I say that large-scale gun restrictions are her goal because the other option is that she’s functionally retarded, and I don’t believe that’s true, I believe she’s quite intelligent. Many of the positions she has pushed (such as the AWB) have virtually 0 real value, and yet not only does she continue to want to pursue them, she puts them at the top of her list.
This isn’t arcane, hidden knowledge either, a glance at the FBI stats shows that rifles aren’t the problem, and that restricting them will have a vanishingly small benefit. Add to that the fact that she’s been TOLD that probably thousands of times by pro-gun people over the years and it adds up to her either working very hard to be ignorant, or not having safety as the reason why she’s pursuing that legislation. I, again, don’t believe she’s stupid, so she must have an alternative goal in mind. The only third possibility that I can see is that she’s drank so much of her team’s Kool-Aid that she can’t see straight anymore.
Add in other statements (e.g. “The Supreme Court is wrong about the Second Amendment” and that an Australia-style gun confiscation is “A good idea”) and a clear picture starts to emerge.
If you look at her statements and policy positions with the idea that she wants to reduce crime and improve safety her choices don’t make much, if any, sense. If you look at her positions and policies with the idea that she wants to dramatically limit gun access as a GOAL then what she wanted makes perfect sense.
You made the point that guns wouldn’t be a legislative priority if crime went down. I both agree and disagree. Our crime rate is at historic lows, but the demands for gun laws are at historic highs. That demand is driven partially by high-profile events like mass shootings, but it’s also driven by both parties benefiting by the people believing that crime is high when it isn’t. The parties have chosen guns as a wedge issue and they aren’t going to back down from that just because reality doesn’t fit the narrative. In a better world where people actually paid attention to such things the people would be aware that crime rates were low and wouldn’t be as afraid, but being afraid makes you dumb and being dumb makes you easy to control, so the parties work to ensure that the people are afraid.