Teachers Union Bigwig’s Gun Control Hypocrisy

Gun control advocate Weingarten spent big on pro-gun Democrats

Randi Weingarten
Randi Weingarten / AP
• December 2, 2014 12:10 pm


Teachers union honcho Randi Weingarten will meet with Newtown teachers to commemorate the victim’s of America’s deadliest school shooting just months after campaigning for anti-gun control Democrats.

The American Federation of Teachers spent big money to help elect embattled Democratic Sens. Mark Begich (D., Alaska) and Mark Pryor (D., Ark.) despite the fact that they oppose gun control.

Those union endorsements are at odds with Weingarten’s own reaction to the 2012 school shooting that left more than 25 elementary school teachers and students dead. Weingarten quickly endorsed President Obama’s gun control proposals issued in the aftermath of the shooting.

"The tragic events of Newtown must serve as a clarion call for immediate action to keep our communities safe from gun violence and ensure schools are the safe sanctuaries our children need to learn and grow," she said in a statement. "We applaud President Obama and Vice President Biden for heeding this call for action with a series of common-sense, balanced proposals that will make our nation safer."

She told pro-union publication In These Times that the nation needed to ban assault weapons to address mass shooting.

"We should be getting guns out of society," Weingarten said. "If someone wants to hunt, they can hunt. The Second Amendment allows people to bear arms, and they should be able to, but we need reasonable common sense gun control."

Weingarten’s commitment to gun control wavered during the 2014 campaign, as AFT dedicated resources to a number of candidates who support Second Amendment rights, including Begich and Pryor.

The union gave Begich and Pryor $10,000 each in their losing reelection bids. Weingarten also appeared on the campaign trail with Begich, who bragged about owning guns since his teenage years. Begich and Pryor voted against the 2013 assault weapons ban that Weingarten supported.

Weingarten has been a strong critic of the NRA, even going so far as to link the gun rights group to the Ebola virus outbreak and the Newtown shooting.

The fact that Begich is lifetime member of the NRA who said he would "very likely" oppose gun critic Vivek Murphy’s surgeon general nomination, did not seem to bother Weingarten.

The union bigwig also gave a stirring endorsement to New York Lieutenant Governor-elect Kathy Hochul over her liberal competitors during the Democratic primary.

"Hi, this is Randi Weingarten—you may know me as the president of the American Federation of Teachers but I'm calling today as a fellow Democrat and delegate to the Democratic National Committee, to urge you to vote for Kathy Hochul for Lieutenant Governor in Tuesday's Democratic Primary," she said in a primary robo-call. "Her 100 percent pro-choice, pro-equality, pro-worker pro public school record is exactly what we need in our next Lieutenant Governor."

Weingarten failed to mention that Hochul also enjoys an A rating from the NRA.

The AFT did not respond to request for comment.

Weingarten will present a collage honoring the six educators killed by mentally ill shooter Adam Lanza at a Newtown school board meeting on Tuesday evening.

Published under: Teachers Unions, Unions