This post was originally written in August; we're re-posting it Wednesday night following the Second Amendment questions that began the final presidential debate.
These days, Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party's the standard-bearer for gun control. Gun control was an issue she repeatedly whacked her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, on. But she insisted in Wednesday's third and final presidential debate it can be done in a way that allow law-abiding people to keep their guns.
"I see no conflict between saving people's lives and protecting the Second Amendment," she said.
And in fact, since her days as first lady, Clinton has a fairly strong record of supporting gun-control legislation. But during her 2008 campaign for president, she backed off a bit.
Here's a recap:
In 1993, when her husband, President Bill Clinton, signed into law the Brady Bill requiring federal background checks for purchases from federally licensed gun dealers (a year later he signed a crime bill that included a ban on assault weapons), Hillary Clinton praised the legislation. "Since [the Brady Bill] was enacted," she said, "more than 40,000 people with criminal records have been prevented from buying guns.
In 2007, during a Democratic primary debate in South Carolina, Clinton recalled her and her husband's visit to Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., after that massacre, saying "we had to do more to try to keep guns out of the hands of the criminal and of the mentally unstable. And during the Clinton administration, that was a goal -- not to, in any way, violate people's 2nd Amendment rights, but to try to limit access to people who should not have guns."
In 2000, while campaigning for a Senate seat in New York, Clinton supported legislation sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to license hand guns with photo-IDs.
In the 2003 memoir "Living History," then-Sen. Clinton wrote that after the 1999 Columbine shootings, she and Bill Clinton proposed raising the legal age of handgun ownership to 21.
In 2004, in the Senate she voted against banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence. She voted to extend for 10 years an assault weapons ban and supported federal criminal background checks for major gun shows. She later said at a 2008 Democratic primary debate that she'd fight for reinstating the assault weapons ban.
During her 2008 presidential campaign, Clinton appeared to move to the center on guns -- especially after then-Sen. Obama's remarks that "people cling to guns or religion" went public.
Aiming to appeal to more rural and moderate Democrats, she talked frequently on the campaign trail about how her father taught her to shoot and said hunting and shooting were "part of our culture" and "a way of life" in America.
At a 2008 Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas, Clinton backed off a national licensing registration plan, saying "I don't want the federal government preempting states and cities like New York that have very specific problems."
She said she believes in people's rights to bear arms and that she doesn't see "a contradiction between protecting 2nd Amendment rights’ and the effort to reduce crime."
She summarized her thoughts in a 2008 primary debate in Philadelphia:
"I respect the 2nd Amendment. I respect the rights of lawful gun owners to own guns, to use their guns," she said. "But I also believe that most lawful gun owners whom I have spoken with for many years across our country also want to be sure that we keep those guns out of the wrong hands. And as president, I will work to try to bridge this divide, which I think has been polarizing and, frankly, doesn’t reflect the common sense of the American people."
In 2014 at a CNN town hall, she told an audience member she thinks reinstating the assault weapons ban and a ban high-capacity magazines would help limit gun violence.
"I was disappointed that the Congress did not pass universal background checks after the horrors of the shootings at Sandy Hook," she said.
After Wednesday's shooting in Roanoke, she repeated her desire to see universal background checks and stricter laws surrounding domestic violence offenders' ability to get guns:
"It happens every day, and there is so much evidence that if guns were not so readily available, if we had universal background checks, if we could put some timeout between the person who is upset because he got fired or the domestic abuse or whatever other motivation may be working on someone who does this — that maybe we could prevent this kind of carnage."
Campaign aides told Rucker that she plans to continue to keep gun control in her stump speech but doesn't currently have any plans to release a gun-control policy.
If you're a gun-control supporter, you'll want to keep a close eye on her rhetoric.