Hillary Clinton Holds Gun Violence Discussion in Hartford

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has made a campaign stop in Hartford, ahead of the April 26 primary, and she is discussing gun violence.

"I am determined that we will do whatever we can to save lives in America," Clinton said. "On average, 90 people a day die of gun violence. That is 33,000 people a year -- a year. If anything else were killing 33,000 Americans a year, you can bet we would be fully mobilized, doing anything we possibly could to save lives."   

Clinton was at the YMCA on Albany Avenue, where she is accompanied by the families of victims killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting, along with other family members of gun violence victims.

Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, attended the event, and Clinton put a focus on Connecticut's gun legislation and acknowledged him; Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman; and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, who she said is a friend of Chelsea Clinton.

"I am really proud that your leaders here in Connecticut have shown the way," Clinton said.

"I know how hard it was to do what Connecticut's governor and Legislature did after Sandy Hook, so I am not here to make promises I can't keep. I am here to tell you I will use every single minute of every day, if I am so fortunate enough to be your president, looking for ways that we can save lives -- that we can change the gun culture," Clinton said. "It is just too easy for people to reach for a gun to solve their problems. It makes no sense."

Erica Smegielski, the daughter of Dawn Hochsprung, introduced Clinton during the event.

Hochsprung was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School and was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting and Smegielski has become an outspoken advocate for gun safety reforms.

Smegielski was also part of a panel to speak during the event and said she started her fight against gun violence because of her mom, but her fight is not soley about her mother anymore.

"The reality is, my mom was murdered and she is not coming back, no matter how hard I fight," she said. "There is nothing I can do to bring her back. What I can do is stand up and use my voice and use my story to motivate other people to get up and use their voice and share their stories and come together around this issue."

In the past, Clinton has proposed "commonsense" laws to tackle gun control in the United States, including enacting background checks, ending immunity protections and keeping guns away from domestic abusers, the Clinton campaign said in a statement. 

"We can do this consistent with the Second Amendment. We can do this with support of responsible gun owners and that is exactly what we will do," Clinton said. 

She said she is advocating for comprehensive background checks and getting rid of loopholes that allow people to get guns before background checks are completed.

She said no one is more powerful in Washington than the gun lobby and what Connecticut did needs to be a national model on this needs to be a voting issue.

Her rival Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders, has not announced a visit to the Nutmeg State but his press secretary said the schedule is still being set. 

"I'm certain that the voters of Connecticut will hear from Sanders one way or another," R. Warren Gill III, Sanders' press secretary told NBC Connecticut. 

While no visit has been announced yet, Sanders' campaign has spent $765,000 on ads for Connecticut TV stations, according to FCC filings.

Clinton's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, was in the state on Wednesday for a campaign event in Hartford.

Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ohio governor John Kasich have both visited Connecticut. Trump was in Hartford on Friday and he will be back on Saturday.

Kasich visited Sacred Heart University in Fairfield earlier this month and is coming back on Friday, where he will be at Glastonbury High School.

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