CAUGHT IN CONTRADICTION: WILL THE REAL SENATOR SCHUMER PLEASE SPEAK STRAIGHT?

Wednesday, May 15th, 2002

BELLEVUE, WA — Is perennial anti-gun New York Senator Charles Schumer suffering from schizophrenia? That’s the question two of the nation’s leading gun rights advocates are asking themselves after Schumer contradicted his own public position on the right to keep and bear arms.

Said Schumer in a May 8 press release: “The broad principle that there is an individual right to bear arms is shared by many Americans, including myself.”

However, this is the same Chuck Schumer who stated, during an April 5, 1995 hearing of the House Subcommittee on Crime, “The Second Amendment…does not guarantee the mythical individual right to bear arms we will hear argued for today.”

“Chuck Schumer is once again talking out of both sides of his mouth,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. “Suddenly, like so many other anti-gun Democrats looking ahead to this fall’s mid-term elections, Schumer has suddenly become a supporter of gun rights. He must think the American public is as dumb as he is. The Senate recess can’t come soon enough for Schumer, because he obviously needs a break.”

Gottlieb pointed to other glaring contradictions between today’s Schumer and the one speaking in 1995.

Schumer stated May 8, “I’m of the view that you can’t take a broad approach to other rights, such as First Amendment rights, and then interpret the Second Amendment so narrowly that it could fit in a thimble.”

“I can’t understand,” Gottlieb observed, “how on one hand Senator Schumer says the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right that should be interpreted as broadly as other rights, and on the other hand he hasn’t met a gun control bill that he hasn’t gone to bed with.”

“In 1995,” Gottlieb noted, “Schumer called the individual rights interpretation a ‘phony opinion.’ Now, however, he is intimately embracing the Second Amendment. In 1995, he called the Second Amendment ‘an empty cereal box in the market place of ideas.’ Today, Chuck Schumer has become a gigolo as a lover of liberty.”

Also taking Schumer to task, Joe Waldron, executive director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, accused the anti-gun New York senator of trying to reinvent himself for political expediency.

In his May 8 statement, Schumer asserted, “States and local communities need to be able to pass gun laws that deal with their own particular issues. What works in one part of the country isn’t going to work in another.”

“If Schumer truly believes this,” Waldron challenged, “then why is he still pushing national gun control laws? One size does not fit all, and he’s finally admitting that. States should be allowed to establish their own level of gun control, and Chuck Schumer should keep his unconstitutional federal gun control schemes out of the process.”

Gottlieb also recalled that in his 1995 remarks, Schumer defined the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment as “a lie.”

Stated Waldron, “Maybe Schumer knows what the Constitution says, but he couldn’t care less.”

Added Gottlieb, “And maybe Schumer knows what the truth is, but he’s never cared much about that, either.”