Less than one week after the deadly shooting at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Hillary Clinton on Monday unveiled a series of gun control measures she would enact as president, including renewed calls for universal background checks and a crackdown on the sale of guns on the Internet.
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After rolling out her policies, the Democratic presidential candidate invited the mother of a 6-year-old boy who was killed in the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to join her on stage at Manchester Community College.
“So many of the parents of these precious children who were murdered have taken the unimaginable grief that they have been burying and have tried to be the voices that we need to hear, and I want you to introduce yourself and maybe talk about what you and other parents are trying to do to get the changes that are necessary,” Clinton said, choking up.
Nicole Hockley, the mother of Dylan Hockley, who was killed along with 19 other children and six Sandy Hook staff members, received a standing ovation as she took the stage. She offered an emotional plea for gun control measures.
“Gun violence prevention was nowhere on my radar before losing my son and I wish it had been and I wish I had done something long before something that I thought could never hit my community hit me,” she said.
The announcement of Clinton’s plan came two days after the Democratic presidential candidate blasted Republicans for putting "the NRA ahead of American families," and just hours after her Democratic challenger, Martin O’Malley, called on both Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to back his plan, which includes a ban on assault weapons.
Sanders, who is currently polling ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire, has not rolled out a gun control policy.
On Monday, Clinton said her plan was filled with what she calls “common sense proposals” to combat what she described as an "epidemic of gun violence.”
“People are quick to say that they offer their thoughts and prayers. That’s not enough,” Clinton said to the roughly 500 people in attendance. "How many people have to die before we actually act? Before we come together as a nation."
Clinton, who said that the gun control issue has been taken over by “extremists," renewed her call for universal background checks and for closing the gun show loophole. She also called for banning military-style assault weapons from the streets, and for a crackdown on the sale of guns on the Internet and at gun shows.
Clinton made a brief reference to a recent remark by GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, when he said “stuff happens” in response to a question about the recent Oregon shooting.
“On the Republican side, [Donald] Trump was asked about it and said something like, ‘You know, things like that happen in the world and Governor Bush said, ‘Yeah stuff happens,'" said Clinton. "No, that’s an admission of defeat and surrender to a problem that is killing 33,000 Americans. It’s time for us to say wait a minute, we are better than this, our country is better than this and there are steps we can take that improve gun safety and further the prevention of violence by guns."
Clinton’s plan also calls for laws to prevent gun sales from going through without completed background checks (something currently dubbed a "Charleston Loophole”); legislation that prohibits domestic abusers and stalkers from buying and possessing guns; the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act so that dealers and manufacturers are held accountable for negligence when crimes are committed with products they’ve sold.
Last Thursday a gunman opened fire at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon, killing nine people, plus himself, and injuring seven others.
The shooting renewed calls for stricter gun control laws, including by Clinton, who on Friday called for a "national movement" to stand up to the National Riffle Association.
On Monday, she doubled down on that call.
“Ideally, what I would love to see,” Clinton said, "Is gun owners , responsible gun owners, hunters, form a different organization and take back the second amendment from the extremists."