The Fake "Grassroots" Effort to Take Your Guns

In 2014, Mike Bloomberg combined his Mayors Against Illegal Guns and his recently acquired Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, into an umbrella corporation called Everytown for Gun Safety, which he pledged to fund to the tune of $50 million. The primary focus of the conglomerate has been criminalizing unapproved private firearm transfers under the misleading banner “universal background checks,” with a secondary effort run by the Demanding Moms trying to force various companies to ban guns on their premises.

Later that year, Bloomberg, through Everytown, spent over $10 million to pass a firearm transfer ban initiative in Washington state and began collecting signatures for a similar initiative in Nevada. He hired lobbyists in Oregon who successfully pushed a transfer ban through the legislature and opened offices in Maine, Arizona, Vermont and other states.

Local groups in Arizona banded together in support of a state compact that would have made federal minimum firearm transfer standards the maximum standards in states that joined the compact, but Bloomberg’s lobbyists successfully blocked that effort in 2015. That same year, grass-roots groups in Vermont and Rhode Island successfully stopped the Bloomberg machine in their states, but Bloomberg’s money is still flowing and the bills have been resurrected. The Nevada effort garnered enough signatures to qualify for the 2016 ballot, and the signature-gathering operation moved to Maine in early 2016, where they easily crossed the lower signature threshold in that state, qualifying it to be on the ballot there as well. Meanwhile the Arizona compact bill was reintroduced and passed through both houses of the legislature, only to be vetoed by the state’s Republican governor a few days ago. Ironically, Gov. Doug Ducey said the compact was unnecessary because he trusts the legislature to do the right thing.

So Ducey vetoed the legislature’s decision because he trusts the legislature to make good decisions …

One of the hallmarks of Bloomberg’s anti-rights corporation is their pretense of being a grass-roots movement, when in fact they are neither grass-roots nor a movement. To bolster their false image, they find some small, often dormant anti-rights group in a state, revive it with an infusion of cash, technical assistance and professional staff, then use the “local” group as the face of their efforts in the state. They pretend that their campaigns are driven by local grass-roots activists, when in reality New York professionals on Mike Bloomberg’s payroll are calling the shots. When the Bloomberg influence became an issue in Vermont, a legislator asked the president of the state front group where they were getting their funding. Not wanting to disclose her group’s dependence on Bloomberg, she answered: “Not telling you.”

And it’s not just local anti-rights groups Bloomberg is buying. He’s also buying media. His existing business news network has long demonstrated a heavy anti-rights bias. Not satisfied with that, he created an entirely new “news” service called The Trace, which is wholly dedicated to promoting bogus, anti-rights research, putting an anti-rights spin on political news and promoting Bloomberg’s various front organizations, while putting out stories critical of NRA and other rights groups. Last year, Bloomberg, through Everytown, sponsored a workshop for reporters in the West to teach them how to effectively report on guns, gun violence and gun control. The program was ostensibly a project of the prestigious Columbia University School of Journalism, but it was funded by Everytown. The speakers’ panel only included two proponents of rights to give brief presentations in the two-day workshop, and they were only included after the school was publicly ridiculed for providing a cloak of respectability to a blatant Bloomberg propaganda campaign.

One of the glaring ironies of the situation is the Bloomies’ penchant for describing rights advocates as “the corporate gun lobby,” suggesting that we are merely shills for the firearms industry, while in fact, gun-rights organizations are all member-driven and funded primarily by member dues and small contributions. Contrast that to the Bloomberg corporate model, which is funded almost exclusively by Bloomberg himself with a little help from foundations that are funded in part by Bloomberg and George Soros. His “groups” have very few actual members or donors, and the members they do have are merely window dressing, with no vote on policy or leadership.

The NRA, on the other hand, has some 5 million members who, after five years of membership, are able to vote for association officers and petition for changes in the association’s bylaws. Every state has NRA affiliates with thousands of members, and almost every state also has at least one all-volunteer organization that takes a harder line stance than NRA and also has thousands of dues-paying members.

So the gun lobby is a grass-roots movement that gets some support from related industry, while Everytown is a monolithic corporate entity assembled and funded by a single megalomaniac and managed by professional, political mercenaries.

Unfortunately, the well-funded anti-rights mercenaries are good at their jobs, and the anti-rights lobbying corporation continues to chip away at individual rights one state at a time.

Right now the folks in Nevada and Maine need all the help they can get. The group spearheading rights efforts in Nevada is Nevadans for State Gun Rights. The primary group in Maine is Gun Owners of Maine. Please go to their sites, spread their messages, and pitch in a few bucks if you can. The rights movement doesn’t have a billionaire sugar daddy like Bloomberg, and while the NRA is well-funded, it does much more than lobbying and elections, and those efforts are spread thin across 50 states.

The Second Amendment has not faced such serious threats in over 20 years. Find your local real grass-roots rights group. Volunteer or pitch in a few bucks where you can. Your freedom – and your kids’ freedom – depends on it.

©2016 The Firearms Coalition, all rights reserved. Reprinting, posting, and distributing permitted with inclusion of this copyright statement.

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