McAuliffe: 'Gun Violence Going Down' is 'Not the Issue'
UPDATED (9/11/2013): Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Virginia, has been carefully hiding his pro-gun control stance with the media during his campaign. However, he did tell Breitbart News in August that it does not matter that crime is going down in Virginia while gun sales are soaring at the same time.
McAuliffe's campaign has been careful not to acknowledge they met with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, co-chair and co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Bloomberg's organization was a key player in pushing further gun restrictions to Colorado, a state which just saw a recall of Democratic State Senators who helped Bloomberg and his organization with their mission. Mayor Bloomberg reportedly sank $350,000 into the Colorado races to protect the Democratic members.
Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe did not want to tell reporters if he supports the passage of an "assault weapons" ban (AWB) in the commonwealth of Virginia. When asked by Breitbart News, he replied, "What I said in Virginia, what we ought to do--and I'm a strong supporter of the second amendment--I'm a gun owner. I take two of my sons hunting and skeet shooting. I think there are reasonable things we can do."
When asked what those things would be, McAuliffe only mentioned background checks.
"I think that anyone that purchases a gun should have a background check. I've gone through it myself. It's a very simple process. It only takes a couple of minutes to do it. There are certain people that should not own guns and with all the issues we've had, and the comparison of Newtown and Aurora, and gun violence going down--that's not the issue. I think I speak for every Virginia parent, when you drive your child off to school, you want to know that your child is going to be safe. And I think a practical, mainstream idea is that anyone who purchases a gun should go through a background check. I think that's reasonable. That's my opinion."
The National Rifle Association has given McAuliffe an "F" rating and endorsed his Republican opponent Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, to whom it gave an "A" rating. McAuliffe did not answer the NRA's state candidate questionnaire. The NRA called McAuliffe's refusal to do so a "sign of indifference if not outright hostility to the rights of gun owners and sportsmen."
In January of 2013, the Washington Examiner reported that McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee Chair, bought his first firearm. McAuliffe reiterated his support for the Assault Weapons Ban and his commitment to roll back pro-gun legislation that would reinstate Virgnia's one gun a month law.
After the shootings, McAuliffe issued a statement calling for a new assault-weapons ban, a rule to curb gun purchases by Virginians to one gun a month and a closer look at the mental health of gun buyers. "First, we must prioritize the diagnosis, treatment, and awareness of mental health issues by recognizing that individuals with psychological and emotional disorders need our help instead of stigmatization. Second, I've said in the past and I continue to believe that there are mainstream restrictions on dangerous weapons that we can agree on including: renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban, passage of bipartisan legislation to strengthen background checks, and re-implementation of Virginia's one-gun-a-month rule," he said.
The NRA notes that McAuliffe also supports a ban on commonly owned semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines. The NRA says McAuliffe wants to criminalize private firearms transfers. The transfer ban McAuliffe wants, according to the NRA, would include between friends and family members.
When asked again if he would support AWB legislation in Virginia McAuliffe said, "What I have always said is as governor, what I would like to get done is to have background checks. That would be my first important step in that process."