Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy made a public showing of reconciliation today. As we wrote last month, Gillibrand is hardly the raging conservative the left initially tried to make her out to be. But as a gun owner and darling of the NRA, she was treated by some Democrats like she was Charlton Heston in drag. Within days of Gillibrand’s appointment to the Senate, Rep. McCarthy, who was elected to the house after her husband was killed and her son injured during the 1993 LIRR shootings, threatened to run against her in a primary.
“I don’t know what she stands for,” McCarthy said when Gillibrand tried to show she would “evolve” with a statewide constituency. “Basically, throw up an issue, and she has changed her opinion on it.”
But that’s all water under the bridge, apparently.
The two women appeared together this morning to promote the Gun Prevention Trafficking Act, which they co-authored, with
Gillibrand introducing it in the Senate and McCarthy in the House. They were joined by Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Kelley, and the parents of Naisha Pearson. The President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence even praised Gillibrand, saying this bill was “clear cut evidence of her
The tragic and recent death shooting of Vada Vasquez, killed hit by a stray bullet, hung over the proceedings, but reporters seemed even more interested in how the two lawmakers had managed to end their tiff.
Neither took the bait. Rep. McCarthy said that everything in Congress “is educational. It¹s a process.” She had kind words for Gillibrand, and announced she would actively work to elect her. For her part, Gillibrand deferred to McCarthy as a wise mentor from whom she had been schooled. But she also tried to say that she’d always been concerned with gun safety, despite previously receiving an “A” rating from the NRA.
That rating will surely drop soon. As the NRA hustled up friends-of-the-court signatures in the brief of their latest Supreme Court case, they got a bi-partisan majority of members of the Senate and the House to sign on. Gillibrand was not among them.