April 12th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton touts her experience with guns

Sen. Evan Bayh looks on as Sen. Clinton greets supporters in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Sen. Evan Bayh looks on as Sen. Clinton greets supporters in Valparaiso, Indiana.

VALPARAISO, Indiana (CNN) - Hillary Clinton appealed to Second Amendment supporters on Saturday by hinting that she has some experience of her own pulling triggers.

“I disagree with Sen. Obama’s assertion that people in our country cling to guns and have certain attitudes about trade and immigration simply out of frustration,” she began, referring to the Obama comments on small-town Americans that set off a political tumult on Friday.

She then introduced a fond memory from her youth.

“You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl,” she said.

“You know, some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It’s part of culture. It’s part of a way of life. People enjoy hunting and shooting because it’s an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter.”

Minutes later, in a slightly awkward moment, Clinton faced a question from a woman in the audience whose son had been paralyzed by a gunshot. The woman asked Clinton what she would do about gun control as president.

Clinton touted her husband's record on gun control during his administration, and said "there is not a contradiction between protecting Second Amendment rights" and the effort to reduce crime.

Noting that many hunters and gun collectors want to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, Clinton referred to her positive childhood experiences with firearms.

"As I told you, my dad taught me how to shoot behind our cottage,” she said. “I have gone hunting. I am not a hunter. But I have gone hunting."

Clinton said she has hunted ducks.

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (548 Responses)
  1. Matt

    lol, I'm sure Hillary knows guns. She was probably packing when she was taking heavy sniper fire. Lord, she is lame. Her comes the kitchen sink....again. To bad it's too late.

    April 12, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  2. Paul in Oregon

    I hope people realize that if Hillary is elected, her administration will be a polorizing and vindictive regime. Hillary's campaign is no different than Bush's and look at the mess.

    People are bitter because of the horrid economic mess. They have been hurt by NAFTA and Hillary is lying about not wanting it. Shame on Hillary. She voted for the Bankruptcy bill and now says those without job and are in the process of losing the homes.... Well they are just happy resiliant people. I guess if you earn millions of dollars you can say the little people are just soooo happy.

    Hillary voted for this war and says she was mis-informed. She didn't even read the Intelligence reports or have hearings. She was just like the rest of the sheep and followed Bush.

    Hillary just like Bill will lie to us and we will be stuck with at least 4 years of gridlock. Maybe those resiliant people can just last another 4 or 8 years and show some smiles. Bill didn't help them and if you think Hillary will help them.... well I have a real niffty bridge to sell you.

    If Billary steals the nomination, I will either sit this one out or vote for McCain. 16 years of lying, gridlock and stupidity is just about all I can stand.

    April 12, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  3. Ratgurl

    How 'bout when Obama wins the GE, we can send Hillary a consolation prize of a trip to go duck hunting with Cheney...

    April 12, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  4. Mike

    I know beyond a doubt that Hillary does not now how to shoot a gun. Bill Clinton is living proof.

    April 12, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  5. Spirit of America

    It's called Deer Hunting with Jesus, and it ain't all bad. In fact, it is so much part of Pennsylvanian core culture that it is a religion of sorts. Go Hillary. You know the people so much better than your elitist competitor.

    April 12, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  6. Osburt

    This is like something from the Onion.

    So Clinton is so desparate for any angle that now she's touting her affinity for guns??

    I'm guessing that story about learning to shoot out behind the cabin is about as truthful as the story about the Tuzla snipers. Except now she knows that there's no risk of a videotape surfacing.

    April 12, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  7. S

    My brother kept rifles in the house where we and my brothers and sisters grew up and would go pheasant and duck hunting. My father as well would go deer hunting. My brother still hunts deer and elk. Religion has been our family mainstay and we are thankful for this great America and for rveything it stands for.

    April 12, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  8. Angela, WPB, FL

    Thank you Hillary for illuminating the Obama's inexperience by calling attention to his stupid comments. This man is clearly out of touch with the American right to have guns and have any religion of their choice and they have nothing to do with being bitter. His comments are a clear indication that he is NOT even close to having the insight and well rounded knowledge that is necessary to be the President of the United Sates. He obviously has some pretty deep seated opinions that are out of touch with the general population and the historical development of the American mindset. He cannot govern well if he doesn't understand the people he hopes to govern.
    Hillary is the one that should get the nomination. Obama is just out of touch and not ready.

    April 12, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. Independent66

    Hillary, it looks like you may have the nomination in your sight after all. At least you will let us keep our guns. Obama is digging himself in deeper and deeper every time he speaks these days, of course so do you and you need to remember to choose your words carefully, as King Leonidas was reminded in the movie 300.

    April 12, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  10. Diane Boyd

    Who is she trying to appeal to? I wish she would get the facts straight before making her sly comments.

    April 12, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  11. how?

