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To the dismay of many, this week Elise Stefanik continued her practice of providing slick, non-answers to constituent questions. For example, at Thursday’s “coffee” in South Glens Falls, when Michele Davis asked her to clarify her position on universal background checks and gun violence, she emphasized that “these horrific crimes (in Parkland, Las Vegas, etc.) are by people who have broken the law.” Notably, she ignored the fact that both the Parkland and Las Vegas murderers legally purchased their military-style weapons before killing throngs of people. In Moriah on Friday, in response to Maryanne Johnson’s urging for an assault weapons ban, Stefanik stated that “automatic” weapons are not legal in the U.S. That is true, but clearly not relevant, as the assault weapons used in Parkland, Las Vegas and many other recent massacres were semi-automatic weapons, legally purchased by the murderers. Stefanik also “answered” several questions simply by saying she supports “our Second Amendment rights.” But that response is yet another non-answer. People who endorse the assault weapons ban also support the Second Amendment. In fact, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice and conservative hero Antonin Scalia wrote in his landmark Heller decision that “weapons that are most useful in military service – M-16 rifles and the like” may be banned, as they are not protected by the Second Amendment.

These are just three examples of Stefanik muddling or ignoring the facts, purely to deflect and confuse constituents. I’d like to see her demonstrate some humanity, but given the frequency that she fails to do so, I’ve lost all expectation.

Nicole V. Clarke, Hagaman