C’mon, man — the worst? Not the Klan, not the Mafia, not biker drug gangs? Let’s go back to Kirsten Gillibrand, who seemed determined to atone for her sin of appearing on Fox News by issuing incoherent attacks on progressive betes noires. The worst organization in the country, Gillibrand declares, is the group that, er [checks notes] defends an explicitly enumerated constitutional right through public engagement on policy.
To no one’s surprise, especially not Ryan Saavedra’s, Gillibrand spews a stream of ignorance to support this thesis (via Twitchy):
Kirsten Gillibrand: “The NRA is the worst organization in this country. They care more about their profits than the American people, they care more about selling guns to someone on the terror watch list or w/grave mental illness or who has a violent criminal background”
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 2, 2019
Saavedra does a very good job of pulling apart every aspect of Gillibrand’s argument on his Twitter thread. Suffice it to say that the NRA is a non-profit, it doesn’t sell guns, and the NRA backed background checks at the point of sale to prevent criminals from purchasing firearms. The “terror watch list” issue had more to with that being an unadjudicated (and vastly overused) status developed by law enforcement without any recourse to due process. Even some of the people who develop those lists think it’s potentially dangerous to counterterrorism efforts to conflate its use with gun control.
Also, Gillibrand accuses the NRA of torpedoing the banning of “bump stocks,” used in the Las Vegas massacre, when Donald Trump himself banned bump stocks last year. Just like with Gillibrand’s answer on late-term abortions, the Democratic presidential hopeful did nothing except expose her own ignorance. It’s not a coherent argument — it’s a progressive word salad.
And once again, Chris Wallace was all over Gillibrand about it. Wallace also pointed out Gillibrand’s hypocrisy, and her answer was more revealing than she probably intended:
Wallace pointed out that Friday’s shooting would not have been stopped by any of Gillibrand’s proposed initiatives, and inquired whether she could provide more specific ideas that could have prevented the murders.
“Stop being beholden to the NRA like President Trump is,” Gillibrand offered. “The NRA is lying to the American people. It is not about the Second Amendment. It is about gun sales. … It is literally about greed and corruption, and making sure the status quo remains the same.”
Wallace then noted that Gillibrand boasted in 2009 about receiving a 100 percent “A” rating from the NRA and said she kept two guns under her bed. She was also a member of the conservative Democratic Blue Dog coalition when she represented New York’s rural 20th congressional district in the House.
“I came from a district that was really rural — Second Amendment was important, hunting was important,” Gillibrand responded. “I recognize people have different communities.”
Pressed on what changed once she arrived in the Senate and quickly received an “F” rating from the NRA, Gillibrand continued: “Just realizing that not every part of this country is like my rural, upstate district.”
Not every part of the country is like New York City either. Basically, Gillibrand admits changing her position in order to get elected when she had to factor The Big Apple into her electoral efforts. When she represented only “my rural upstate district,” Gillibrand was more than happy to wave the NRA flag. When it came time to run for statewide office, Gillibrand changed her position to suit her political needs. And now that she’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination — and taking flak from progressives over appearing on Fox — the NRA is now “the worst organization in the country.”
Needless to say, it’s ridiculously hyperbolic to call the NRA the worst organization in America. However, America’s getting a pretty good look at the worst campaigner in the Democratic presidential primary.
Update: The NRA has gone through its correspondence files this morning:
Gillibrand called us the worst org in the country, but when she represented NY20, she wrote us: “I appreciate the work that the NRA does to protect gun owners rights, and I look forward to working with you for many years.” Now that she’s looking to crack 1%, she’ll say anything. pic.twitter.com/uW5OgpUa5B
— NRA (@NRA) June 3, 2019
The “crack 1%” crack is spot-on … and way too easy.