    How can Obama claim to be better able to work with republicans- reaching out across the aisle- when he can not even connect with many democrats?

    And, why do people define Hillary Clinton as the divisive one, when she has a proven solid history of being able to reach out across the aisle and work with the republicans in the senate? She is far more centrist and he is far more leftist. So who do YOU think would be more able to find the common ground?

    Obama can not even connect / agree on anything with a moderate republican like McCain... how will he fare with the "gun-toting, God-clinging" far right?

    April 12, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. Okie from Muskogee

    I wonder if we will find out that the gun she claims she shot was a potato gun. You can't really trust her stories anymore.

    April 12, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  13. Mom Dem

    Exhibit B.1.1:
    Any student of history can see the vicious circle created by ignorance, fear, religion, poverty, and violence.

    April 12, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  14. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Maybe Senator Clinton can buy that once-used hunter's outfit from Senator Kerry for a "pro-gun" photo-op.

    But it won't look any better on her, and most people won't buy her folksy story about learning to shoot from grandpa, or was it learning how to be a sniper from some Bosnian?

    April 12, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  15. z

    She really makes me sick. Opportunistic pandering. The dumb thing is, people really do fall for this.

    She claimed she could bowl, but then got gutterballs on Ellen. I hate to know what she'd do with a gun....

    The only guns she remembers were the imaginary ones shooting at her in Bosnia.

    As for Obama's comments, they were obviously taken out of context. Read the whole speach to get the big picture.

    April 12, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  16. JimmyBoy

    Thank you Hillary.

    Most people have guns and choose a religion because they have a choice. It is the freedom America gives them to do so. And what millions have paid their lives for.

    Bitterness?
    Is this something Obama learned from the sermons at his church?

    Or is this Obama really talking about himself because small town Americans are not falling for his line of BS.

    Keep giving them hell Hillary. I feel like I am a real man because I truly believe in equality. Many men try to regard women as inferior so they can feed their weak egos.

    April 12, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  17. Pamela

    Why don't Hilliary just go away. This HR Puff-n-Stuff looking person is obviously not getting it! Please Pennsylvania, North Carolina....END THIS! Send her back to this phoney Senator back to her state of political convenience, New York.

    April 12, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  18. Dave, Houston, TX

    Plenty of us DO have guns because we are bitter.

    April 12, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  19. Lorenzo

    Here we go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 12, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  20. Jane

    There we go Billary. You are so Fake! This is realy low even for you!
    To use this comments as if you care about people from Small towns!Please, that is so rich! Do you really think you and your husband are fooling anyone? Billary will do anything to be back at white house. Shame on you and your husband. You both need to quit while you still have some dignity left and leave Obama to win this. America knows, If he loses, you and your husband are to blame.

    April 12, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  21. Kevin, NC

    Hil-Liar get a life.....is the story about your father even true, were you even born on earth and have a human genealogy?

    Obama wasnt saying that people who carry guns are bitter, he was saying that many american are angry/upset/bitter at their situations in life which have been caused by lack of opportunity and government ignorance to their respect plights, and when the economics of man, woman or child is upset, they become upset and when there is no change they do become bitter, some even blame those who they feel are responsible, whether or not they are right or wrong. They blame mexicans , black and so on, and some black and mexicans black each other and whites.

    Stop spinning Hil-liar and tell us some true stories......

    April 12, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  22. Mary - Independent

    Hillary Clinton is correct – guns are a part of our culture.
    Obama crossed the line, criticizing the people in Pennsylvania.
    They are human beings and they are hurting.

    April 12, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  23. Kevin, NC

    Hil-Liar get a life…..is the story about your father even true, were you even born on earth and have a human genealogy?

    Obama wasnt saying that people who carry guns are bitter, he was saying that many american are angry/upset/bitter at their situations in life which have been caused by lack of opportunity and government ignorance to their respective plights, and when the economics of man, woman or child is upset, they become upset and when there is no change they do become bitter, some even blame those who they feel are responsible, whether or not they are right or wrong. They blame mexicans , black and so on, and some black and mexicans black each other and whites.

    Stop spinning Hil-liar and tell us some true stories……

    April 12, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  24. JAB

    Here is a direct quote from a May 9, 1999 story in the New York Times:

    The Senate is to begin debate next week on a number of gun control measures, some of which mirror proposals offered recently by President Clinton. "The senators need to hear from all of us," Mrs. Clinton said. She urged voters "to give them the encouragement to do what they know is right and to remind them that there are many, many millions of American voters and citizens who will stand behind political leaders who are brave enough to buck the gun lobby, wherever that may take us, so that they will vote for the measures that we know will save lives."

    April 12, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  25. Gary, Toronto, ON

    Uggh...

    From dodging sniper fire to hunting ducks – what a rich full life she's had.

    April 12, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
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