“I think there’s been too much political calculus on this issue for way too long,” said Democrat Pat Ryan, who hosted a meeting Tuesday night. “And we need to look at the overwhelming feedback we’re getting from young people … that the current situation is not working.”
Ryan began his town hall in Kingston, New York, Tuesday night by touting his support for an assault weapons ban. Ryan, an Iraq War veteran, said he is familiar with the type of weapons used in mass shootings.
“This is a weapon that’s designed purely to kill human beings,” Ryan said Tuesday night at the event, which was live-streamed.
Ryan said in an interview Wednesday night that he decided to hold the event when others — especially Faso — appeared unwilling. Fellow Democrat Gareth Rhodes, who worked for Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is also holding a town hall meeting on the issue Saturday in the small town of Hamden.
Ryan said Faso was invited to the meetings, but his campaign said in a statement the congressman learned of the events through local media reports.
…Ryan noted the energy among young people in the district over the issue, and suggested young people were more engaged in the race. Younger voters have typically been more difficult to turn out in the district.
Eli Duncan-Gilmour, an 18 year-old student at New Paltz High School, spoke at Ryan’s town hall meeting Tuesday night, and said young people calling for action on gun violence were ready to head to the polls.
“There’s a new group of voters that hasn’t been here before and our elected officials are going to have to grapple with this,” he said. “We’re going to start voting and we’re not going away.”
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