Cuomo: Gun Control Debate Dominated By ‘Vocal Minority’
Gun control measures are difficult to accomplish because the issue has been dominated by a “vocal minority” Gov. Andrew Cuomo this morning said in a radio interview on The Capitol Pressroom.
Cuomo came on the show on the heels of MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell praising Cuomo’s political courage for passing the gun control law, comparing it to his father Mario Cuomo’s principled stance against the death penalty.
But the current governor noted that the death penalty was a politically popular bludgeon to use against his father while he was in office.
Gun control is different because of the passion for the topic by gun-rights advocates and groups like the National Rifle Association.
“There’s a nuance on the gun violence issue,” Cuomo said. “Seventy percent support it, 30 percent oppose it, maybe it’s more like 27 percent. But the 20 something percent are vehement. It is a major issue for them and they are passionate about it and they will be punishing about it. That is the major issue adn that’s why it has frustrated government and society for so long.”
Cuomo once again praised state lawmakers who voted in favor of the measure (He did this more formally in a letter sent to legislators last week who backed the gun control, acknowledging the political capital that was expended in getting it done).
“I think the gun violence vote, the marriage equality vote, these are votes of character and consequence and courage that the legislators will have for the rest of their lives,” Cuomo said.
Gun-rights advocates remain upset with Cuomo’s aggressive push for the measure. Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin apologized this week after he said Hitler and Mussolini “would be proud” of how the law passed. A rally against the law is planned in Albany next week featuring Cuomo’s 2010 GOP gubernatorial opponent, Carl Paladino.
A Siena College poll this week gave Cuomo a 67 percent favorable rating, while 65 percent back the gun control law, which updates the state’s assault weapons ban and limits the number of rounds in a high-capacity magazine (A Quinnipiac poll showed a 15-percentage point drop).
The governor has frequently turned to his father’s position on the death penalty when drawing parallels to current issues he faces.
In 2011, Cuomo compared the stance to his opposition to letting a tax surcharge on high-income earners expire at the end of the year. Cuomo later removed the millionaires tax issue entirely by rejiggering the state’s tax code.
Cuomo said today his father was on “the right side” of history when it came to the death penalty.
“What we did on gun violence, I think the legislators should feel very good,” he said. ”They were on the right side of history.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on February 7, 2013 at 11:40 am, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|