Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) announced today that she would not be seeking re-election after serving nine terms in the US House of Representatives. McCarthy, who made her name by pushing gun control bills in Congress, has lung cancer and has been undergoing treatment for the last six months.
For the past 17 years, McCarthy has built a public career on her gun-control work, but she said her legacy also is about strong bipartisan ties and the legislation she has passed on health, education, and finance.Also retiring at the same time as McCarthy is Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) who is one of the few remaining pro-gun Blue Dog Democrats in the House. McIntyre has an A rating from the NRA-PVF and was endorsed by them in 2012. He won re-election by less than 1,000 votes. His seat will most likely go Republican in this year's Congressional elections.
She became an activist and then candidate for Congress after gunman Colin Ferguson killed six, including her husband Dennis, and wounded 19, including her son Kevin, on a Hicksville-bound Long Island Rail Road on Dec. 7, 1993. McCarthy acknowledged she has become a public face for the cause of gun control after every tragedy since.
But after the outpouring support for legislation to curb gun violence following the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults in a Newtown, Conn., school in December 2012, she said she was convinced that others can step up as the new faces of the gun-control movement.
"It's something that I have been thinking about really from the half past year," she said, "and after what happened at Newtown, so many voices came out ... and their voices were so strong."
She cited Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman critically wounded in a shooting two years ago Wednesday, and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg as two of her key successors in advocating gun control.
The first time I was labeled a "gun extremist" by Ladd Everitt and CSGV was due to a post I made about McCarthy's efforts to pass her standard capacity mag ban (HR 308) back in 2011. I concluded that post with this comment and, what I said then, is still true today.
Like McCarthy, I was widowed in 1993. My wife died from breast cancer at the age of 42. Neither event was supposed to happen but they did. As harsh as it may sound, life goes on and we need to deal with it. To expect - and even demand - continued sympathy from an event that happened over 17 years ago like McCarthy seems to want to do is sad. It is sad that McCarthy hasn't really moved on with her life and sad because she is using the tragic death of her husband as a means of political gain.
And thus, on her retirement, I dedicate this to Rep. McCarthy. Some may call it cruel and classless but I still think it is quite appropriate.