An impassioned Hillary Clinton spoke at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco, making a call for stricter gun control and challenging racism following the mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, earlier this week. Nine people were shot and killed in a racially motivated attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
"Despite our best efforts and our highest hopes, America’s long struggle with race is far from finished," the presidential candidate told the U.S. Conference of Mayors at its annual convention. "Bodies are once again being carried out of a black church. Once again, racist rhetoric has metastasized into racist violence.”
Clinton continued on to say that racism is an enduring pattern in America and that the events that took place in Charleston should not be accepted as an isolated incident. “Despite our best efforts and our highest hopes, America’s long struggle with race is far from finished.” Clinton also called race issues “a deep fault line in America.”
She also discussed gun control reform, saying that gun violence -- much like racial injustice -- is not an isolated event. Clinton urged for politicians to find a way to introduce gun reforms that could prevent future violence.
“I know that gun ownership is part of the fabric of a lot of law-abiding communities, but I also know that we can have common-sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the violently unstable while respecting the rights of responsible gun owners.”
The issue of gun control has become polarizing among politicians, making it difficult for new legislation -- such as universal background checks -- to be adopted, despite being supported by most gun owners. “It makes no sense that we wouldn’t come together to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers or people suffering from mental illnesses, even people on the terrorist watch list,” Clinton said. “That doesn’t make sense, and it is a rebuke to this nation we love and care about.”
Clinton's words on gun control were met with a long applause.