During a CNN town hall meeting Tuesday, Hillary Clinton spoke out when asked about gun control, saying “We can’t let ‘a minority of people’ terrorize the majority.”
Clinton’s remarks came as part of a book tour promoting her new book, “Hard Choices.”
CNN’s international correspondent Christiane Amanpour acted as the moderator of the hour-long interview that covered topics as varied as Benghazi, the possibility of being the first female president and marijuana.
However, it was her remarks on gun control that stole the show. Clinton said that the United States needs to have, “a more thoughtful conversation” on guns and then blasted gun-rights activists. The topic of guns was introduced by a public school teacher from Maryland identified as Gail Santa Maria.
“Do you think that that reinstating the ban on assault weapons and banning high capacity magazines would do any good?” Santa Maria asked.
This brought an affirmative answer from Clinton who, after a round of applause, elaborated on her opinion of the issue.
“I’m well aware that this is a hot political subject,” Clinton said. “And again, I will speak out no matter what role I find myself in. But I believe that we need a more thoughtful conversation. We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.”
In the back and forth between Santa Maria and Clinton, the controversial Everytown figure of 74 school shootings since the 2012 Newtown event, that saw 20 children and six staff members killed, was mentioned. This elicited a confusing response from Clinton who spoke of ‘automatic weapons’ twice in little less than two minutes.
“And I don’t think any parent, any person should have to fear about their child going to school or going to college because someone, for whatever reasons — psychological, emotional, political, ideological, whatever it means — could possibly enter that school property with an automatic weapon and murder innocent children, students, teachers,” Clinton said.
Clinton seemed to confuse semi-automatic firearms with fully automatic weapons, otherwise classified as machine guns. These have been heavily regulated in the U.S. since the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Hughes Amendment further banned domestic production for civilians in 1986. This type of firearm is rarely used in crime with the just two homicides committed with legally owned automatic weapons since 1988. Neither of those cases was located at a school.
Additionally, a recent study by criminology professor James Alan Fox found mass murders rarely use assault weapons, cannot be prevented with background checks and gun bans, and that the rates of these shootings as well as their toll is not increasing.