Election 2017

Hillary Clinton in Philly, to cheers: ‘I’m going to take on the gun lobby’

The Democratic nominee for president said, no, she doesn’t want to abolish the Second Amendment.

Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton addresses a crowd at West Philadelphia High School.

Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton addresses a crowd at West Philadelphia High School.

Anna Orso/Billy Penn

West Philly loves Hillary Clinton — and they especially love the Hillary Clinton that’s vowing to “take on the gun lobby.”

Hundreds of spectators at a rally at West Philadelphia High School erupted Tuesday when Clinton explained her stance on Second Amendment issues, telling the packed gymnasium that some of her first moves in office if she’s elected would be to fight lobbyists like the National Rifle Association.

“That doesn’t mean I want to abolish the Second Amendment,” she said. “That doesn’t mean I want to round up people’s guns. That means I want to keep you from being shot by somebody who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.”

The Democratic nominee for President’s event at West Philadelphia High School was centered around voter registration — she’s vowed to register and commit to voting three million people across the country by election day. Her campaign has touted its organization in Pennsylvania as it reports more than 3,400 volunteers have registered voters across the state in the last 10 days alone and Hillary for PA has made more than 1.3 million phone calls in total.

Clinton’s comments about gun control legislation are ramping up just as the NRA is launching massive ad buys against her. Last week, the pro-gun rights group announced a $3 million ad buy in Pennsylvania “making the case that Hillary Clinton is an out of touch, hypocritical politician who would leave the American people defenseless.”

Here’s the corresponding television ad:

The ad claims Clinton “doesn’t believe in your right to keep a gun at home for self-defense,” a claim our friends at PolitiFact have rated False. The NRA cites an interview from earlier this year when Clinton was wishy-washy on second amendment rights and wouldn’t say whether or not she agrees with a Supreme Court ruling that the right to bear arms applies to individuals.

Still, as PolitiFact notes, Clinton never said she doesn’t support the right of a person to own a gun for self-defense and, even if she didn’t support that right, she couldn’t take it away as president.

The ad buy in Pennsylvania was announced just a day after Trump made what some considered to be a veiled assassination remark at a rally in North Carolina.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” he said, adding: “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Since then, the Secret Service reported it was aware of the comments that were made by Trump, and he and his campaign operatives have since said he was simply urging gun owners to get out the vote against Clinton.

During her rally in West Philly, Clinton said her gun safety priorities include enacting comprehensive background checks, a measure that was defeated post-Sandy Hook. She also said Congress needs to pass laws closing the gun show loophole and the so-called terror loophole, a measure that was also defeated in Congress this year that would make it harder for suspected terrorists to buy guns.

“We cant let this go on,” she told the crowd, adding: “Here’s what I promise you: I promise you that we’re going to go not only as hard as we can to win this election, but then to go as hard as we can to achieve the results that the country needs.”

A handful of Philadelphia politicians spoke at the rally, including Mayor Jim Kenney, city Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, who represents West Philadelphia, Council President Darrell Clarke, State Rep. (and presumed congressman) Dwight Evans and state Sen. Vincent Hughes.

The highlight of those? It was Kenney, who kept it real with the Philly crowd.

“We,” he said about Trump, “have to stop this madman.”

Want some more? Explore other Election 2017 stories.

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