Hillary Clinton nodded in emphatic approval on Monday as one of her supporters claimed that gun and ammunition manufacturers “are making terrorists out of our citizens.”
“If we all get angry enough we can start saving lives and stop making…our citizens are the terrorists,” said a woman who took part in a gun violence forum in Port Washington, N.Y.
The woman and four others were joined on the panel by Clinton and New York Rep. [crscore]Steve Israel[/crscore].
“We’re so worried about terrorism but we have terrorism on our own soil. Our gun manufacturers, our ammunition manufacturers are making terrorists out of our citizens. A sobering fact,” the panelist continued.
“Go online,” she said as Clinton continued to nod approvingly. “Go buy a semi-automatic weapon. They’re all available online with not much to prove because mom and pop somewhere out there are making them, and there’s nothing to prevent people who are mentally ill and people who are on terrorist watch lists to making our citizens become terrorists.”
Clinton used Monday’s event to continue her attacks on her Democratic opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The former first lady says Sanders has not done enough to support gun control laws. And as she has done throughout the campaign, she pointed to Sanders’ support in 2005 for a bill that limited the liability for gunmakers whose products were used in crimes.
She also added to a line of attack she opened up last week when she asserted that many of the guns used in New York crimes were purchased in Vermont.
The Daily Caller reported at the time that Clinton’s claim was not supported by federal data. Less than one percent of the guns used in crimes committed in New York in 2014 came from Vermont.
Out of 7,686 firearms recovered and traced in New York that year, only 55 were first purchased in Vermont, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
That’s compared to 371 that came from Pennsylvania, 395 that were sourced to Virginia, and 386 from Georgia.
But Clinton added a new wrinkle to her claim on Monday.
“The state that has the highest per capita number of those guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from Vermont,” Clinton said at the forum.
Clinton’s revised comments still lack key context. First, Vermont’s governor and legislators set the state’s gun laws, not federal lawmakers like Sanders. Further, Vermont would be expected to have a relatively high ratio of gun exports to New York given that it neighbors the Empire State. Vermont’s relatively low population also skews the calculation.
Additionally, Vermont ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of the per capita number of crimes committed with guns sold in the state.
According to a 2010 report from the anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Vermont was 16th in terms of the number of “exported crime guns” per 100,000 state inhabitants.
The Green Mountain State exported 22.8 such guns per 100,000 inhabitants. Mississippi had the highest ratio at 50.3. The national average was 14.1.