Well, this is not an auspicious debut as a freshman Democrat.
Despite the fact that Heidi Heitkamp is heads and tails more progressive than her electoral rival Rick Berg, she is a senator from a very red state that takes the Second Amendment very literally. However, it is very disappointing to see her ignore Lawrence O'Donnell's very wise advice to lay low at first and jumped directly into right wing talking points and undermining the very tentative forays the Obama administration have made toward gun safety regulations.
HEITKAMP: You know, it's unclear. I mean, you read Washington Post stories and you listen to what the administration says, and so I think what we need to do is we need to take a look at what happened at Sandy Hook. When I was attorney general, I was tasked with a national task force on school violence. We made a number of recommendations which, in fact, were adopted at Sandy Hook to help keep schools safer. They weren't adequate.
Let's start addressing the problem. And to me, one of the issues that I think comes -- screams out of this is the issue of mental health and the care for the mentally ill in our country, especially the dangerously mentally ill. And so we need to have a broad discussion before we start talking about gun control.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the White House is talking about that, but are you willing to talk about gun control, as well?
HEITKAMP: Well, I think you need to put everything on the table, but what I hear from the administration -- and if the Washington Post is to be believed -- that's way -- way in extreme of what I think is necessary or even should be talked about. And it's not going to pass.
Well, now you know how she got her 100% rating from the NRA.
I've got news for Sen. Heitkamp: she's way, way to the extreme of the American people, including most responsible gun owners. They favor reasonable gun safety regulations and measures.
But the natural follow up question is, does Sen. Heitkamp think that putting armed guards at every school is a way extreme solution? Of course, Stephanopoulos would never actually do his job and ask it.
But you see the danger of treading into right wing tropes? Rather than staying with your party, you expose yourself as a NRA shill at the very beginnning of your Senate career.