Another chapter in the lengthy tale of gun control duplicity was written last week. On July 10, The Washington Free Beacon published a report of a video of Democratic nominee for New York’s rural upstate 21st congressional district Tedra Cobb admitting that she had deceived constituents about her support for a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles. Since the story broke, Cobb’s comments have gone viral and her campaign manager has quit the race.
According to the Free Beacon report, while Cobb was meeting with a group of young supporters, the topic of gun control came up. Recalling a conversation she had on the matter earlier in the day, Cobb explained to the crowd,
When I was at this thing today, it was the first table I was at, a woman said, ‘How do you feel about assault rifles?' And I said they should be banned. And I said, you know, people were getting up to go, to go get their lunch because it was a buffet, and I just said to her, I want you to know Cindy, I cannot say that.
Making clear that this lack of candor with voters was a coordinated effort by Cobb and her gun control advocate backers to deceive the public, the candidate explained that her order had come from New York Moms Demand Action activist Tricia Pleau. Cobb stated, “I said Moms Demand says, and Tricia Pleau said, ‘Do not say that you want an assault rifle ban because you will not win.’” Moms Demand Action is a subsidiary of the Michael Bloomberg-bankrolled Everytown for Gun Safety gun control conglomerate.
Following the publication of her comments, Cobb issued a statement to the Watertown Daily Times. In it, Cobb did not walk back her admitted support for a semi-automatic rifle ban, instead she pivoted to her support for the criminalization of private firearm transfers. Cobb noted, “There are a lot of common-sense things we need to do right now to make our kids safer without getting stuck on a stalemate issue like an Assault Weapons B an (sic) that would not pass this Congress and would not get signed by this president.”
This week, the Daily Times reported that Cobb’s campaign manager Mike Szustak has left the campaign. Szustak did not comment to the Daily Times on why he left the Cobb campaign, but the paper noted that there had been multiple reports that Szustak had a heated phone exchange in an Amtrak café car regarding the controversial video. A spokesman for Cobb’s incumbent opponent described the café car incident as a “meltdown.”
Obfuscating their true goals is at the heart of gun control politics. Aware that the public has repeatedly rejected efforts to curtail the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, the institutional gun control movement is perpetually rebranding itself and shifting its messaging in order obscure their agenda to make it more palatable. While gun control groups’ official statements now claim they only want “commonsense reforms,” a decade ago some of these same organizations were busy denying the Second Amendment protected an individual right to keep and bear arms at all. In recent months, gun control groups’ less sophisticated supporters have given away the game by openly advocating gun bans and the repeal of the Second Amendment.
Given this history of deceit, gun rights advocates must remain skeptical of politicians’ mere statements on this issue and supportive of those with a proven track record of defending our Second Amendment freedoms.