WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — Speaking at a CNN town hall event Tuesday, Hillary Rodham Clinton argued a “ban” on semi-automatic rifles — or so-called “assault rifles” — as well as high-capacity magazines would help reduce gun violence in the United States.
“What’s been happening with these school shootings should cause everybody to just think hard,” she said. “I was disappointed that the Congress did not pass universal background checks after the horrors of the shooting at Sandy Hook and now we’ve had more in the time since.”
Clinton, thought to be a likely 2016 presidential candidate, then made a glaring error when making an emotional plea to promote gun control.
She said she couldn’t understand how an individual could walk into a school with an “automatic weapon” and “murder innocent children, students, teachers.” In fact, automatic weapons are highly regulated and very difficult to acquire. It is likely the former first lady was actually referring to semi-automatic weapons.
She referred to “automatic weapons” for a second time later during the town hall, saying they can do more damage than ever before. There have been two homicides committed with legally owned fully automatic weapons since 1934, according to GunCite.com.
“I will speak out no matter what role I find myself in,” Clinton added. “We cannot let a minority of people… hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.”
The former secretary of state also personally addressed the mother of one of the Americans killed in Benghazi during a CNN town hall event on Tuesday, saying she can “totally relate to her as a mother or to any of the family members of the four Americans who were killed that night.”
“I can see why she and others are inconsolable,” she said.
Clinton was referring to Patricia Smith, the mother of slain American diplomat Sean Smith. Smith has criticized Clinton and the Obama administration for telling what she believes isn’t the whole truth. She also questioned why it took nearly two years for the administration to capture a suspect who wasn’t even in hiding.
Her appearance came hours after the Obama administration announced the capture of a Libyan militant suspected in the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton said the capture showed the U.S. has an “an unwavering commitment to bring to justice” those who commit acts of terror against the U.S.
Republicans have criticized Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. GOP officials have accused the Obama administration of stonewalling congressional investigators and misleading the public about the nature of the attack in the weeks before the presidential election.
Clinton said during the forum that she was “still looking for answers because it was a confusing and difficult time.”
She also expressed caution about the United States working with Iran to combat fast-moving Islamic insurgents in Iraq, saying the U.S. needs to understand “what we’re getting ourselves into.”
The U.S. and Iran have held an initial discussion about how the longtime foes might cooperate to address the threat from the al-Qaida-linked militants that have swept through Iraq. The former secretary of state said at a CNN town hall meeting that any partnerships with third parties such as Iran would need to be “carefully thought through.”
“I am not prepared to say that we go in with Iran right now, until we have a better idea what we’re getting ourselves into,” said the former secretary of state.
Clinton spoke during an hourlong forum to promote her new book, “Hard Choices,” about her four years as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state. Clinton is the leading Democratic presidential candidate in 2016 if she decides to run for president again.
U.S. and Iranian officials have both raised concerns about the swift advance of radical Islamist forces in Iraq and officials from the two countries met here briefly Monday. The White House, however, has ruled out the possibility that Washington and Tehran might coordinate military operations in Iraq.