Michael Bloomberg is plotting a $50 million dollar grassroots campaign aimed at curbing gun violence. In other words, he's once again going after the Second Amendment (via the New York Times):
Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, said gun control advocates need to learn from the N.R.A. and punish those politicians who fail to support their agenda - even Democrats whose positions otherwise align with his own.
"They say, 'We don't care. We're going to go after you,' " he said of the N.R.A. " 'If you don't vote with us we're going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we're never going to stop.' "
He added: "We've got to make them afraid of us."
The considerable advantages that gun rights advocates enjoy - in intensity, organization and political clout - will not be easy to overcome. Indeed, Mr. Bloomberg has already spent millions of dollars trying to persuade members of Congress to support enhanced background check laws with virtually nothing to show for it.
What is more, for many gun owners, the issue is a deeply personal one that energizes them politically, said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, who dismissed the mayor's plans.
"He's got the money to waste," Mr. Pratt said. "So I guess he's free to do so. But frankly, I think he's going to find out why his side keeps losing."
Nevertheless, Bloomberg is revamping his whole anti-gun apparatus into one umbrella organization. He's bringing Moms Demand Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns (or something) into a new organization called Everytown [sic] for Gun Safety.
Additionally, this gun-grabbing cabal won't be pushing for bans on certain weapons, like the AR-15 - but, "will seek to expand the background check system for gun buyers both at the state and national levels," according to the Times. Two words came into my mind when I read that: gun registry.
The list of states they're targeting include Washington State and Colorado, where new gun laws have already passed, or are currently up for a vote through a ballot initiative. Washington State is particularly interesting since the two initiatives are in conflict with each other.
But, Everytown [sic] For Gun Safety also has states, like Texas, Indiana, and Montana in their crosshairs for future grassroots activity.
Bloomberg's activities haven't met with universal acclaim. The Times did touch upon the ire that the former mayor has drawn from Democrats for running ads against the pro-gun members of their coalition:
Previous efforts by Mr. Bloomberg to push gun control have touched off tensions with national Democratic leaders, because he has run negative ads against incumbent Democrats whom he views as insufficiently supportive of gun control. The Democratic leaders argue that Mr. Bloomberg threatens to hand control of the Senate to Republicans, which they say would doom any hope of passing gun control legislation.
Mr. Bloomberg dismissed those fears, saying he was concerned only with the long term.
"You can tell me all you want that the Republicans would be worse in the Senate than the Democrats," he said. "Maybe they would. But that's not what we're talking about here."
Also, Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, told the Times that "right now, women, when they go to the polls, they vote on abortion, they vote on jobs, they vote on health care...we want one of those things to be gun violence prevention."
Well, here's the problem, Ms. Watts. Women like their guns, too. In fact, they're the fastest growing demographic embracing gun ownership.
CNN Money reported this past February that women are "the next big thing" for America's gun industry. You can read more stories about women and the Second Amendment here, here, here, here, and here. Even Texas' Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis supports (allegedly) open carry laws in her state.
Yet, the most disturbing portion of the Times' piece relates to Bloomberg and his place in the afterlife due to his work:
Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he [Bloomberg] said with a grin: "I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I'm not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It's not even close."
Yeah, he has to be from New York.