Kirsten Gillibrand is nothing if not a political opportunist. She was happy to take brib…er, campaign donations and endorsements from Bill and Hillary Clinton when she was running for election but was quick to throw them under the bus when the #MeToo movement made it politically expedient. (She did the same with her colleague, Al Franken, demanding he resign, despite a lack of anything resembling due process.)
Gillibrand was once a staunch supporter of gun rights, too, even earning an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association. Of course, that was when she was just running for the U.S. House of Representatives in rural upstate New York. When she decided to run for Senate (and one suspects president), she knew her positions on gun rights would cost her some votes in oh-so-enlightened New York City.
Since then, she’s changed her tune, and her grade from the NRA has dropped from an “A” to an “F.”
But understand, she didn’t change her position for political expediency. Oh no, it was “compassion,” the Washington Examiner reports:
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., admitted she was “embarrassed” of not better understanding “gun violence” after touting her top ranking from the National Rifle Association on gun rights issues when she first ran for office in upstate New York.
“After I got appointed, I went down to Brooklyn to meet with families who had suffered from gun violence in their communities. And you immediately experience the feeling that I couldn’t have been more wrong. You know, I only had the lens of upstate New York,” Gillibrand told CBS in an interview that aired Sunday.
Unsurprisingly, she tried to gloss over the fact that she’d been a lawyer in New York City for a decade and had plenty of time to “understand” gun violence.
When pressed on the fact that she had lived in New York City as a lawyer for about a decade before seeking election in New York’s 20th congressional district in 2006, Gillibrand said “that’s why I was embarrassed.”
Then, of course, she has to trot out the usual canard about “hunting.”
“I was wrong. What it’s about is the power of the NRA and the greed of that industry. Let’s be clear. It is not about hunters’ rights, it’s about money,” Gillibrand, a hunter herself, continued.
Never mind that the NRA has given a grand total of about $4 million to current members of Congress since 1998.
Look, Gillibrand is a political animal, and the only thing she’s hunting is votes and a 2020 presidential nomination. She’s also perfectly aware that the NRA’s vaunted power has very little to do with money and much more to do with the fact that millions of Americans are members (who vote) and are far more likely to let their legislators (whom they rightly consider their employees) know what they think of the job they’re doing (via Pew Research):
Some 46 percent of gun owners in the NRA say they have contacted a public official to express their opinion on gun policy, including 24 percent who have done so in the past 12 months. Far fewer gun owners who do not belong to the NRA have reached out to a public official regarding gun policy: 15 percent have ever done this, and just 5 percent have done this in the past 12 months.
Gillibrand is running to the left in order to position herself for a presidential run in 2020. Watch how fast she moderates her position on guns if she wins the nomination.
Just one more example of how politicians are not to be trusted.