With Governor Paterson's appointment of Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to take Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, the critics are sounding off on her stance on gun control. Most notably, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a fellow Democrat, has been saying she will challenge Gillibrand in 2010 or find someone who can.
In an interview with WPIX 11, McCarthy said, "To be very honest with you, I’m totally shocked that our governor… picked somebody with a record with the NRA. I find it totally unacceptable. It’s a slap in my face. I do take this personally. This is an issue that faces New York on a daily basis - people that are killed and people that are wounded and the illegal guns that are coming into this country.” McCarthy, whose husband was killed and son was wounded when a man opened fire on a Long Island Rail Road train (five others died), said on Hardball, "Let's face it. She has been working for the NRA."
Mayor Bloomberg (yes, he was boosting Caroline Kennedy) didn't quite thrill with Gillibrand's appointment either. Noting that while she's a "committed" member of the House of Representatives, he's got a problem:
"However, I have a strong disagreement with one area of her record as a member of Congress: illegal guns. She has actively opposed the efforts of New York City, and cities around the state and nation, to enact commonsense measures that keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals. For instance, she has co-sponsored legislation to deny key data cities and police need to track illegal gun criminals, as well as to tie the hands of the ATF and to protect dealers who sell guns illegally.
"Now, as she begins representing the whole state, I look forward to working with her to help her gain a broader understanding of the problems affecting New York City so she can be an effective advocate for all New Yorkers."
Bloomberg helped found Mayors Against Illegal Guns and raised the ire of gun dealers. During the press conference yesterday, Senator Schumer said he was sure Gillibrand's stance would "evolve" once she got to know downstate issues.