Democratic candidate Tedra Cobb, who is currently running to represent New York’s 21st Congressional District, was recently caught on tape admitting that she supports banning certain types of guns outright, but is following the advice of pro-gun control groups in hiding her beliefs from her potential constituents.
Cobb’s comments were recorded at a meeting with teenage activists who are working to help her campaign [emphasis mine]:
TEDRA COBB: When I was, um, at this thing today, um, the first table I was at, a woman said: “How do you feel about assault rifles?” AndI said they should be banned.
And, and I said -- you know, people were getting up to go get their lunch because it was a buffet -- and I just said to her: “I want you to know Cindy, I cannot say that.”
And she said: “Well, I want you to.” And I said: “I won't win."
TEEN VOLUNTEER: Exactly, it’s like, there’s things you want to say [inaudible].
COBB: I said Moms Demand -- yeah! Moms [Demand Action] says, and Tricia Pleau said: “Do not say that you want an assault rifle ban because you will not win."
Given that gun control advocates typically don’t know that assault rifles are already extremely heavily regulated by laws like the National Firearms Act and are thusly not available to the vast majority of the American public (at least those that don’t have a spare 15,000 to 30,000 dollars lying around), it is probably safe to say that both Cobb and the woman that she was speaking with were trying to talk about an “assault weapons” ban, which would target semi-automatic sporting and hunting rifles that are owned by millions of Americans.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, Chris Martin, a regional press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, came to the same conclusion and lambasted Cobb for her dishonest political tactics:
"Tedra Cobb knows that she's wildly out of touch with the district, so she's desperately trying to hide her liberal agenda from voters," Martin said. "First, she was forced to admit that she raised taxes over 20 times, and now she's being exposed for lying to voters about her support for an assault weapons ban and taking guns away from law-abiding citizens."
Instead of owning up to her beliefs about banning guns, Cobb sent a statement to The Post Star in which she tap danced around the issue of gun bans, predictably calling for a broader conversation about “common-sense” and “practical solutions” to the problem of “gun violence in our schools”:
“I was meeting with some young people who were speaking about their very real fear of gun violence in their schools,” [Cobb] wrote. “I told them the truth — that the inability of our political system to talk about issues and practical solutions without politics getting in the way is why Washington has not made any progress to protect them. Even on things we agree on — like universal background checks and prohibiting the mentally ill from getting a firearm.”
“There are a lot of common-sense things we need to do right now to make our kids safer without getting stuck on a stalemate issue like an Assault Weapons B an (sic) that would not pass this Congress and would not get signed by this president,” she wrote. “It’s a moot point, and voters in the North Country know that. Let’s talk about the things where there is common ground, where we can make progress right now. Our kids deserve no less.”
Unsurprisingly, Cobb did not directly answer questions from reporters about whether she would vote for an assault weapons ban in Congress, although her surreptitiously recorded comments seem to make it pretty clear that she would, at least in private, support such a law.
According to Cobb’s campaign website, the candidate does openly support a wide range of other gun control measures in lieu of immediately passing a gun ban, including (but not limited to):
1) Universal background checks to close the largely fictitious “gun show loophole”
2) Bans on bump stocks and “all other modifications that make a firearm fully automatic”
3) Prohibiting “people who have committed hate crimes and/or who are on the terror watch list from purchasing guns” (NB: being put on the terror watch list does not involve due process in a court of law, and small children have been placed on it for apparently no reason)
4) Repealing concealed carry reciprocity laws for states with “looser [gun] laws”
5) Increasing funding for the ATF and repealing the Tiahart Amendment
Cobb’s website also claims that “Tedra recognizes that guns are part of our Northern New York culture, and that the vast majority of residents who do own guns here do so legally and safely. She does not advocate the repeal of the 2nd Amendment, but she does advocate for enforcing and expanding existing laws in the interest of public health and safety.”
However, if Cobb cannot be open and honest with her voters about what gun laws she really supports, why should anyone trust her when she says she doesn’t want to repeal Second Amendment? And in any case, if she is secretly willing to strip millions of law-abiding Americans of their guns, what does the right to keep and bear arms mean to her, if anything?