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Monday, October 24, 2016

By Amanda Becker

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Reuters) — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pledged Monday to take on the powerful U.S. gun lobby, saying she would pursue expanded background checks and take steps to hold manufacturers accountable for crimes committed with their weapons.

Clinton was at a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire, to unveil her plan to curb gun violence just days after a gunman killed nine people and wounded another nine last week on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

At times on Monday, Clinton’s voice cracked as she talked about the toll gun violence has taken on U.S. schools, movie theaters and other public spaces. She asked Nicole Hockley, an audience member whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed along with 19 other children and 6 adults in a 2012 shooting at a Connecticut school, to speak briefly.

“How many people have to die before we actually act, before we come together as a nation?” Clinton asked the audience at the New Hampshire community college, which she said was similar to the Oregon campus.

At the top of Clinton’s list are expanding background checks, repealing legislation that protects manufacturers and dealers from liability, and strengthening punishment for straw purchasers who buy firearms for others.

Clinton has not minced words in recent days, saying she wants to build a “national movement” to counter the influence of the National Rifle Association, the nation’s top gun-rights advocacy group.

The NRA is among the biggest spenders on U.S. politics. The organization dumped $28 million into the 2014 election cycle to pay for communications promoting the right to bear arms, the candidates who support it and against candidate who favor restrictions, according to

Clinton questioned in Manchester whether there was a better way to preserve the constitutional right to bear arms while also getting “military-style assault weapons” off streets.

“What I would love to see, is gun owners, responsible gun owners … form a different organization and take the Second Amendment (of the U.S. Constitution) back from extremists,” Clinton said of the NRA to applause.

The NRA did not respond to a request to comment on Clinton’s remarks and proposals.

Clinton’s campaign on Monday released detailed proposals about what she would do to curb gun violence if elected to the White House in November 2016.

Clinton would use presidential executive authority to close a “loophole” to ensure people purchasing firearms at gun shows and online face the same background checks and sales taxes as buyers from traditional retailers.

Clinton would push Congress to prohibit domestic abusers, including stalkers, from purchasing guns and close what she called the “Charleston loophole,” referring to a June shooting at a predominantly black church in South Carolina that left nine dead.

If a background check is not completed within three days, a sale can proceed. The alleged Charleston shooter could buy his gun because of this loophole, as did 2,500 people in 2014, Clinton’s campaign said.

Clinton also said she would pursue the repeal of a 2005 law that she voted against as a U.S. senator representing New York. The legislation prevents victims of gun violence from holding negligent manufacturers and dealers accountable for crime committed with their guns.

“Nobody else is getting that immunity — and that just illustrates the extremism that has taken over this debate,” Clinton said.

Demand for firearms surged in the past when consumers feared gun control legislation was coming. On Monday afternoon, Smith & Wesson shares were up 5.1 percent at $17.44, and Sturm Ruger & Co. had risen 2.7 percent to $57.99.

Clinton said her proposals were not new: “There’s nothing unique about them, other than I am so determined to do everything we possibly can.”


(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Additional reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Lisa Von Ahn and Jonathan Oatis)

Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens as she is introduced at a campaign town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire October 5, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

  • Otto Greif

    She knows why it was necessary to give gun manufacturers immunity, it was to protect them from her side using frivolous lawsuits to destroy them as an end run around the 2nd Amendment.

    • dtgraham

      Shouldn’t that be up to a court of law to determine whether a lawsuit is frivolous or not? Like a lawsuit involving anyone else. Why do they get immunity when no one else does? If you’re right and they’re all judged to be truly frivolous, then the gun makers have nothing to worry about.

      • DEFENDER88

        So, if a drunk driver kills my daughter with a car, I can sue the car dealer and the car mfgr for making a car that will go fast enough to kill someone?

        • dtgraham

          Yes you can. That’s called vehicular homicide by all states, which is the unlawful killing of another with the use of a vehicle. Neither malice aforethought nor intent to kill is required. The driver would be easy to sue, although the manufacturer would present more problems based on their knowledge and negligence of various factors.

          Many lawsuits of car manufacturers or dealers would be considered frivolous…and are. Perhaps less would be considered frivolous of gun manufacturers, because the intent of the product is to cause harm. Nevertheless, why are they completely immune from the legal process where car manufacturers aren’t? No one else is immune either…except them.

          • DEFENDER88

            Not my field. I assume there was a “landmark” case on this. I would have to see the arguments.
            I suspect they are not totally immune. If it can be shown a gun was defective and I was hurt as a result, I suspect they could be sued.
            As for working as intended, I suspect it is a common sense argument. They can be used for bad or good – depending on the “operator/user”. As for working “as designed” – If my gun is ever used on a person it will be for my good and likely the good of society in stopping a threat/menace. Don’t see how it can be the “fault” of the gun.

