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Gomez Reverse Gun Position May Split GOP

Friday, September 27, 2013

 

Assault Rifle

In an op-ed published by the Boston Globe, former Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez said he was wrong to oppose an assault weapons ban throughout his candidacy. The surprising reversal has proponents of the ban clapping their hands, and opponents shaking their heads. It also has politicos guessing that Gomez is eyeing a spot on the Charlie Baker 2014 ticket for Massachusetts’ governor.

Gomez insists that his change of heart had nothing to do with politics.

“I submitted this to the Globe quite a while ago and they sat on it for a long time,” he said. “It had nothing to do with whether I’m going to run or not. I needed to man up and admit that I was wrong.”

Tim Buckley, spokesman for the Charlie Baker 2014 campaign, said, “any decisions regarding potential Lieutenant Governor candidates is a long way off.” Baker also favors the existing gun laws in Massachusetts, which include an assault weapons ban.

Gabriel Gomez, Lt. Governor candidate?

Why The Change of Heart

“I remain a private citizen, but feel I owe it to Massachusetts’ voters to admit that I was wrong in one of my earlier positions,” Gomez wrote in the op-ed.

“I asked myself whether my position against banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines represented what is best for the people of our Commonwealth and our Country,” he wrote. “Based on everything I have learned, seen and heard from the citizens of the Commonwealth, I can no longer support legislation that would allow the continued sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.”

This decision was “irrespective of politics,” though he did not completely rule out future runs for public office.

“I may never have to vote on this,” Gomez said, but he has not made any decisions.

“If something comes up in the public sector that the people of Massachusetts think I would be good for, then I would definitely consider running,” he said.

What Ban Opponents Are Saying

Christopher Pinto, vice chairman of the Worcester Republican City Committee, sees Gomez’s reversal as a clear indication that the former Senate candidate is planning to run for office again soon.

“In the Senate Special election primary I supported former US Attorney Mike Sullivan. Mike knows that the term assault weapon is a term invented by the gun grabbers and that the legal definitions that are used to ban them address simple cosmetic features on the weapon and do not address any features that make a rifle anymore or less deadly,” said Pinto. “Gomez's flip flop just proves that I was right to support Mike Sullivan in the primary. I did not support Gomez in the past and I will not support him in the future.”

He also pointed out that to him and several other Republicans, Gomez was never considered legitimate. He cited the RabidRepulicanBlog.com, written by Massachusetts’ residents Mike Farquhar and Jim Ettwein, which yesterday said that Gomez’s op-ed “proves conclusively that he is an elitist – the perfect Democrat.”

The blog’s writers seemed especially upset by Gomez’s assertion that because of his training as a Navy SEAL, he could appropriately handle an assault weapon, but ordinary civilians could not. They pointed out that it was in fact ordinary civilians who fought and beat the trained British army in the American Revolution, though that conflict was more than two hundred years ago.

Pinto went on to say that guns, and assault weapons in particular, have never been the problem. He insists that controlling crime, not gun ownership, is the key to reducing the United States’ growing tide of violence.

“Howie Carr stated it best on his radio show the other day when talking about the Navy Yard shooter,” Pinto said. “He asked why this guy went into the Navy Yard with a sawed off shotgun: Didn't he know that their several federal laws that make owning, possessing and manufacturing a sawed off shotgun illegal? Then Howie facetiously said that all we need to do is pass just one more law that makes a sawed off shotgun illegal and next time this won't happen.”

What Ban Proponents Are Saying

Proponents of the ban disagree.

“I think it takes a lot of courage for a politician to publicly admit that they were wrong on a position that they had previously campaigned on,” said Celeste Bocchicchio-Chaudhri, a member of Advocates for Safe and Sound Gun Laws, and Communications Coordinator for the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.

“It takes extra courage for a Republican to come out in favor of stronger gun laws, given that the GOP generally does not,” said Bocchicchio-Chaudhri. “Gomez's change of heart is an important reminder that people on both sides of this debate are reasonable people who want the best for their communities and their children. I think too often the gun control debate is painted as one set of ideologues against another, when really people can and do listen to each other even when they feel passionately about the issue.”

That sentiment was echoed by Paul Ropp, the Chairman of the Center for Nonviolent Solutions and a professor of history at Clark University.

“I’m delighted to see Mr. Gomez’s op-ed piece reversing his position on banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines,” said Professor Ropp. “I applaud his thoughtfulness, his grace and his courage in publicly changing his position and listing his reasons in such an articulate and persuasive way. I also applaud and share his criticism of our polarized politics today where mutual respect and the spirit of compromise are often lost in the battle to score points and show scorn to the opposition. “

Charlie Baker, GOP Candidate for Governor

Vice-Chair of the Center for Nonviolent Solutions, Claire Schaffer-Duffy, said “Assault weapons have proved to be deadly for so many members of the American public and the argument that a gun is need for public defense in a home does not apply to an assault weapon. You do not need multiple rounds of ammunition. Its lethal capacity, as many lawmakers have said, it was designed for a military purposes not civilian. What have we come to as a people if we require military assault rifles to feel safe in our communities?”

