Vice President Kamala Harris called for stricter gun safety laws and an assault weapons ban while she was a guest on The Jennifer Hudson Show on Thursday, April 20. Jennifer Hudson, 41, sat down with the vice president, 58, to discuss a multitude of issues, including gun safety, women’s rights, and healthcare. The appearance came just weeks after the Nashville shooting at the Covenant School, and Harris spoke about the need to legislate to prevent further tragedies.
During the interview, Harris clapped back at the notion that people that want sensible gun safety laws don’t support the Second Amendment. “When I look at the tragedies all over our country that have affected so many people so personally, and the senseless nature of it all, because here’s the thing: first of all, we shouldn’t have to be presented with this false choice, which suggests you’re either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want reasonable gun safety laws. That’s a false choice,” she said.
She called laws that seek background checks for gun owners “reasonable” despite backlash, and also called for a ban on some of the most deadly weapons. “It is reasonable to say that weapons of war have no place on the streets of America,” she said. “We need an assault weapons ban. These are reasonable things to do.”
The vice president called on Congress to legislate and not cower before gun lobbyists. “I think it is pitiful that the people in the United States Congress do not have the courage to stand up to the gun lobbies, to stand up to the NRA, and say, ‘Look, I support the Second Amendment, but we need reasonable gun safety laws,'” she said. “Have the courage.”
Harris also spoke about how heartbreaking it was to know the ways that children have reacted to mass shootings and training in classrooms, which are in place to try to keep them safe in the event of an attack, and she spoke about how it can be traumatizing for kids. She also spoke to going to Tennessee after the Nashville shooting, and called out the local legislature for expelling two members for joining protests calling for further gun safety.
While speaking about the Tennessee legislators who were expelled, Harris spoke about how important having young leaders was for the future of the country. “We need our young leaders,” she said. “Some of the greatest, if not all the movements in our nations that have been about progress have been lead by our young leaders.”
In another segment of the interview, Harris spoke out against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, saying it wasn’t the government’s right to make women’s decisions for them. “The highest court in our land, the United States Supreme Court, took a Constitutional right that had been recognized from the women of America, and by undoing Roe V. Wade, basically made a statement that the government is in a better position to tell women what to do with their own bodies than that woman is,” she said. “The government should not be telling her what to do with her body.”
As Harris continued, she denounced efforts to try to ban abortions across the country, saying that it should ultimately be up to the woman. “The strength of our country has in so many ways been the continuous path toward the expansion of rights, and now we’re seeing these extremist so-called leaders who are trying to restrict rights, and on this issue, there’s a simple point at play as far as I’m concerned: trust women to make decisions about what’s in their best interest,” she said.
The stop at The Jennifer Hudson Show came about two months after Harris had shown support for President Joe Biden at the 2023 State of the Union address in February. Before the speech, Harris also spoke at the funeral for Tyre Nichols, who died after he was beaten by police officers in Memphis. During her speech, Harris called for police reform. “This is a family that lost their son and their brother through an act of violence at the hands and the feet of people who had been charged with keeping them safe,” she said. Nichols’ parents were also Biden’s guests at the State of the Union.
The interview comes as people also await Biden to officially announce a 2024 campaign for president. While the president has been open about his intentions to run again, he has yet to formally throw his hat into the race with a re-election effort. It’s expected that he will also run with Harris again in the upcoming election. During the White House Easter Egg Roll, the president once again shared that he intends to run again during an interview with Today. “I plan on running,” he said. “We’re not prepared to announce it yet.”
Before her her appearance at Nichols’ funeral, Harris did get to take part in a very exciting piece of legislation back in December. When Biden signed the Respect For Marriage Act, which protects both gay marriages and interracial marriages, he handed the pen to Harris, as a symbolic nod to the fact that Harris and her husband, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff are in an interracial marriage.
Earlier in December, the vice president also attended Biden’s first-ever State Dinner, where he and First Lady Jill Biden welcomed French President Emmanual Macron and his wife First Lady Brigitte Macron. During the dinner, Harris wore a beautiful black gown, and she even posed for a photo with a fictional vice president Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who starred as a vice president throughout seven seasons of Veep.
The Jennifer Hudson Show interview also comes nearly two years after Harris’ last daytime talk interview, during an appearance on The View in September 2021. Unfortunately, during the show, co-hosts Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin both falsely tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be rushed off the show on-air. Harris ended up doing the interview via video from backstage.