          • dtgraham

            There have been cases that have opened non-drivers to vehicular manslaughter charges, which could include manufacturers by definition.

            The National Memo e-mails suddenly aren’t responding in Google Chrome tonight very well and I’m not going to struggle with this any more. It let me type this much.

          • DEFENDER88

            Grounds? Basis?
            Some type of defect or exceeding recommended limits I suspect?

          • dtgraham

            A woman named Raquel Nelson of Georgia was charged with second degree vehicular homicide in 2010, as a pedestrian. Her young son was killed after suddenly running out onto a street with his sister, while in her custody. The court came to this decision because it was felt that Nelson’s actions had placed her children in jeopardy.

            21 year old Erin Brown of Tennessee was charged with vehicular homicide and assault after giving the keys of her car to her boyfriend in 2012, without knowing that he was over the legal DUI limit. He killed someone while driving her car. She was charged with assault and vehicular homicide because it was felt that she should have taken more precautions in checking to see whether he was legally intoxicated or not.

            There was another case (can’t remember the name) where a woman who killed someone while driving was able to take a construction company to court for contributory vehicular homicide, due to the work they did on an overpass where the accident happened.

            A car dealer could possibly be charged if they sold a car to someone who probably shouldn’t be driving for one reason or another, and it’s reasonably expected that they should have known this. A gun dealer in a similar situation could not be charged due to the Protection of Lawful Commerce and Arms Act of 2005. It offers virtual blanket immunity for gun sales. To be charged under the act, the buyer would have to literally tell the seller that they intended to unlawfully shoot someone with the gun.

          • DEFENDER88

            So people are charged with a crime “due to their actions”.
            The inanimate “object” is not blamed.
            Hmm – What a novel idea.
            The car is not sued.
            The car is not vilified.
            The car dealer is not held liable
            The car manufacturer is not held liable.

            Unlike autos and auto dealers – For all pistol sales by dealers in the US, you are required to submit to a (FBI)NICS Background Check.
            And pistols account for some 96% of gun crime.
            So the manufacturers thru dealers are doing their required “due-diligence”.

            You “do” have to be licensed to drive it(the car).
            And (this is where I vary from the NRA position) I think you should have a permit(Conceal Carry Class) to even own a gun.
            Get the checks, training, etc. that comes with the Gun Permit process.
            It is quite thorough and good in this state (TN).
            And have a national standard system that is good in every state like your driver license.
            This would stop “most” of the accidental shootings, kids shooting other kids, kids getting parents guns and shooting up a school, etc.
            And would greatly reduce the theft of guns from honest owners(where criminals get some guns).
            (Safe storage, use etc is stressed in Conceal Carry/Permit Classes)

            This will do nothing, of course, for the majority of gun “crime” since that comes largely from the inner city gang drug trade.
            That is a whole different issue with different solutions.
            The criminals don’t do background checks or conceal carry classes.

          • dtgraham

            Vehicles are needed for the functioning of any modern industrialized economy. Guns are not. Vehicles, bread and butter knives, clubs, hammers, scissors, sharp pointy sticks, and insurance against a tyrannical government are all diversionary tactics used by the guns everywhere crowd. They take your attention away from the positive experiences of other nations with gun control.

            You have some good ideas. They could go a little further though to reduce the availability of total guns in circulation. That would limit the number of guns that inner city gangs could get their hands on. That’s the idea. They don’t need to worry though. Nothing is going to happen. They’ll keep their guns, as will others. We’ll have this chat after the next mass shooting, and the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that.

