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Collins, Out of Control

by on May 29, 2012
Chris Collins

Spending time explaining why you didn’t mean to infringe upon a fundamental right may just mean that you’re not on a path that leads to happy voters. There hasn’t yet been a victory speech that cited correcting the record on screw-ups as the ultimate key to the balloon drop.

Former maddening Erie County Executive Chris Collins wants to win a different job. But he has to convince wary Republicans that he doesn’t want to keep them from defending themselves, directly acquiring venison, or shooting bowling pins in the area’s more desolated spaces.

Softness on the Second Amendment isn’t the first thing wrong with Collins’s campaign. But the ease with which he was duped into signing a gun-grabbing pledge does not bode well for his prospects standing up for his district. People in Washington can be deceptive, you know:

The politics of gun rights is suddenly front and center in the race for New York’s newly-drawn 27th Congressional District.

The new district is the most conservative district in the entire state, and is likely the most pro-gun. Two Republicans are fighting for the right to challenge Democrat incumbent Kathy Hochul. One of them, Chris Collins, is under fire for something he did involving gun control when he was Erie County Executive.

These days, when Collins speaks to local Republicans, he’s forced to explain a document he signed four years ago, when he first took office.

Nonchalantly signing anything placed in front of him like it was a birthday card to be sent to his spouse’s cousin explains why he’s not presently in office. Seeing the name of the biggest little tyrant mayor in America on the letterhead should have served as a clue to read the entire sheet before burning it:

The document was a pledge to join a gun-control group started by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The group, called Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns, also included county executives nationwide in 2008. Collins signed on as one of them.

Who could believe that the same side that incessantly whines about “fair share” when referring to class warfare would also resort to devious language about firearms? That’s why they maintain to believe in the astoundingly euphemistic “gun safety,” not “control.” But Bloomberg is dedicated to keeping criminals who obey laws from getting firearms, at least when he’s not fighting the scourge of salt or letting beggars hassle Manhattan’s pedestrians:

Many gun rights advocates are staunchly against Bloomberg’s group. Collins’s opponent, Iraq War Veteran David Bellavia, has been attacking Collins for days about it.

“We need to know that, when you read a bill, like the Affordable Health Care Act, that sounds great too. Let’s sign onto it. It’s Obamacare. And we’re against Obamacare as Republicans,” Bellavia said. “We need to read what it is we’re signing up.”

Collins first tried to explain his position to a Niagara County gun rights group Monday, telling the audience, “So that was a distortion. It is what it is. I signed on for five days and got snookered.” Video of his comments was posted on YouTube.

People never, ever, ever change, which the defeated executive showed when he flaunted the same indifference that defined his single term:

Collins told 2 On Your Side that it may actually have been a couple of months before he withdrew.

REPORTER: What did you mean by snookered?

COLLINS: Well, maybe that was an adjective I shouldn’t have used, but the title of it is “illegal guns” and I think most most everyone would say, “i’m absolutely opposed to illegal guns. And we did not deep dive (into) what they stood for, and when we found out about it, we disavowed any knowledge of it.

Or, he could have just not inked it. It’s easier to do nothing, as Collins proved repeatedly throughout his last post.

Certainly, the erstwhile county head would be a better representative than useless leftist scaremonger and present seat-filler Kathy Hochul. Also, Mitt Romney would be a better president by Barack Obama, but it’s far better to have a case for voting in someone’s favor rather than against a sloppily incompetent foe.

It’s too bad there’s not a veteran willing to run who’s shrewd enough to know that you have a constitutional right to bear arms. Oh, wait: hooray! Bellavia seems to be good on his own and getting even better by comparison.

And why not feel enthusiastic for a chance? Backing the contender who’s both more honest and conservative would be the difference between maybe voting for Collins and putting a sign in your lawn before offering to drive your neighbors with you to happily pencil the circle next to Bellavia’s name.

Unlike with Collins, you can be sure what Bellavia believes. That’s not even to mention that you can avoid an explanation you didn’t want to sit through, anyway.

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