Massachusetts’ current Attorney General is no fan of the right to keep and bear arms, but she looks like a Second Amendment stalwart compared to one of the Democrats vying to replace her.
Maura Healey, who used her position as A.G. to impose a sweeping gun ban based on her new interpretation of the state’s decades-old ban on so-called assault weapons, is now running for governor in this year’s elections, and among the attorneys and politicians hoping to become the state’s next Attorney General is Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Boston-based labor attorney and advocate for repealing the Second Amendment.
Liss-Riordan’s call for repeal came less than three years ago, when she was mounting a failed campaign to become the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2020. In the wake of high-profile shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, the candidate said that nothing less than the eradication of the right to keep and bear arms would suffice to keep Americans safe.
“Politics as usual in Washington has been devastating for the victims of gun violence and their families. I am tired of half steps, old ideas and fake urgency around the problem we face: the presence of guns in our communities. Enough is enough. It is time we take real action and repeal the Second Amendment,” Liss-Riordan said in a statement.
“I agree with the late Justice John Paul Stevens: the Second Amendment is ‘a relic of the 18th century.’ We need leaders in Washington who understand that, and have the courage and the will to fight to repeal the Second Amendment,” she added.
Ironically, David Guarino, a political consultant for several Massachusetts Democrats, including Maura Healey, bashed Liss-Riordan’s statement at the time, calling it a “new low bar for primary voter pandering with ideas going nowhere,” which also is a pretty good description of Liss-Riordan’s Senate campaign. The labor lawyer formally declared her challenge to incumbent Ed Markey in May of 2019, but withdrew from the Democratic primary in January of 2020 after raising a little more than $1.1-million, which included a $1-million dollar loan to the campaign by Liss-Riordan herself.
Will she be any more successful in her quest to become the next Attorney General in Massachusetts? Once again, the biggest challenge is likely going to come from her primary opponents, because at the moment not a single Republican has stepped up to announce their own candidacy.
It’s been more than 50 years since a Republican served as AG in Massachusetts, which I’m sure weighs heavily on any potential conservative candidate. Still, with at least one of the Democratic candidates on the record in support of repealing the right of the people to keep and bear arms, it would be great if there was someone in Massachusetts who was willing to challenge that terrible and tyrannical idea on the campaign trail. After all, in 2018 just 37% of Massachusetts Democrats agreed with Liss-Riordan, and support for repealing the Second Amendment was under 30% among all Massachusetts voters, which certainly suggests an opening for a Republican candidate if Liss-Riordan captures her party’s nomination.
Maybe Liss-Riordan’s current campaign will suffer from the same failure-to-launch as her aborted 2020 Senate bid, but I doubt that any of her primary opponents are going to be much better when it comes to protecting and preserving the Second Amendment. It may be an uphill fight to elect a Republican as Massachusetts’ next AG, but it’s definitely a political battle worth having given what’s at stake.