Clinton takes on gun lobby, gun violence at Hartford rally
HARTFORD — Surrounded by family members of the Newtown school shooting victims in a city ravaged by gun violence, Hillary Clinton delivered her closing argument Thursday to Democratic primary voters in Connecticut.
"Nobody is more powerful than the gun lobby," Clinton told some 400 supporters in the gymnasium of the Wilson-Gray YMCA in Hartford's North End.
Clinton was introduced by Erica Smegielski, daughter of the slain Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hochsprung.
"Gun violence knows no bounds," Smegielski said. "I learned the hard way."
Clinton was also joined by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a pledged superdelegate for Clinton who traveled to New Hampshire and Iowa to campaign for the former first lady. Malloy has repeatedly criticized Sanders on the issue of gun control.
A resurgent Clinton declared that no one running for president is tougher on guns than her, seeking to draw a contrast between her record on what her campaign has tried to make a wedge issue against Bernie Sanders in the Constitution State.
Looking to pick up where she left off in her adopted home state of New York, where she beat Sanders in Tuesday’s primary, Clinton referred to her rival’s support of a 2005 immunity law for the gun industry.
Smegielski appears in a new television ad for Clinton and recently faulted Sanders for his support of a 2005 immunity law for the gun industry. She said she is honoring her mother's memory by advocating for gun control reform.
"There's nothing I can do to bring her back," she said.
Home to one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation and a city that last year was dubbed the murder capital of New England, the state holds its primaries Tuesday.
The worst grade school shooting in U.S. history, which claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators, took place just 48 miles from Hartford. It became the impetus for a crackdown on assault-style weapons and high-capacity gun magazines in Connecticut, an effort that has failed to catch on in the Republican-controlled Congress.
Connecticut brings more than just money to the table this election cycle for those seeking the highest office in the land. It brings critical votes that could be the difference in clinching her party’s nomination for Clinton and a protracted nominating battle between the former secretary of state and the Democratic socialist senator from Vermont.
In 2015, there were 32 homicides in Hartford, the vast majority of them committed with guns. This year, four of five murders in the capital city have involved guns.
“I think there are tragedies that happen every day in our cities,” Luke Bronin, the city’s first-year mayor who was raised in Greenwich, said before the event. “We need to make sure that those tragedies get the attention they deserve.”
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Guess that they will never understand that the strict gun control laws only help the criminals commit these murders and does nothing to stop them except to make more victims.