Billionaire Bloomberg's $50 million plan to take your gun rights away
One nice thing that can be said for the gun ban extremists from the 1970's - at least they were honest. Groups like Handgun Control Inc. and the Coalition to Ban Handguns didn't try to hide what they are.
These days, however, the same people who were involved in those groups are involved in groups like the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence or the Violence Policy Center. Then there's Americans for Responsible Solutions, Children's Defense Fund, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Joyce Foundation, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action, among many, many others.
The effort to mask their anti-gun rights, anti-self-defense agenda behind innocuous-sounding names has been going on for many years. Million Mom March. Americans for Gun Safety. Freedom States Alliance. These groups and many others have come and gone, having failed at their goal of deceiving the American people about their true agenda.
They take on names and claim they are promoting things like "gun safety" and "responsible" "common-sense" gun laws. Some of them even try to pretend to be pro-gun groups. American Hunters and Shooters Association was founded by anti-gun Democrats to help anti-gun Democrats like Barack Obama get elected. The group was shut down in 2010. GunGuys.com, a blog which was anonymously operated by by the Joyce Foundation-funded Freedom States Alliance, was shut down that same year.
The latest faux gun group to apparently go dark is the American Rifle and Pistol Association. Having made national headlines just last year with a colorful website and Facebook page covered with photos of firearms, the group's website is no longer available and no posts have been made to the Facebook page since last November.
And now comes billionaire Michael Bloomberg's latest effort to fool Americans.
The former New York City mayor told the New York Times he founded the new anti-gun rights group, "Everytown for Gun Safety," to "make [state and local legislators] afraid of us." Staff will be deployed in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Bloomberg isn't the first billionaire to decide to try and buy his version of America and force it on the rest of us.
Monster.com founder Andrew McKelvey's early efforts to use his millions to force gun control on the American people were focused on the legal and research arm of the gun control group Handgun Control Inc., which was eventually retread as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The more he got involved in the group, he said at the time, the more convinced he became the words "handgun control" were harmful and that a more moderate approach was needed.
"I told them that Handgun Control was the wrong name. I thought what they were doing was great but I thought it could be done differently."
As writer James L. Pate notes, McKelvey and his fellow gun ban extremists had determined that they needed to use "less confrontational" language, with the goal of deceiving the average (especially non-gun-owning) American:
“The term 'gun control' should be dropped and replaced with 'gun safety,' or 'responsible gun use,' or 'accountability in gun use,'" said the report, prepared in June 2000 by the public relations firm of Penn, Schoen & Berland, longtime consultants to the election campaigns of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.”
And so, just as so many groups have done before, Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action will be folded together under a new name. This week it's Everytown for Gun Safety. The names and tactics have changed, but the goals haven't.
One of the main problems for these "gun safety" groups is they do nothing to promote gun safety.
Gun safety is what the National Rifle Association (NRA) and National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) teach. Thanks to the NRA millions upon millions of school children have been taught what to do if they find a gun (Stop. Don't Touch. Leave The Area. Tell an Adult.) Millions upon millions of adults have been taught how to handle a gun safely (ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. ALWAYS treat a gun as if it's loaded).
So if they aren't concerned with gun safety, what are they after? The observation that gun control is not about guns, but about control, is readily apparent because, as Second Amendment advocates are always quick to note, no one is trying to outlaw knives, baseball bats, tire irons, or the countless other tools for which there are not ownership rights specifically recognized by the Constitution.
Bloomberg is clearly all about control, having spent years literally seeking to nanny New Yorkers on just about everything, right down to what they can eat or drink and size of soft drinks they could buy.
Sadly, while some people believe that what they do or don't do is what will earn them a place in heaven, Bloomberg seems to think he's earning his place by trying to control what other people do or don't do.
“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,” he told the New York Times.
So should his $50 million do the trick? Andrew McKelvey's $12 million for Americans for Gun Safety sure didn't. Founded in 2001, the group was folded into the left-wing think-tank "Third Way" just a few years later. George Soros' millions haven't worked. The Joyce Foundations' millions haven't either. The reason? Because while millions of dollars can buy plenty of publicity, creating the illusion of a large and influential group of citizens who are concerned about gun violence, what they can't buy is actual grassroots support.
When you look beyond the parade of speaking events and the flurry of news releases - always given top priority by a willing news media (Bloomberg's Everytown launch was covered everywhere from the New York Times to a live appearance on "The Today Show") - what you see is little more than a pitifully small collection of paid activists, limelight-seeking politicians, and generic "protest anything" liberals.
As Buckeye Firearms Association's Communications Director Dean Rieck pointed out after Bloomberg's MAIG held a rally in Ohio last fall and no-one showed up (except the opposition!), these billionaire's groups are all about illusion.
It's smoke and mirrors," Rieck observes. [Bloomberg's groups have] lots of money and they're PR geniuses. But they have almost no support from REAL gun owners or from the general population. There is no grassroots behind them. Take away the money and the news releases and what's left? Nothing...
"On the other hand, Buckeye Firearms Association, the NRA, and the thousands of other gun rights groups across America represent REAL gun owners. The NRA has 5 million REAL members. Buckeye Firearms Association has 44,000 REAL supporters.
"The 80 million or so gun owners in the U.S. are REAL people. Take away our money and what few news releases the media is willing to publish and what's left? 80 million REAL people who value their rights and hold their political representatives accountable.
"Mayors Against Illegal Guns is a bluff. An inspired and brilliant bluff. But a bluff, nonetheless."
If you're a politician in Ohio, or any other state for that matter, here are two pictures to keep in mind when elections come around.
This is Bloomberg's grassroots support:
And this is ours:
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor.