Clinton Holds Emotional Town Hall With Family Members of Sandy Hook Victims

Clinton said there's a "concerted effort" to undermine victims of gun violence.

“We know that there has been a concerted effort to try to undermine the real life experiences of people who speak out,” the Democratic presidential front-runner said at the YMCA in Hartford, CT — her first visit to the state as a candidate. "Blame the victim. Blame the victim’s mother. Blame the victim’s family. Blame the victim’s neighborhood. Find somebody to blame instead of saying, ‘You know what, we just have too many guns in this country.'”

"I am here to tell you,” she explained, "I will use every single minute of everyday, 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."

"Our pain is day to day,” Deborah Davis, who lost her 20-year-old son to gun violence, described. "Everyday I tell people and they look at me and they say ‘oh you look great’. I say, ‘But you can't see my inside, you can't feel my pain, you don't see my tears, you don't see when I sit at my table to look for him, you don't see that. You don't understand that. That's a separate pain.'”

Marquez-Greene then spoke about her daughter, Ana Grace, who was killed in Sandy Hook. “One of the things my daughter said to me before she died was, ‘Don't let them suck your fun circuits dry, Mom,'” she said, turning to Clinton. "On this journey, Madame Secretary, to the White House, because that is where you are going, I encourage you. We are praying for you. And don't let them suck your fun circuits dry."

Clinton, who was visibly moved by these stories, then told the audience that Marquez-Greene had given her the book that she and her daughter were reading the night before Newtown, and had asked Clinton to read it with her granddaughter, Charlotte. "I cannot tell you how extraordinarily generous that was,” Clinton said.

Gun control has become a cornerstone issue in Clinton’s campaign, and one that she has used to contrast herself with Bernie Sanders.

Her campaign’s most recent television ad features Erica Smegielkski, who has called on Sanders to apologize to the Sandy Hook victims' families for supporting legislation that keeps victims of gun violence from suing weapon manufacturers.

Clinton toned down her usual attacks on the Vermont Senator, but didn’t hold back completely.

“I am not here to make promises I cannot keep,” Clinton said at the start of the event. Later, she made a point of saying “my opponent” voted for a bill that would give immunity to gun manufacturers.