laws and invoking the licenses of bad-actor dealers. She cites that 58% of gun stores have not been inspected within the past five years. She wants more funding for inspections and more aggressive examinations of stores so that those who are not acting accordingly, can be shut down.
Lastly, she wants to keep guns out of the hand of domestic abusers, violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill. Essentially, not everyone should have a gun. Other important points in Clinton’s proposal are:
- Legislation Preventing Domestic Abusers from Buying/Possessing Guns: Federal law does not apply to people in dating relationships or stalkers so Clinton believes that they need to be included in any legislation preventing domestic abusers from getting a gun.
- Make “Straw Purchasing” a Federal Crime: “Straw Purchasing” is when an individual with a clean record buys a gun to give to someone with a violent record so that they do not have to undergo a background check. As it stands, this is only reported as a “paperwork violation” and Clinton wants to change that.
- Improve Laws Preventing the Severely Mentally Ill From Getting A Gun: She wants to close loopholes that would, for instance, allow someone who has been involuntarily committed, like the Virginia Tech Shooter, from possessing a gun.
- Keep Military-Style Weapons Off the Street: Clinton wants to keep assault weapons off of our streets once and for all.
Clinton’s plan is a comprehensive and reasonable approach to a vital issue plaguing America and our communities. While her plan is thorough and pragmatic, what really stood out today was her touching moment with the mother from Sandy Hook. So much has been said about Clinton’s character, personality, likability, etc. Here, Clinton really showed that she is not merely a political figure, she is a mother and grandmother. The common bonds she shares with women across the country are really starting to show and this was an authentic moment that also accurately reflects the reason why we need to act as a nation.
Watch the video of Clinton choking up here:
Featured image is a screen grab from the video by NBC News.