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

Clinton touts her experience with guns

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/12/art.hrc2nd0412.ap.jpg caption="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. Dave

    Duck hunting. Seems tame enough. Or- is a point trying to be made?

    April 12, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  2. Robert

    I wonder if her hunting story will turn into another "mis-spoke"

    April 12, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  3. RT

    “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 be how to shoot when I was a little girl,”

    Sure. I bet anyone all the money to my name (which isn't much because of my economic situation-which I'm very BITTER about) That this is totally a lie. She has hunted ducks? Sure. This lady lives in fantasy land.

    Also, is she advocating that we should teach all kids how to shoot guns? I believe in the right own arms but we have a serious gun control problem in this country. Teaching kids to play with guns is a great idea....

    April 12, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  4. pbj

    Give me a break; from sniper fire to being a gun enthusiast. Memo to Dick Cheney - Please take this woman hunting.

    April 12, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  5. swede_mariner

    What Obama is saying about some people are getting bitter makes perfect sence. At least that's not a lie, and he is the only candidate with a background, who can validate that.
    Clinton and McSame and their bloggers seem to think that being bitter is un-patriotic or un-american.
    I appreciate your honesty Barack Obama, out next President!

    April 12, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. curtis in WI

    I'm not an expert with guns, but I am pretty sure if someone shot at me it would be an experience I would clearly remember for the rest of my life.

    April 12, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  7. Man at work

    I'll bet she's touting her experience with guns. Clinton is obviously turn coating on the dems, and good riddance. Obama's comment were an affirmation as to why we're voting for him, and a call to all hard working republicans whom are also fed up and need change. To them I say this: We know your struggling like the rest of us, in order to in-act real change we must all come together, voice our voice, and not fall for the same old tricks from the republican rule book that get us nowhere and do nothing for the everyday working man / woman IE guns and gay marriage. Two important value issues, but come on, no-body's going to take your guns away and well, gay marriage... I won't even go there... you know deep in your hearts these are more issues for rallying sides than helping or changing anything. This election must be more than about sides if we are going to take are government back from the special interests, I know this, you know this, Clinton and Mccain, well they're just not on our side. VOTE OBAMA !!!

    April 12, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  8. Peoria

    Ha, it's like Hillary doesn't remember which party to which she belongs. Is she running against Obama as the Democratic nominee, or she running against Obama as his Republican opponent?

    At least someone in the audience called her out for it.

    April 12, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  9. IF

    It explains why she grew up with a tendency to shoot down people... metaphorically, so far. However, it's not so subtle when she brings up these stories, as an answer to what she sees as a gaffe on the part of her opponent.

    Teaching young girls how to shoot, is not, mercifully, something dads commonly teach their children. Mostly, they' are teaching children the value of life, be it human or ducky. And keeping a gun as "part of who they are", is scary. And... demeaning.

    "Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals" is the least one would expect of gun owners. What about the criminals who weren'r criminals until they committed their first crime using those guns so readily available?

    April 12, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  10. Key West Sun

    You go girl.............Obama has shot himself in the foot, arm, and you know where, so show the world what a true leader looks like. Just saw him on CNN and he is still sticking his foot in it.

    April 12, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. Dan

    I hope she knows more about guns than she knew about bullets in Bosnia. She sure knows how to shoot off her mouth, that's a fact!

    April 12, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. Fred

    That woman will say anything to win. Now she is sort of claiming to be the next Charlton Heston.

    Look at what a blogger wrote:

    Sam in Indiana April 11th, 2008 6:02 pm ET

    If you have lost your job and are going into foreclosure, you are bitter. PA people should be very mad. And they should never forget that the Clintons were the ones who supported NAFTA. And what about Columbia and Bill Clinton and their $800,000 gained from it?
    ____ I agree with you, Sam.
    How in the world can a person who makes about 5% of what the other two candidates made be an Elitist? Billy and McWarCain are each worth over a hundred million and they say they empathize with the ordinary worker? Oh, please give me a break?

    Does anybody remember when McCain scolded the American workers and told them they are not willing to do the work illegal aliens do? Remember? If not, contact the Minutemen and ask them about it.
    Oh yeah, Billary and McWarCain are looking out for us.

    April 12, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. Doug Haxton

    The 2nd amendment has nothing to do with hunting, Mrs. Clinton.

    April 12, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. TonyA

    I wonder if this so called experience with guns comes from her close call in Bosnia?

    April 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  15. Jules Millogo

    Could that be why Ms Clinton got confused about ducking sniper fires in Bosnia?? Witnessing gun fires from her father in the back yard may have deeply impressed young Hillary!
    More seriously, with the war siphonning 400 million dollars a day, American people losing their houses every day, is this the right moment to tout experience in using guns??? It is sad that our political leaders do not seem to have their priorities straight.

    April 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  16. Michael Mee

    So I guess this election will be Republican vs Republican then, yes?

    April 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. cc4obama

    With all that experience with firearms, why didn't she shoot back at the snipers in Bosnia???

    I'm not sure if I trust the story about her dad teaching her how to shoot – she can't remember what happened in 1996, how can she remember what happened when she was a child???

    How many different "home states" is Hillary going to claim. She claims NY to be her home state, then when she's campaigning in Pennsylvania, she claims roots in Scranton. Today, she was campaigning in Valpraiso IN, and she was telling childhood stories growing up there!! Next she'll be claiming that she's related to Orville Redenbacker who is also from Valpraiso!!

    Just remember...Hillary will say anything to get herself votes. She'll never keep any of her promises.

    April 12, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. Bill, Covington

    It is now time to get away from the stupid Obama "bitter" comment.
    Barak Obama is not de nos jours:....Forget him.
    Concentrate on how long it will be before I learn that Hillary was there with me on Okinawa, May 1945 and she is an expert with an M1.
    These two are really creepy, and scary.

    April 12, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  19. melisa

    she rgith about guns and she any know that too bad to obama is suck!

    April 12, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  20. Nowhere Man

    Yeah, you know a lot about guns. Ya mean like when snipers are shooting at you! Or you "think" they're shootin' at ya? You're just one of the "guys" now, right? In less, of course, they're gangin' up on you. How pathetic. LOLF!

    Obama '08!

    April 12, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  21. Warren

    It is amazing how we allow ourselves to get easily distracted from the real issues like the economy and Iraq. How unimportant news turn into a big deal not only by the candidates, news media, and Americans themselves. I guess during this campaign the "silly season" will always play a more important role above the real issues. Give yourselves a hand America. Job well done.

    April 12, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  22. andanotherthing

    I think it's sad that so many African Americans have voted for Obama thinking that he is "all about them" . I have felt from the start that this guy is really out of touch with anything except his own ego. It's not just this blunder, it's his whole campaign. It's just a performance. Thanks to Oprah.

    April 12, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  23. Demmother

    Yeah right, add a comment...
    Gomer is at the helm today.

    April 12, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  24. fed_up

    sigh...*waits for Hillary's dad to say this never happened*

    April 12, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  25. Jen, Gainesville

    All candidates sometimes do not word their sentences as well as they wanted. Such a storm from a causual talk in a private gethering! Just compare with how Obama reacted ot the Bonia scandal, which was definitely not "misspoken" but prepared lies at multuple public occasions. Just judging the personality, not even whether it is miswording of truth or polishement of a lie., I choose Obama.

    April 12, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
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