HARTFORD, Conn. — Hillary Clinton, sitting with relatives of victims of the Newtown school massacre, vowed Thursday to make sure gun violence is not ignored, saying Connecticut’s bipartisan gun control legislation was a model for the nation.
“I’m really proud that your leaders here in Connecticut have shown the way,” the Democratic presidential candidate told a crowd of about 600 supporters at a YMCA gymnasium in Hartford’s north end, a section of the capital city where families have firsthand experience with gun violence.
“That’s why what happened here in Connecticut really needs to be a model.”
The state passed a sweeping package of gun law changes following the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 first-graders and six educators dead. The new law expanded the state’s assault weapons ban, barred large-capacity magazines and boosted background check requirements, among other changes.
Clinton has proposed comprehensive federal background check requirements, including for gun show and Internet sales, and repealing certain immunity protections for the gun industry among other provisions.
Campaigning Thursday in Scranton, Pa., Democrat Bernie Sanders made no mention of Clinton’s top-dollar speeches to Wall Street and no demands that she release transcripts of them — complaints that have had prominent roles in Sanders’ speeches for weeks.
Sanders noted several areas in which he and Clinton disagree — over the minimum wage, trade agreements, fracking and lifting the income cap to better fund Social Security.
“I opposed all these trade agreements; Secretary Clinton supported most of them. That is a big difference,” he said in what served as Thursday’s template.
Also Thursday, prominent Southern Democrats urged Sanders to stop dismissing Clinton’s primary wins across the South, where the front-runner’s popularity among nonwhites has helped fuel her success.
Sanders said the results in the South “distort reality” because they came from the country’s “most conservative region.”
Don Fowler of South Carolina, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and other Clinton supporters told Sanders in a letter that “our national Democratic leaders” should “invest in our races and causes — to amplify our voices, not diminish them.”