Sen Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) recently came out with a proposal to "end gun violence." In her plan, she called for the typical points ant-gunners love to cling to. She wants to establish universal background checks; create a federal law against trafficking guns; reestablish an assault weapons ban; ban bump stocks (hello, that's already been done) and "large-capacity" magazines.
From her website:
We need to end our gun violence epidemic.
Mass shootings and gun violence are a national crisis that threaten the safety of our families and communities. We can’t accept repeated tragedies and tens of thousands of deaths every year as normal, and we can’t accept politicians choosing NRA money over Americans’ lives. We need to pass universal background checks, stop gun trafficking, ban assault rifles and close gun sale loopholes to make sure guns can’t get into the hands of dangerous criminals, terrorists or domestic abusers. Kirsten has fearlessly and consistently stood up for commonsense gun safety and taken on the greed of the gun lobby in the Senate, earning her a proud “F” rating from the NRA.
The Brady Campaign even promoted her plan:
But let's take a trip down memory, lane shall we?
Back in 2008, Gillibrand wrote a letter to Chris Cox, the Executive Director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action. In the letter, she positioned herself as a being pro-gun and someone who wanted to work with the gun rights group.
"To begin with, I want to be very clear that I always have and always will believe that the correct interpretation fo the 2nd amendment is that it applies to an individual's right to carry guns, and does not apply generally to the National Guard or a group of individuals in a State," Gillibrand wrote.
What's ironic is her so-called agenda are all things she previously said she didn't believe in.
"On the question of outright banning certain firearms for cosmetic features, bullets of an random size, or banning magazines holding an arbitrary number of cartridges, I am adamantly opposed and do not believe that laws should be based on random limits just for the sake of limiting gun ownership or usage," she wrote. "Furthermore, the attempt to limit the purchase of firearms to arbitrary time periods – such as 'one gun-a-month' – will not solve any crimes and will only curtain the Constitutional rights of law abiding citizens. I share your concerns about these and other attempts to that could contribute to the slippery slope of government confiscation of people's firearms based on the arbitrary whims of politics and public opinion."
Gillibrand also talked about how she submitted an amicus curae (friend of the court) brief in favor of the Heller decision.
"...I was pleased that the Court correctly stood up for gun owners throughout the District by striking down the unconstitutional firearms restrictions," she wrote. She also cited a couple bills she sponsored in the House, including The Second Amendment Enforcement Act and the Tiahrt Amendment.
At the time the letter was written she had an "A" rating from the NRA. Shortly after being elected to the Senate, her score quickly went to an "F" because of her anti-gun voting record.
Now that she's being called out for her hypocrisy, the presidential hopeful is spinning the policy shift as a "simple mistake." "I didn't do the right thing," Gillibrand told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day" Wednesday. "I mean, I think someone who can't recognize when they're wrong is far more concerning if you can never admit when you're wrong. And not only was I wrong, and not only should I have cared more about gun violence in other parts of my state or other parts of my country, I just didn't."
She said she plans to be "far more thoughtful about all issues, regardless of whether it's an issue for my state or my district."
"I think that makes me a better candidate for president. I think it makes me a better person, because if you don't have an ounce of humility to know when you're wrong, how are you possibly going to govern all of America?" she told Camerota.
"Ten years ago, when I became US senator, I recognized that I was only focused on the needs of my upstate district, but I really should have been focusing on the needs of everyone," Gillibrand concluded.
So one of two things happened here.
A) Gillibrand had no true thoughts or opinions on the issue and decided to vote in line with gun rights advocates because she knew it'd make her constituents happy. If that's the case, then she was successfully representing her upper New York State congressional district.
B) She knew she wanted to move up in the Democratic Party and part of that litmus test is being anti-gun and having a disdain for the National Rifle Association of America.
I'm starting to think she was a Congresswoman who wanted to accurately represent her pro-gun area of upstate New York but once she realized she wanted to climb the political ladder, she knew she had to change her position – and quickly.
No one suddenly abandons any kind of personal beliefs or convictions in a few months and do a complete 180. She changed positions to benefit her politically. Being anti-gun and wanting to "take on the gun lobby" is a litmus test for the Democratic Party. And the fact that she had previous ties to the NRA – the very "gun lobby" she's supposed to be against – didn't help her cause.
Don't be fooled into thinking she suddenly had a wake up call and realized she was wrong with her positions or she only cared about a select group of people. Gillibrand is proving she's someone who can be easily swayed by political pressure and desires.
Here's the full letter: