FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA: Donald Trump’s gun policies are “not just way out there” but “dangerous” and would make America less safe, Hillary Clinton said.
“This is someone running to be president of the United States of America – a country facing a gun violence epidemic – and he’s talking about more guns in our schools, he’s talking about more hatred and division in our streets,” the likely Democratic presidential nominee said of her presumptive Republican rival. “That’s no way to keep us safe.”
Clinton’s criticism of Trump came the day after he slammed her as “Heartless Hillary” for backing restrictions on gun ownership in a speech before the convention of the National Rifle Association, the influential gun rights lobbying group, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Clinton spoke at a conference organised by the Trayvon Martin Foundation to help mothers whose children or other relatives have died from shootings. It was led by Sybrina Fulton, whose 17-year-old son, Trayvon Martin, was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012. She has campaigned with Clinton during the Democratic presidential primaries.
“The reason why I stand with her is because she first stood with me,” Fulton said before introducing Clinton to more than 200 people packed inside a hotel banquet room.
Queen Thompson Brown, a Miami mother whose son was the victim of gun violence in 2006 and who has mentored Fulton, said she and others do not want to take away guns from Americans but hope to “promote common sense gun laws.”
Clinton praised the courage of Fulton and others who had suffered the loss of loved ones to gun violence or while in police custody.
“We have a moral obligation to protect our children no matter what zip code they live in,” she said.
She then turned her attention to Trump and his gun policies.
“If you want to imagine what Trump’s America will look like, picture more kids at risk of violence and bigotry, picture more anger and fear,” she said.
Clinton repeated her pledge to fight the powerful National Rifle Association lobby, saying “we will not be silenced, we will not be intimidated.”
The gun rights organisation endorsed Trump, even though he had previously supported measures like an assault weapons ban that the NRA vigorously opposes. The group applauded Trump’s call for ending “gun-free zones” across the country.