After Oregon Shooting, Hillary Clinton Says She Wants To Stand Up To The NRA

"We're going to tell legislators, do not be afraid."

WASHINGTON -- After a mass shooting at a community college in Oregon left at least 10 people dead and nine wounded on Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for a "national movement" on gun control to counteract the political power of the National Rifle Association.

"I have to tell you, Janet, I am just sick of this," Clinton told Janet Wu of the Boston ABC affiliate WCVB Thursday evening. "I'm sick about it, and I feel an absolute urgency for this country to start being sensible about keeping guns away from people who should not have them."

"I think that what we need is a national movement," she continued. "What the NRA does in their single-minded, absolutist theology about the Second Amendment being sacrosanct -- when we know that every constitutional right and amendment can be tailored in an appropriate way without breaching the Constitution -- but what they do is to so intimidate and scare legislators because they make it into a single issue for voting."
"I'm going to try to do everything I can as president to raise up an equally large and vocal group that is going to prove to be a counterbalance," she said. "And we're going to tell legislators, do not be afraid. Stand up to these people because a majority of the population and a majority of gun owners agree that there should be universal background checks. And the NRA has stood in the way."

When Wu asked why Clinton thought she could win battles against the NRA, the candidate pointed out that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, signed the federal assault weapons ban in 1994. (The law expired in 2004.) She added that citizens themselves clearly wanted more restrictions on gun purchases, since gun control measures often pass via ballot initiative.

Clinton also pointed out that a flaw in the background check system allowed Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old charged with killing nine people in Charleston, South Carolina, in June, to purchase a weapon.

"I'm going to be pushing this issue," she said. "Universal background checks, a long-enough waiting period so that people can't sneak in under the deadline because the full investigation wasn't completed. I would like us to be absolutely determined, as I am, to try to do something about this."

​This article has been updated with revised casualty figures for Thursday's shooting.

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