Former Republican Gov. Christ Christie of New Jersey said on Monday that he was “better educated” and had “learned a lot” since supporting an “assault weapons” ban during a state Senate run in the 1990s.
“I was 29 years old. I’ve learned a lot since then,” Christie said during a CNN town hall on Monday after host Anderson Cooper noted that he had opposed GOP efforts to repeal the state’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” in 1993. “At 29 years old, I thought there were easy answers to everything, Anderson. I really did. And I thought that would be an easy answer, an easy fix. It turns out, it’s not.”
President Joe Biden, congressional Democrats, media figures and celebrities demanded a ban on so-called “assault weapons” in the wake of mass shootings in a Nashville school, a bank in Louisville and an outlet mall in Allen, Texas.
Christie said during a 1993 bid for the New Jersey state Senate that efforts to repeal the state’s ban on certain semi-automatic firearms “energized me to get into this race,” and labeled opponents of the ban “dangerous,” “crazy” and “radical,” according to Politico.
“You said back then, ‘In today’s society, no one needs a semiautomatic weapon,’” Cooper said. “Do you think that now?”
“That’s the naivety of a 29-year-old. It’s not about need, it’s a right. They have a right under the Second Amendment, and they’re exercising their right,” Christie said during Monday’s CNN town hall. “I don’t own one, but that’s been my choice, and so I am smarter and better than I was 31 years ago for the most part, and I think that’s what you see in that difference there because it changed pretty quickly. My position started to change in that when I got better educated on issues than I was at 29.”
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