Levy grazed by gun question
Steve Levy got caught in a gun trap on "Keeler in the Morning" earlier today, saying he supported the rights of families to protect themselves but then got tripped up about the history of Remington Arms the centuries-old gunmaker that was founded in upstate New York.
Asked where he stands on guns a far different issue upstate than it is in New York and the metro area Levy, who signed a GOP registration card 11 days ago, said:
"I believe that people have a right to have their guns to defend themselves in their families. I have a very, you know, good relationship with the sportsmen in my area."
And he added, "I am for reasonable measures like background checks and waiting periods."
Later, he criticized people downstate who want to change the laws "and totally try to change a world that they know nothing of," a reference that could have been about Mayor Bloomberg, now one of the nation's best-known gun-control advocates.
Then the interview got specific, and Levy was asked about his favorite gun.
"Probably a shotgun to protect the family in" the wilds of Suffolk County, he quipped. But when asked what brand, he confessed, "I'm not the aficionado. To me it's just a matter of defending your family. To other people ... it's more than a hobby, it's everything to them, and you have to respect that."
(It's worth noting that most average people or downstate politicians would have no idea what Remington Arms is, and Levy didn't say anything that would have offended gun owners. He did, however, seem a bit as if he'd rather return to talking budget nuts and bolts.)
One of the hosts interrupted him and said, "This is one piece of advice," and explained that Remington Arms is the largest employer in Herkimer and one of the nation's oldest manufacturers.
"When I ask you what's your gun of choice, the answer has to be Remington," was the chide.
Another? "It's in your state you gotta know that, man."
Levy is playing to the base on guns the new base, meaning the GOP primary (and leader) base, along with members of the Conservative Party who he's hoping will convince Chairman Mike Long to part ways with Rick Lazio. It highlights the difference between his current route (Dem to Republican) versus Kirsten Gillibrand, who spent much of last year anticipating a primary challenging for Senate and trying to undo a comment about keeping a gun under her bed in Columbia County.
Levy's WXUR interview wrapped with the hosts saying they need to know more about him given the three years of scandal that have savaged New York's state government, with one asking, "Are there any skeletons in your closet?"
Levy chuckled and said, "Well, I'll tell ya, I am in one of the most intense media markets in the nation and I've been" there for two decades.
"They spend a lot of the day playing that gotcha game," he added.