WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday that the nation's gun culture has gotten "way out of balance" and the United States needs to rein in the notion that "anybody can have a gun, anywhere, anytime."
The former secretary of state and potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate said the idea that anyone can have a gun is not in the "best interest of the vast majority of people." But she said that approach does not conflict with the rights of people to own firearms.
Clinton waded into the polarizing issue of gun politics during an appearance at the National Council for Behavioral Health conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland, pointing to recent shootings that involved teens who had been playing loud music and chewing gum, and a separate incident involving text messaging in a movie theater.
"I think again we're way out of balance. I think that we've got to rein in what has become an almost article of faith that anybody can have a gun anywhere, any time," Clinton said. "And I don't believe that is in the best interest of the vast majority of people. And I think you can say that and still support the right of people to own guns."
The Democratic-controlled Senate voted against legislation pushed by President Barack Obama last year that would have expanded background checks for firearm purchases to gun shows and online sales. The legislation came in the aftermath of the deadly Sandy Hook elementary school shootings in Connecticut.
If Clinton runs for president, her views on gun control would clash with Republicans, who have largely opposed efforts to tighten gun laws.