There’s always at least the faint hope that some good can come out of tragedy, and the recent shooting at the GOP baseball practice in Alexandria is no exception. There was chattering from both sides of the aisle about toning down some of the rhetoric and having elected leaders being quick to not only lead by example, but eschew talk of violence among their supporters. But not everyone seems to have gotten the message. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo attended a local event last week and, seemingly unprompted, decided to launch into a broadside against Congressman Chris Collins (R – NY 27).
You may recall that Collins was at the game and in the aftermath declared that he would be carrying whenever possible after that. Such sentiments clearly didn’t sit well with the author of the NY SAFE Act and he let Collins know it. (Spectrum News, emphasis added)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo say he’s not buying Western New York Congressman Chris Collins’ call for political civility in the wake of the attack on a GOP congressman…
Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Cuomo says Collins’ call to tone down the political rhetoric falls flat.
Cuomo adds Collins, one of the president’s top supporters, has not only contributed to the current political environment, he continues to do so. He also says Collins has called him quote “all sorts of terrible names.”
The governor criticized Collins’ announcement that he would now be carrying a firearm.
“No, the answer isn’t carry a gun,” Cuomo said. “The answer is tone down your rhetoric and act like a leader, and bring people together, and stop fanning the flames of hate. That’s the answer. The answer is create an atmosphere where you don’t need a gun.”
It’s no secret that there’s little love lost between Collins and Cuomo, even though one is in the federal government and the other resides at the state level. They have virtually no interaction on policy matters, but Collins was an early and vocal supporter of President Trump, drawing the ire of the Governor and leading to some verbal spats.
But we can put all of that aside and simply look at the two glaring problems with the hypocritical message that Cuomo has been putting out. The first, and more obvious one is the idea that nobody would need guns if our elected leaders all just started playing more nicely and filling the world with flowers and unicorns. That’s a lovely idea, but not exactly grounded in reality.
The second part of Cuomo’s theme is more troubling. He repeatedly talks about “the answer” here, but what problem is he addressing? Obviously it’s the shooting and what caused it. He’s saying that “the answer isn’t carry a gun.” Fair enough. You’d expect an anti-Second Amendment guy to say that. But then he goes on to offer what the real answer actually is. It’s to “tone down your rhetoric” and to “stop fanning the flames of hate.”
Remember what the question was. How to prevent shootings such as we saw in Virginia and elsewhere. And the answer is for Congressman Collins to stop fanning the flames of hate. It doesn’t get much more clear than that. Cuomo is blaming the GOP in general (and obviously Collins in particular) for the shooting. Keep in mind that this was a shooting specifically targeting Republicans, but it’s somehow the GOP’s fault.
Brilliant logic there, Governor. One would wonder how you mange to hold on to your position were this not New York, where being a Democrat and having a famous Democrat for a father pretty much gives you immunity against anything.