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McCarthy announces she will not seek re-election

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, one of Capitol Hill's most ardent anti-gunners, will not seek re-election.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Anti-gun New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy announced today that she will not seek re-election in the fall, just days after the Washington Times and other outlets reported record background checks in 2013 that signal a continued uptick in gun sales in response to attempts by the Obama administration and Congressional anti-gunners to push for tougher gun restrictions.

She famously admitted during one interview on MSNBC a few years ago that she did not know what a “barrel shroud” is, even though she was pushing legislation that banned guns with that specific feature. This came after she had repeatedly tried to deflect the question and focus on other issues. She thought it was that "shoulder thing that goes up."

McCarthy launched her career on the gun control issue after a gunman named Colin Ferguson opened fire on a Long Island commuter train in December 1993. He killed six people, including McCarthy’s husband, Dennis, and wounded her son, Kevin, and 18 others.

Ferguson, who is now serving multiple life sentences, bought the gun in California after moving there from New York in April 1993. He waited the mandatory 15 days at that time, using the address of a motel at which he was staying as his “residence,” and the following month moved back to New York. The Jamaican native had moved to the Empire State several years before, had been married and then divorced. His employment history was sporadic and his attack may have been partly motivated by racism.

McCarthy has become one of the leading faces of extremist gun control, and Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms told Examiner Wednesday with no small degree of sarcasm that, “Her greatest achievement has been in raising millions of dollars for the gun rights movement.”

While she initially was a sympathetic figure in politics due to her personal tragedy, McCarthy’s view on gun control have long been considered extreme. Gottlieb suggested that the proposals she championed actually pushed more people into the gun rights camp. Her most recent anti-gun legislation was with Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, who is also no scholar when it comes to firearms components.

Last summer, McCarthy confirmed that she was being treated for lung cancer. Now at age 70, it may be the right time to step down as the gun rights battle has not been going her way for many years. She has served in Congress for 16 years.

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