          • DEFENDER88

            Limiting the total number of guns in circulation.
            One has to be careful of the more often “unintended consequences” of such actions.
            What liberals want to do is limit magazine capacities and limit semi-auto weapons.
            Problem is, it will only limit those of us who have the need to defend ourselves.
            ie The criminals will still have them but we(the law abiding) will not.
            The balance of power will shift to them even more since they already have access to full auto weapons that we do not use.
            I don’t want to have to face a gang of red necks with semi-auto weapons and me with without one.
            I have had to do this more than once and survived because I had equal firepower.
            Things are different out in the country and mountains near where I live.
            Same goes for thugs coming in my house – I don’t want to be out-gunned.
            Has not happened yet, but has to a couple neighbors.
            And the drug and gang problems are not getting any better.
            ps none of those limits will help with the mass shooting problems
            Again the criminals and nut jobs don’t obey the law.
            I think we need to look more seriously at
            1) Overall gun crime – 80-90% of this is in the hood from “drug trade gun crime”
            “I” think the bigger problem here is the “Level of Violence” present vs the number of guns.
            (There are lots and lots of guns and people and shooting at my gun club but no one ever gets shot.)
            If “guns” were the problem we would need several ambulances
            every day.
            The problems here(in the hood) are more about lack of job opportunities, years of poverty, etc etc
            So young Black men turn to the drug tade to make a living.
            No quick solutions here.
            Except “I” would just legalize “all drugs” except the psychotropics that drive young men to mass murder.
            Undercut the drug trade like we did Alcohol years ago.
            Teach young black men to write computer code, make a good living from home.
            2) Mass Murder
            Better security systems and techniques to defend against these attacks.
            They are out there but are not being put into effect.
            Address the mental health problems.

          • dtgraham

            I gotta say, if you’re regularly getting into assault weapon shootouts with red neck gangs where you’re living, you may want to think about moving. It seems to me that a better idea would be to reduce the number of Kalashnikovs and handguns out there, but that’s just me.

          • DEFENDER88

            Its not “regular” and it has been several years, but it happens.
            And it only takes one time – cant recover from dead.
            And things don’t seem to be getting better, actually seems even worse now.
            I learned to Not go out Unprepared
            You will never “see” what “I” have(weapons), unless you attack me, try to kill me, threaten, etc.

            Since you question my judgement and character:
            Case 1 (of 3 or 4):
            I did not say I got into several “[shoot-outs” – actually the gun I had prevented one here. Thank God.
            It was a family type canoe trip back in the mountains, we were camped out on a wooded hill.
            We “looked” like we would be an easy, juicy, “mark”.
            5 of them( Drunk Red Necks) all had rifles and were walking up the hill toward me/us, they had already shot over my/our head – their 3 trucks had us blocked in. I was listening and one of them had said “lets go up there and “Get Some”. It was Dusky Dark.
            Actually, when they saw that I knew what I was doing, and armed, and not going to play their *Fu**kg Game* they turned and left.

            I stepped out from cover, stood my ground, took aim right at the leaders head, commanded them to “STOP RIGHT THERE” or Get Shot.
            Had I not had a gun, I would definitely been hurt or even killed. Not to mention the women.
            Plus the 20 or so men, women and children I was protecting.
            Fortunate they stopped dead cold, turned and went away without a word, drove off.
            As we have seen, guns can be bad, but they can also be Good.

            The real “catcher” here – it was not even my gun!, I did not have a gun back then, one of the women had a gun(the only one there), handed it to me and they collectively/asked “me” to handle this situation. It was a 38 snub nose revolver – against 5 rifles.

            I said “I now “have” equal firepower”, I did not say I had been using it.

            So, now, yes, I own an assault rifle and take it with me when I go into the mountains.
            And now I just have to “show it” to make the bastards think twice.

            ps I am also “now” a State Certified firearms instructor, and retired engineer, but do volunteer pistol instruction for local police. They sure don’t want to F**K with me now:)
            Red Neck bastards.
            Again – its not the guns, its the “violent behavior”.
            Guns can work to the good also.

          • dtgraham

            I’ve seen this before. “Deliverance” has always been one of my favourite movies. I just never thought it was based on reality. You’re proving me wrong.

          • DEFENDER88

            Deliverance – Come to think of it, that was the very river we were doing. !!
            It was about 1980 ish.
            The event I described, DID happen just like I described. It was about 1/4mi from a bridge that goes over the River.
            There were 3 other guys and about 15 women and children w/behind me.
            I have kayaked all over the Eastern US(when I was younger) and did 220mi on the Grand Canyon.
            The Deliverance River – Look up the Chattooga River (Borders NCarolina & Ga). Gorgeous Country.
            That was not the only time I had trouble up there.
            And some other places.
            After that event, next Monday, I was so pissed I went directly down to the local gun store, the guy said what you looking for?
            I said, hmm, well, I am looking for enough firepower to blow up 3 truck loads of Red Necks:)
            I was not a “gun guy” back then. I was a “pacifist”. And it almost got me killed. More than once.
            But I had been a hunter and could handle a gun. Had to hunt for food when younger.
            Once I was shot at, and me in my kayak floating down a river(different river in TN)- that was scary.
            Then the time they shot-gunned us at night while sitting around the fire. More.
            I am a retired Engineer by profession, but – Anyway, now, I am also a State Certified Firearms Instructor and help teach local Police to shoot as a Volunteer.
            I also now do competition shooting – Combat Pistol and 3Gun.
            I also told all my now neighbors if they want to learn to shoot, safely, let me know, no charge. Some have taken me up on it.
            Some(a few) have had their homes invaded in the past. I live in the suburbs of one of the larger Tn cities.
            Like I say Guns can be Bad, but they can be Good also. Saved my A*s more than once.
            But never had to fire a shot. I can now look and actually “be”pretty damn intimidating if/when you threaten me.
            Just “showing” that you have an AR gets their attention:), they start backing up:) “UH, um we don’t mean no harm”:) Yeah Right.
            But without a gun, I am just an old fart that looks like easy prey.
            And NOW we also have the drug addled people on the loose.

