Tags: Trump Administration | Democrats 2016 | Gun Control | Kirsten Gillibrand | Sanders | Guns

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to Sanders: Give Up Your Guns

(Politico's "Off Message" Podcast/Soundcloud)

By    |   Monday, 18 Apr 2016 09:59 AM

Sen. Bernie Sanders "doesn't have the sensitivity he needs" to understand the effect of gun violence on families whose children have been victims, upper chamber colleague Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand contends.

In a tearful interview for Politico's podcast "Off Message," the lawmaker, who's supporting Sanders' Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton, said she's switched from her anti-gun control position after meeting with the families of victims of gun violence — and urges the Vermont lawmaker to do the same.

Sanders backs core Democratic positions on guns — including the assault weapons ban and expanded background checks. But at the recent debate in Brooklyn, he refused to apologize to the families of the 2013 massacre in Newtown, Conn., for dissing their lawsuit against gunmaker Remington — and laughed when Clinton suggested the issue was one of their most significant differences.

"I was somebody who was not as focused on this, as I should have been, as a House member," Gillibrand, an upstate conservative appointed to the Senate seat vacated by Clinton in 2009, tells Politico. "Meeting these families devastated me, broke my heart."

"It's so crippling — I mean, I sat down with a mother last week in Brooklyn, and she lost her 4-year-old baby … she took her kid to a park," Gillibrand said, breaking down in tears.

"Every mom takes their kid to a park. And she took her kid to a park and the kid was killed, a baby, a 4-year-old … [Sanders] doesn't have the sensitivity he needs to the horror that is happening in these families. I just don't think he's fully getting how horrible it is for these families."

The 49-year-old Democrat illustrates the changing politics of guns, Politico notes, first elected to the House in 2006 on a platform that included her opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants and gun control.

Now she's hoping gun control will become a "woman's crusade."

"This debate is relegated to the men. It's about hunting? It has nothing to do with hunting," she tells Politico.

"Nothing in this debate has to do with hunting, and nothing in this debate has to do with the Second Amendment rights. Nothing. … I think — I see the world in the lens of women's issues. I'm making everything a woman's issue. I want guns to be a woman's issue."

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Sen. Bernie Sanders "doesn't have the sensitivity he needs" to understand the effect of gun violence on families whose children have been victims, upper chamber colleague Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand contends.
Kirsten Gillibrand, Sanders, Guns
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2016-59-18
Monday, 18 Apr 2016 09:59 AM
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