As is evidenced by the recent terrorist shooting in Charleston, the United States' struggle with race and guns is only increasing, and it looks like the next election may focus on the candidates' approaches to the problem. Hillary Clinton, who has sometimes remained mum on the topic, is finally speaking out - and she is saying a lot of the right things. She points out that Charleston isn't an isolated event and that race and gun control are things that the United States needs to address.
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"I know this is a difficult topic to talk about," she said. "I know that so many of us hoped by electing our first black President we had turned the page on this chapter in our history. I know there are truths we don't like to say out loud in discussions with our children, but we have to. That is the only way we can possibly move forward together."
She then brings out the numbers and explicates statistics that we cannot avoid and cannot ignore - everything from mortgage rates to the prison population shows that "race remains a deep fault line in America and millions of people of color still experience racism in their everyday lives."
Her speech came mere moments are the truth about Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old murderer who took nine innocent lives in a church was revealed: he was a white supremacist that was filled with intense hatred.
"We must tackle this challenge with urgency and conviction," she said, echoing President Barack Obama's statement earlier this week. However, she isn't for complete gun control like many think most Democrats are:
"I lived in Arkansas and I represented upstate New York. I know that gun ownership is part of the fabric of a lot of law abiding communities," Clinton said. "I also know that we can have common sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the violently unstable while respecting responsible gun owners."
The crowd, which was comprised of mayors and other public policy makers. In response to the cheers she said:
"The stakes are too high, the costs are too dear, and I am not and will not be afraid to keep fighting for common sense reforms and along with you, achieve those on behalf of all who have been lost because of this senseless gun violence in this country."
Clinton also said that we need to change our thoughts and feelings on race - echoing the cries of the African American community. Clinton's aides argue that her outspokenness on race and crime follow her history as someone who stands up for the oppressed. She wants to start a conversation, and let's hope that the conversation can take us to a better place.
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