The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) wholeheartedly endorses Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. Over the last eighteen months, Clinton has highlighted America’s gun violence epidemic and offered practical solutions to curb this public health crisis.
Clinton’s campaign has been historic in many ways, but the importance to the gun violence prevention movement cannot be overstated. For years, politicians – particularly those running for president – have been fearful of the purported power of America’s gun lobby. As someone who has a knack for breaking down barriers, Clinton has thrown out the playbook by going after the National Rifle Association (NRA) and America’s dangerous gun culture. For the first time in modern history, a presidential candidate is campaigning unapologetically for the gun violence prevention policies that are supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans.
Starting with the launch of her campaign, Clinton has made gun violence prevention a pillar of her platform. She frequently highlighted the issue during the Democratic primaries, dedicated an entire night of the convention to gun violence prevention, and made a conscious effort to address the issue in all three debates. It is no coincidence that her chosen running mate, Tim Kaine, is a longtime leader on gun violence prevention. Kaine has been an ally of the gun violence prevention movement both as governor of Virginia in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre and as a U.S. senator. Clinton and Kaine have stood beside parents who have lost their children to gun violence. They have consoled survivors and family members in cities devastated by mass shootings – Blacksburg, Newtown, Aurora, Charleston, Orlando, and countless other communities. Through both words and actions, Clinton has demonstrated her willingness to tackle this complex issue.
The contrast between Clinton and her opponent is stark. Donald Trump has embraced the gun lobby’s irresponsible rhetoric and policies that contribute to our nation’s gun violence epidemic. The NRA has broken its campaign advertising record by spending at least $26 million to help elect Trump. At best, a Trump administration would simply accept the status quo on gun violence in America. At worst, Trump and the NRA would dismantle existing laws that keep guns out of dangerous hands and instigate violence. We have seen this already as Trump fans the flames of anger with dangerous rhetoric about a rigged election, Trump supporters have alluded to assassination attempts and advocated bringing guns to polling locations to intimidate voters. Trump himself has regularly encouraged and incited violence.
Lastly, Trump lacks the empathy needed to heal a nation that has been devastated by mass tragedy far too often. For these reasons among many others, Trump is unfit for the presidency.
If Hillary Clinton is elected to be the next President of the United States, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence will have an ally in the White House who is committed to reducing gun deaths and injuries. She knows that 33,000 American lives lost to guns each year is not the price of freedom. Under a Clinton administration, the gun violence prevention movement will have a leader we can trust. Her historic candidacy has shown that she is serious about saving lives.