Hillary Clinton took aim at the National Rifle Association in Iowa on Wednesday, hitting the group for what she claims is its “absolutist” stance on gun rights and comparing it to “the Iranians and Communists.”
Clinton drew the connection to the gun rights group and murderous tyrants after a woman in the audience at a town hall meeting in Mount Vernon noted that President Obama seemed defeated during his remarks on gun control following last week’s mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore.
“How are you going to keep from being sad and tired?” the woman asked Clinton.
“I think by being angry and determined,” Clinton said to applause.
The Democratic front-runner reiterated a plan she laid out earlier this week in which she said that if elected president she would take executive action to increase background checks on private sellers of guns if Congress fails to do so. (RELATED: Clinton: I’ll Use Administrative Actions To Implement Gun Control Plan)
Clinton has claimed that the action would close what gun control advocates call the “gun show loophole” by requiring background checks for all guns bought at sold at gun shows and on the internet. Gun rights supporters claim that opponents exaggerate the number of guns obtained through those means and that the change would do little to cut gun crime.
But beyond changes to federal law, Clinton asserted in her remarks that achieving true gun control requires replacing the NRA, the largest gun rights group in the U.S. (RELATED: Hillary Clinton Blames NRA For Mass Shootings)
“The real answer to this, is for gun owners to form a different organization that supports the Second Amendment, supports their rights to own guns, use guns, go hunting, goes target shooting, but stands against the absolutism of the NRA,” Clinton said.
“You know, the NRA’s position reminds me of negotiating with the Iranians or the Communists,” she added.
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Clinton also laid out her theory of how the “cynical” NRA maintains its massive base of support.
“The NRA tries to keep gun owners — the ones who are members — really upset all the time so they can keep collecting their money, because they tell them they’re the only thing that’s going to stop the black helicopters from landing on the front yard and people’s guns being seized,” she said. “That’s the argument they make. And it works with some people, and it has turned a lot of people into absolutists themselves.”
Clinton also criticized Republican presidential candidates who argued after the shooting in Oregon that relaxed gun laws could have either prevented the attack or saved lives.
“The idea that you need more guns to stop people who are committing mass shootings is not only illogical but offensive,” Clinton said Wednesday.
Though Clinton is calling for unilateral executive action to create new gun laws now, as a presidential candidate in 2008 the then-New York U.S. Senator spoke out against setting “blanket rules” governing guns at the federal level. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: In 2008, Hillary Clinton Spoke Out Against Feds Setting ‘Blanket Rules’ On Guns)
“You know, we have a set of rules in New York City and we have a totally different set of rules in the rest of the state. What might work in New York City is certainly not going to work in Montana,” Clinton said during an April 2008 debate with then-Illinois U.S. Sen. Barack Obama. “So, for the federal government to be having any kind of, you know, blanket rules that they’re going to try to impose, I think doesn’t make sense.”