During her commencement address at Harvard University Thursday, Oprah Winfrey spoke publicly for the first time about the Newtown, Connecticut shoot and the broader issue of gun control. She told the students that she supports expanded background checks, while also defending Americans’ Second Amendment rights, nothing that “they don’t have to be incompatible.”
“We understand that the vast majority of people in this country believe in stronger background checks,” she said to applause from the crowd, “because they realize that we can uphold the Second Amendment and reduce the violence that is robbing us of our children.”
Winfrey referenced an interview from Bill Moyers‘ show with Francine and David Wheeler, two Newtown parents who have been especially vocal about Congressional action on gun legislation.
“They talked about how they refused to be discouraged,” Winfrey remarked, noting that the interview came just days after the Senate voted down expanded background checks legislation.
Using David Wheeler’s words as a broader lesson for the graduates, Winfrey read, “You simply cannot demonize or vilify someone who doesn’t agree with you. Because when you do that, the minute you do that, your discussion is over.”
Watch video below:
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