The evolution of Kirsten Gillibrand

The evolution of Kirsten Gillibrand

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand during a congressional hearing on the recovery and rebuilding progress a year after superstorm Sandy devastated New York and the Northeast. Photo Credit: Evelyn Hockstein Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand describes her shift from defender of Second Amendment rights to advocate for gun control as an epiphany of sorts. It came after a February 2009 meeting with the parents of Nyasia Pryear-Yard, a 17-year-old high school student fatally shot in Brooklyn. Gillibrand had been appointed to the Senate weeks earlier by then-Gov. David A. Paterson. She comes from a family of hunters and had never before met someone directly affected by gun violence. But she was moved by the encounter, particularly as a mother. "I felt the pain of those parents was something that I couldn’t dismiss," Gillibrand recalled in an interview in her U.S. Capitol office, adorned with artwork by her two young sons. “I was wrong,” she said. “I just didn’t take the time that I should have to understand the issue from someone else’s perspective, not just from my own family or from my own community.” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand walks near the Senate floor on Capitol Hill on Dec. 16, 2010. Photo Credit: AP/Alex Brandon Gillibrand, 51, of upstate Brunswick, shares the story when she is asked about the policy reversals she made after transitioning from congresswoman representing a largely rural Hudson Valley district to senator representing the entire state. She formerly held more conservative views on guns and immigration, but, in her nine years […]

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