Markey challenger backs repealing Second Amendment

Liss-Riordan says anything less is 'fake urgency'


AFTER DEADLY MASS shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend, Democratic US Senate candidate Shannon Liss-Riordan went beyond the usual demands for gun control on Tuesday to call for the repeal of the Second Amendment.

The Brookline labor attorney suggested that anything less than abolishing the Constitutional right to own a firearm amounts to “fake urgency” in the face of these more frequent episodes of violence and mass casualties.

But her decision to go out on a limb was met with some criticism from Democrats that she was “pandering” to liberal primary voters and potentially overlooking more achievable solutions to gun violence.

“Politics as usual in Washington has been devastating for the victims of gun violence and their families. I am tired of half steps, old ideas and fake urgency around the problem we face: the presence of guns in our communities. Enough is enough. It is time we take real action and repeal the Second Amendment,” Liss-Riordan said in a statement.

“I agree with the late Justice John Paul Stevens: the Second Amendment is ‘a relic of the 18th century.’ We need leaders in Washington who understand that, and have the courage and the will to fight to repeal the Second Amendment,” she added.

Liss-Riordan, a Brookline labor attorney, is running in the 2020 primary against incumbent Sen. Edward Markey and businessman Steve Pemberton.

Markey, in the aftermath of the shootings, blamed Republican leadership in Congress for blocking votes in the Senate on legislation that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and require universal background checks.

The junior senator also said Congress should “close loopholes that allow domestic abusers and terrorists to purchase deadly weapons and that allow straw purchasers to flood our streets with guns.”

“Democrats have introduced a litany of common-sense and lifesaving proposals to prevent gun violence. But this bloodshed keeps happening because Mitch McConnell and too many of his Republican colleagues refuse to listen to the American people begging and pleading for change,” Markey said on Twitter.

Pemberton also told the News Service that he supports a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, as well as background checks and other “critical measures.”

“The second amendment has been coopted and twisted by the NRA and gun manufacturers, and we should absolutely have a serious discussion about abolishing it. But calling for that now in the wake of multiple deadly shooting misses the urgency of the moment,” Pemberton said in a statement. “Abolishing the second amendment will take years at best to accomplish. We can’t wait for that.”

The former foster child whose father was killed by gun violence described the issue as “deeply personal.”

“Future generations of their families will bear the burden of their loss. Too many of our current elected officials don’t understand the urgency of this issue.  If they did, they would cancel the August vacation and return to Congress this week to pass gun safety legislation that would save lives all across this country,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Markey did not respond to a request for comment about Liss-Riordan’s position on the Second Amendment, but other Democrats questioned the decision.

“New low bar for primary voter pandering with ideas going nowhere: MA Sen candidate @ShannonForMA calling for abolishing Second Amendment,” tweeted David Guarino, a political consultant for Democratic candidates, including Attorney General Maura Healey.

Addressing the violence in El Paso and Dayton, President Trump on Monday mentioned “red flag laws,” which are in place in Massachusetts, as one possible way to address violence, and on Twitter called for “strong background checks” and the possible pairing of gun control and immigration reform.

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“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” Trump said.

At least 31 people were killed in two separate incidents over the weekend, with one gunman in El Paso opening fire in a Walmart in that border city after publishing a racist manifesto online condemning Hispanic immigrants, and another targeting a nightlife district in Dayton, Ohio.