Hillary Clinton talks guns during ISU visit before caucus

Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz. speaks at the “Get Out The Caucus Event” held at Iowa State University in Howe Hall. When rallying the crowd of Clinton supporters Giffords stated, “Speaking is hard for me, but come January, I want to say these two words: ‘Madam president’.”

Shannon Mccarty

Hillary Clinton drew clear lines in the sand between her and fellow Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders once again days before Iowans head out to cast their vote in the Iowa Caucus.

Her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., and Giffords’ husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, joined the former secretary of state during an event at Howe Hall on Saturday.

“We’ve been fighting to try to get a Congress and try to continue to have a White House that will stand up to the gun lobby,” Kelly said.

Giffords and Kelly became gun control activists after Giffords survived being shot in the head while she talked with constituents in Arizona in 2011.

“Speaking is hard for me, but come January, I want to say these two words: ‘Madam President,’” Giffords said.

The couple said they both endorsed Clinton because they believe she will stand up to the gun lobbyists when she is in the White House.

“[Gun violence] is as important challenge we have here at home,” Clinton said.

Clinton has criticized Sanders for voting against the Brady Bill, which would have made gun manufacturers liable in gun violence related deaths.

Sanders has said he voted against the bill because he did not want to penalize small gun shops and has spoken out in favor of banning assault weapons, running instant background checks and closing the gun show loophole.

Clinton condemned the efforts by the Iowa House of Representatives to lower the age to legally own a gun to 14.

“I’ve heard about and read about what happens when children find that loaded gun in the closet,” Clinton said. “What is wrong with us? How can we continue to ignore the toll this is taking on our children and our country?”

Clinton said she agreed with President Obama’s steps he has taken for more gun control through executive order.

“But none of it will stick if it’s not a voting issue,” Clinton said. “As you go to caucus Monday night, please think about this.”

Clinton also spoke about the difference between her and Sanders when it comes to health care.

“I was so thrilled when President Obama passed and signed the Affordable Care Act,” Clinton said. “We finally have the base to build on.”

Sanders’s plan for universal health care would cause legislatures to start over on health care, Clinton said.

“What would be a very contentious national debate,” Clinton said about Sanders’s health care plan.

Clinton said she wants to build on and protect the Affordable Care Act.

“Let’s make sure we get prescription drug costs under control,” Clinton said. “I’m going to go after [drug companies] for predatory pricing.”

Clinton shamed the Iowa House of Representatives for its attempt to privatize Iowa’s Medicaid system.

“[The house] is putting so many of your fellow Iowans at risk,” Clinton said.

The former secretary of state also touted raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women and investing in clean energy as ways to stimulate the U.S. economy.

“We can create jobs and opportunities,” Clinton said. “Some nation is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century — and I want it to be us.”

Along with her stop in Ames, Clinton had campaign events scheduled in Carroll and Cedar Rapids on Saturday, and Council Bluffs, Sioux City and Des Moines on Sunday before her caucus night victory party at Drake University on Monday night.