Hillary Clinton spoke Saturday, using an emotional speech laced with racial sympathies to push for gun control laws in the wake of the Charleston, South Carolina church massacre earlier this week.
Invoking civil rights leaders and the Bible, Clinton told the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco that as "tempting" as it is to isolate the Charleston shooting as random, "America's long struggle with race is far from finished."
"I know this is a difficult topic to talk about," she stated. "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."
Referencing a host of statistics such as mortgage rates and the incidence of asthma in black children, Clinton stated that "race remains a deep fault line in America and millions of people of color still experience racism in their everyday lives."
The massacre in Charleston, with its overtly racist motive, has led to a national media debate about race and guns, and the former secretary of state politically danced, saying that the debate one was both poisoned by politics but too important to avoid.
"We must tackle this challenge with urgency and conviction," she said.
"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."
While typically vague and open ended, Clinton's statement shows she would likely use tragedies like Charleston as to push for national firearms restrictions if the opportunity presented itself.