Other organizations that support stricter gun control also welcomed Gomez’s change of heart.

Nancy Johnson, Executive Director of Citizens for Safety, said her organization does not support or oppose any weapons bans, but has found common ground with Gomez in the past.

“I understand that Gabriel Gomez does support background checks and we agree with him and we think that would be a very important fix to a huge loophole in our law, and would do a much better job of keeping guns and assault weapons out of the hands of people we all agree should not have them,” she said

“We also agree with Justice Antonin Scalia who said that certain reasonable restrictions are compatible with the Constitution – none of the Amendments provide an absolute right and the Second Amendment is no different,” she said.

Dr. Michael Hirsh, a pediatric surgeon who is the director of Worcester’s gun buyback program, the Goods for Guns Coalition, said “I welcome anyone who is willing to explore sensible gun control measures and it is very clear from the recent history of mass shootings that assault weapons play a big role in these shootings.”

He worried though that too much focus on assault weapons clouds a bigger problem.

“When you analyze statistics, the handgun is responsible for more problems. I’ve never been one to emphasize getting assault weapons off the streets. I think the focus should be one handguns,” he said.

 

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Comments:

Iron Mike Farquhar

Gomez's Kerry-like flip-flop won't split REAL Republicans – who understand our Constitution and understand that disarming the public has always been the method of control used by tyrants.

Why did the British Army come to Concord in 1775? What was their mission?

There is nothing other than his voter registration card that makes him 'Republican'; - the rest of his life, and all his previous political support for Obama and Shuttleworth, - his suck-up letter to 'Deval Patrick – all PROVE he is a liberal Democrat.

And being an opportunist – he sees his way onto either Baker's or Coakley's ticket as a pro-abortion anti-gun liberal.

Sandy Williamson

Where is the balance in this article? One person critical of Mr. Gomez is quoted while five who support him are quoted. Of course, the author makes no mention of the fact that "assault weapon" is a complete misnomer, but at least includes Mr. Pinto's correction of that fact.

Another item completely missing was any mention of the gun crimes locally, and the fact that they are often not prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Do we have lazy prosecutors, lazy judges, or both. Or, are they so overworked, they have to plea bargain just to assure the offenders get some jail time.

And, how many of the crimes are committed by with legal guns by legal gun owners? I've yet to see any reported in recent memory.

So the folks in favor of expanding MA General Law to place further restrictions on legal gun owners needs to explain a couple of things:

- How will the additional law do anything to impede criminals from breaking laws that they already break? Do you know how many separate laws the guy broke at the Navy facility in DC? Newtown? Colorado?

- How will the additional law do anything to control weapons access by crazy people? Name any mass shooting in recent memory that wasn't conducted by an individual with severe mental problems. And I include Major Hassan in the mentally deranged category.

As for Mr. Gomez, if he has further political aspirations, he may as well change his party affiliation now. Republicans won't support him, and Democrats are generally incapable of voting for anyone with an R after their name even if they tell you privately they prefer the individual.

Iron Mike Farquhar

Liberals think as follows Sandy:

When a few Muslim al Qaeda terrorists or a crazy person commits a mass murder, - we're quickly admonished not to judge the entire group by the actions of a tiny few...

THEN, in their next breath they want to judge the many of us – by the insane / fanatical actions of that few – and punish us by disarming us.

And of course they ALWAYS throw in gun accidents, suicides, dead children, and deer hunting. They don't give a FLIP about gun safety, or your God-given right to self defense, - or our collective right to resist tyranny,...

No, they want us disarmed and helpless in case they want to come and inspect our homes, our farms, our offices, our cars.... [now watch one of the local MoonBats call me deranged...]

Edward Saucier

Gomez insists that his change of heart had nothing to do with politics. Right, I have a bridge to sell old Gabe, real cheap. He finally found out his Stupid Party demands their candidates be .999% pure like silver ingots. A little slow on the uptake like the rest of his ilk.

It's very strange how the GOP insists that voters have ID cards and make it very hard if not impossible for people of color to obtain them in most southern, western and mid-western states. Then on the other hand they don't want any restrictions on any type of gun control so any Tom, Dick or Harry can get one regardless of their mental condition.

I can understand their stance on these items. The GOP is predominantly white and have no problem with voter ID's. However if they had to be checked for their mental condition, very few of them would qualify for a gun permit of any kind. Then they would be naked, stupid and most likely would do more silly stuff.