          • DEFENDER88

            ps As I recall the Chattooga River(“Deliverance”) area was one of the 1st Natl Wild and Scenic Rivers and the 1st Gun Free Zone I can remember.
            Like the many other Gun Free Zones now – “Gun Free” until some a*s hole shows up with a gun.

          • DEFENDER88

            Check this out. 6min video.
            Let me know what you think.
            Makes sense to me.
            Murder/killing – Like I said, it is the level of violence present in a society not the number of guns.

          • dtgraham

            In researching world stats while debating the gun crowd, I found a lot of this out. I learned a few things. Among the nations, there are two factors driving per capita gun shootings: i) guns per capita ii) poverty. That’s why it’s important to not compare America to the third world and the violent developing world. It’s the old apples to oranges thing.

            I’ve seen plenty of charts and graphs on this from the more advanced developed countries. The correlation between gun shootings per capita and guns per capita is linear and spooky. It follows exactly with no deviation. The more guns per capita, the more gun shootings per capita. The less guns per capita, the fewer gun shootings per capita. It’s sequential and really that simple. Not a lot of data on anything is that stable.

            Where the model begins to fall apart is in the poor nations. There…violence, unrest, civil war, destabilized institutions, and very high levels of poverty can spike gun shootings per capita without a corresponding spike in guns per capita.

            When Dominick Vila says that he’d rather not compare America to Honduras, he’s absolutely right.

          • DEFENDER88

            “Where the model begins to fall apart is in the poor nations. There…violence, unrest, civil war, destabilized institutions, and very high levels of poverty can spike gun shootings per capita without a corresponding spike in guns per capita.”

            Hmm – Sounds a lot like our inner cities.
            Where – by the way – is where some 75-80% of our gun violence comes from.
            You should intuitively know this like I do, when you hear of a shooting in your area, it is almost always in the poverty areas in the city and involves the gang drug wars.

          • DEFENDER88

            “Where the model begins to fall apart is in the poor nations. There…violence, unrest, civil war, destabilized institutions, and very high levels of poverty can spike gun shootings per capita without a corresponding spike in guns per capita.”
            Hmm – Sounds a lot like our inner cities.
            Where – by the way – is where some 75-80% of our gun violence comes from.
            You should intuitively know this like I do, when you hear of a shooting in your area, it is almost always in the poverty areas in the city and involves the gang drug wars.
            Since we(the US) have some 60 cities of over 1mil population, all with different gun laws, they could be considered as small countries of their own.

      • Otto Greif

        I just told why they were given immunity.

        • dtgraham

          Not good enough. Truly “frivolous” lawsuits will not destroy any industry. Not frivolous ones. Just ones based on reality; and the legal system will decide which lawsuits are frivolous and which ones aren’t. Not in the case of guns any more of course. Unless that’s changed.

          • Otto Greif

            Notice you fail to justify the types of lawsuits the immunity protects them from.

          • dtgraham

            One of the worst examples of immunity was the Delana v. Odessa Gun and Pawn case in 2012. This gun shop sold a handgun to someone’s paranoid schizophrenic daughter in 2012, even though the girl showed blatantly obvious signs of being mentally ill. Her parents took the gun away and begged the shop owners to never sell a gun to their daughter again, stating the reasons why. They sold her another gun anyway two days later. She then took that gun and killed her father with it.

            Under the Protection of Lawful Commerce and Arms Act, the courts rejected a claim of negligence against the shop owner. This case actually happened and there have been others similar to it. That law was signed into being by George W Bush in 2005.

          • Otto Greif

            The law was enacted because without it anti-gun groups would abuse the legal system to subvert the 2nd Amendment, that’s whose fault it is when cases like that happen.

    • greenlantern1

      The 2nd Amendment is part of the Constitution!
      The NRA was formed after the Civil War!
      Little late?

