Hillary Clinton: Gun culture ‘way out of balance’

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday the nation’s gun culture has gotten “way out of balance” and the U.S. needs to rein in the notion that “anybody can have a gun, anywhere, anytime.”

The former Secretary of State and potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate said the idea that anyone can have a gun is not in the “best interest of the vast majority of people.” But she said that approach does not conflict with the rights of people to own firearms.

Clinton waded into the polarizing issue of gun politics during an appearance at the National Council for Behavioral Health conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland, pointing to recent shootings that involved teens who had been playing loud music and chewing gum and a separate incident involving the typing of text messages in a movie theater.

“I think again we’re way out of balance. I think that we’ve got to rein in what has become an almost article of faith that anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime,” Clinton said. “And I don’t believe that is in the best interest of the vast majority of people. And I think you can say that and still support the right of people to own guns.”

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted against legislation pushed by President Barack Obama last year that would have expanded background checks for firearm purchases to gun shows and online sales. The legislation came in the aftermath of the deadly Sandy Hook elementary school shootings in Connecticut.

If Clinton runs for president, her views on gun control would clash with Republicans, who have largely opposed efforts to tighten gun laws. During a recent National Rifle Association conference in Indianapolis, for example, GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a potential 2016 candidate, said Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden considered the Second Amendment to be little more than “a phrase from a speech writer.”

Clinton told attendees at the mental health conference that “at the rate we’re going, we’re going to have so many people with guns everywhere, fully licensed, fully validated” in settings like movie theaters where shootings have arisen over seemingly mundane things like loud gum chewing or cellphone use.

“That’s what happens in the countries I’ve visited where there is no rule of law and no self-control and that is something that we cannot just let go without paying attention,” she said.

During a question-and-answer session, Clinton was asked about the 1993 suicide of Clinton White House lawyer Vince Foster. Referring to him as “our friend in the White House,” she said he had been depressed and “filled with anxieties.” Like other men she has known who killed themselves, Clinton said, “they did not want to be seen as weak, they didn’t want to admit their problems.”

Clinton said she was still considering her political future, telling the audience she is someone “who has to really mull things over.”

“So stay tuned,” Clinton said. “When I know, you’ll know.”

More in Local News

Agencies launch coordinated response to an opioid ‘emergency’

Health workers, law enforcement agencies and emergency managers are responding as they might to a disaster.

Jordan Evers distributes coffee Sunday afternoon during the annual community meal at Carl Gipson Senior Center in Everett on November 19, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Firefighters serve Thanksgiving meals at Carl Gipson center

The next two feasts at the senior center in Everett will be Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 3.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

Darrington School Board race might come down to a coin flip

With a one-vote difference, a single ballot in Skagit County remains to be counted.

Is the state Transportation Commission irrelevant?

A report says the citizen panel often is ignored, and its duties overlap with the Transportation Department.

Pair charged with first-degree robbery in marijuana theft

A man was shot in the head during a holdup that was supposed to net about an ounce of pot.

Most Read