Sandy Williamson

Ed,

I don't mean to picky here, but you make some sweeping statements here without any data or facts to support. Let's try a few:
- You state, "He finally found out his Stupid Party demands their candidates be .999% pure like silver ingots."
-- Why would anyone or any party insist that their candidate be less than 1.0% pure? That's right Ed, .999% is actually less than 1.0%. Did you miss that part of Math class?
- And, in this whopper, you tell us, "It's very strange how the GOP insists that voters have ID cards and make it very hard if not impossible for people of color to obtain them in most southern, western and mid-western states."
--Really? Can you please share the data you have on this factoid? Are you telling us that people of color can't drive, get on an airplane, buy a beer, buy cigarettes, visit a doctor, purchase prescription drugs, or cash a check other than in the New England states? Don't you think that would make a complete mess of any reasonable commerce in those parts of the US? Do you deny that voting participation of all demographic categories increased after Georgia passed it's Voter ID law? Do you deny that all recent polling indicates that at least 75% of Americans support some form of voter ID? Are these folks all Republicans. If so, you are in serious denial.
- Further, you tell us, "The GOP is predominantly white and have no problem with voter ID's."
-- I believe you are correct about registered Republicans being predominantly white. I would ask, so what? How about the Democrats? What is their demographic breakdown? And, who cares? It seems the progressives are the only ones who want to talk about race and demography. Thinking people care about good government and good policies.
- And this statement, "However if they [Republicans] had to be checked for their mental condition, very few of them would qualify for a gun permit of any kind."
-- You are welcome to your opinion, but you have absolutely no evidence to support your outlandish conjecture. Do you know what is required to be granted a gun permit of any kind in Massachusetts? Do you know how long it takes to get one? Do you know how much it costs? Do you understand the background check that is involved? Do you know that Massachusetts is a "May Issue" state, and you local Police Chief has final say regarding issuance? Are you telling us that all the Police Chiefs in the Commonwealth are issuing gun permits to crazy people? Before you make outrageous claims, you should do some fact checking.

Ed, you really need to calm down when you write these LTE's. I have no doubt what you write is all factual in your world, but it bears no resemblance to the world in which most others reside.

Iron Mike Farquhar

Sandy, I learned several years ago that trying to reason w/ Mr. Saucier is like trying to drive through a bridge abutment. [A painful waste of time and vehicle...]

Just notice how QUICKLY the SDR [Standard Democratic Response] came out – i.e. he implies that the GOP is racist, and gun owners are insane.

Ask Ed how much trouble poor people, immigrants and 'people of color' have getting EBT CARDS and DRIVER'S LICENSES...even Bank of America credit cards...

Ask Ed, - if he objects to VOTERS SHOWING PHOTO ID,...would he be OK with Purple Ink?

Edward Saucier

Sandy said: Why would anyone or any party insist that their candidate be less than 1.0% pure? That's right Ed, .999% is actually less than 1.0%. Did you miss that part of Math class?

Ed said: Sandy assumes facts not in evidence. Sandy, listen to me, .999% is how they rate pure silver - like I stated. 100% in a candidate would be rating him or her perfect. And we all know any human is not perfect. Dahhh!

You ask for my facts Sandy, Just GOOGLE the pertinent intel and you will find them. If you think I will spend the rest of my life delivering facts to you that will be denied after the fact - forget it - it ain't gonna happen, you silly goose. Quack - Quack!

Mikey said he learned several years ago that trying to reason with me is like trying to drive through a bridge abutment. Yet he keep on doing it - what's that make him? Pay attention now, it was in one of my previous posts. And to make matters worse he asks Sandy to try and reason with me. Dahhh again!

Mikey implies that the GOP is racist, and gun owners are insane. I'm not implying anything I'm stating facts.
Didn't you read the evidence?

Ed doesn't object to voter ID's. Ed objects to states that make it extremely hard to impossible for certain folks of color to obtain them. Didn't you read the evidence?

Oh, I'm sorry, you guys don't consider evidence. It gets in the way of your hallucinations. BTY, the more I stay in contact with guys like you the more I appreciate the intelligence of my dogs. Woof, Woof!

Arthur Christopher Schaper 577

"Mr. Gomez is backing these old, Republican ideas." -- Ed Markey

Gomez should go away, and go away for good.

What a selfish opportunist.

Massachusetts needs leaders, not followers.

Perhaps he should run for Lt Gov.

That office does nothing, and Gomez stands for nothing.

Arthur Christopher Schaper 577

The title of this post is biased and pointless.

Mr. Gomez cannot divide the GOP, because he never really belonged to the GOP, except in name only.

How can a candidate champion Obama and plead to a Dem governor for an interim seat?

Gomez, please go away -- at least Romney tried to pretend that he was conservative enough.




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