  • paulyz

    Hillary already is talking about using “Executive Action” to go after gun manufacturers & push gun control when she is President. She apparently learned how to do this from her Socialist mentor, Barack Oblamer.

    • Dominick Vila

      President Obama is the wrong person to look at, when it comes to Executive Orders. There are several former Presidents who have outdone President Obama by several orders of magnitude in that field.

      • Otto Greif

        Simply comparing the number of executive orders, while ignoring the kind of executive orders, is misleading. Try thinking.

      • DEFENDER88

        Check this out. 6min video.
        Let me know what you think.
        Makes sense to me.
        Murder/killing – Like I said, it is the level of violence present in a society not the number of guns.

        • Dominick Vila

          I agree that gun ownership alone cannot be blamed for the gun violence that exists in the USA, but I can’t say that I am impressed with statistics that show that failed states like Honduras, Venezuela, Guatemala, El Salvador, or Zimbabwe have higher rates of homicide than we do. I prefer to compare the USA to Western Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan and other developed – civilized – nations, not places that are on the verge of social disintegration.

          • DEFENDER88

            I do think it says something where, at the end, when he compares Plano TX(ie Gun Central USA)(Murder Rate 0.07) to highly gun controlled cities like Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, etc. with (Murder rates in the 0.50’s)

            The larger US cities DO skew the US murder rate numbers. As compared to the other developed countries.
            Hell 1-2 or our larger cities are as big as some of the countries you want to compare with.
            Goes to my observations that the biggest(by far) US gun problem is Drug Gang related in the larger cities and this skews the overall US data.
            This also matches what I see in the Mid size city I live near.
            Correlates with my empirical data observations here.
            And our larger cities Skew the State Data.

          • Dominick Vila

            Detroit, Chicago, and the other cities you cited are not larger than Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Norway, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Japan, and most of the industrialized nations where the incidence of gun violence is minimal compared to the USA.
            Drug gangs are, indeed, a problem that needs to be addressed. The easiest way to end that is for healthy Americans to stop using illegal drugs. One can only dream. I think it is also important to look at all the statistics, rather than the ones promoted by the NRA. A recent study, provided by someone else in this forum, indicates that the states with the most effective gun control laws have the lowest incidence of gun violence.
            The most disturbing part of this issue for me are the frequent massacres we have. While it is true that most are carried out by mentally disturbed people, I think finding ways to make lethal weapons less accessible to them would reduce the scope of these crimes. Needless to say, we also need to make it easier for law enforcement to identify potential threats, such as sharing psychiatric information and prescription drug usage with them.
            Throwing up our arms should be unacceptable for every responsible person.
            We must find ways to reduce the incidence of gun violence in the USA, even if it is common place in failed states like Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, and Zimbabwe. I think we are better than that, and that we should expect more from our society.

          • DEFENDER88

            I basically agree.
            But, in sum, my arguments below are instead of trying to control weapons to the detriment of honest owners(the vast majority) we should concentrate on changing the drivers for the violent behavior of those using the guns for violent acts.

            On Illegal drugs – another way to solve this problem would be to just legalize all of them except the psychotropics that drive young men to commit mass murder. Tax it. Ensure the quality would help with the OD problems. Empty 1/2 the jail population. Reduce the number of police needed. We did it with Alcohol and it worked. Quality was insured and the killing stopped.
            At one time most all the illegal drugs were legal in the US .
            Drug control, as it is now, is Not working.
            Legalizing drugs would cut the legs from under the Cartels and the Bigger City Gangs.
            And likely stop the gang shootings that inflate the US gun violence rates.
            But we would still be left with what to do with the young underprivledged men in the cities who depend on the drug trade to make a decent living. But rather work on solving that than just putting them in jail, like now – what a tragic waste of money and lives.
            With this, the level of violence(ie drug gangs)(gun crime) in the large cities would drop drastically and guns would become a non issue like they are out in the country side.
            Go back to 1950’s levels of gun violence and mass murder ie a non issue. Even though gun ownership was high then also compared to other countries.

            As for the mass school shootings – Also drug related but in a different way. As you know I have ideas here also.

    • greenlantern1

      Bush, not Obama, golfed with his comrade, Vladimir Putin!
      Putin’s oil wells were built by the Koch brothers!
      Perfectly clear?

  • aabb4455

    The gun lobby are domestic terrorists. Conservatism is a mental disease.

  • greenlantern1

    Thanks to Eric Holder, and the FBI, fiends like Viktor Bout are behind bars!
    He was a Russian arms dealer!
    He tried to sell arms to Colombian outlaws!
    They wanted to murder American pilots!
    Why is the NRA quiet about that?