Nanny Bloomberg is always guilty of overreaching and the usual result is that hubris meets nemesis. “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” (MAIG) hit its nadir when they read out the names of people killed by guns and one of the name was Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
by Emily Miller
Pistol-packing reporter Emily Miller’s new book tackles efforts to crack down on gun rights
No one has done more for gun rights in the past two years than Mayor Bloomberg.
Oh, he didn’t mean to. Bloomberg has used his political clout and a significant amount of his fortune to try to chip away at the Second Amendment. He is never more self-righteous and condescending than when he talks about guns.
Yet at every step, he’s failed. But more than that, Bloomberg’s presence actively strengthens the NRA’s position. He’s sparked fundraising booms for politicians he disagrees with and may wound Democrats in 2014. Meanwhile, he’s pushed gun sales to record heights.
Bloomberg’s most high-profile campaign was spending $12 million to get the Senate to vote his way on expanding background checks for gun purchases. After Sen. Harry Reid was forced to pull the gun control bill, Bloomberg went ballistic. His shocking rhetoric indicated the type of attack ads he would be funding leading up to the 2014 election. [........]
By the weekend, Bloomberg’s group Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), had organized protests with the theme “Shame on You” at the congressional offices of the senators it determined to be vulnerable for voting against the expanded background checks amendment.
Typical was his campaign against Republican Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. He spent more than $2 million on TV ads in New Hampshire and neighboring Boston. Ayotte, who voted to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System instead of the flawed background-check bill, refused to bow to the pressure.
Bloomberg’s deliberate misleading of the public was obvious from the content of the ads. In one, a police chief named Scott Knight, says that Ayotte is “making us less safe.” Unmentioned is the fact that he’s actually the police chief of Chaska, Minn., far from New Hampshire.
While Ayotte’s poll numbers dipped in the immediate aftermath of the ads airing, they rose back up soon after. “I don’t see any effect on Kelly,” GOP party chairman, Reince Priebus, told me in mid-June. “What is the state motto? ‘Live free or die.’ ”
Bloomberg also goes after Democrats, much to the consternation of Sen. Chuck Schumer. His attacks on Republicans don’t stick, but he could get enough liberals to vote against moderate Dems to flip their races — and the Senate itself in 2014.
Unlike most elected officials, Bloomberg doesn’t even pretend that there’s a wall between his official and political activities. City Hall employees have been caught lobbying for gun control in other states.
Before the bodies are buried or the families have grieved, Bloomberg pounces to exploit the tragic murders of innocent people to advance his political agenda. [........]
Jesse Hathaway of Media Trackers Ohio uncovered e-mails between Bloomberg’s mayoral staff and gun-control organizations seemingly trying to exploit the deaths of three high school students in Chardon, Ohio, in February 2012.
One hour after that shooting, MAIG director Mark Glaze e-mailed a CNN story about it to the official government e-mail addresses of three city staffers and other anti-gun activists. An hour later, Lance Orchid, national organizing director of Gun Violence Prevention, e-mailed, “Perhaps this is the perfect time to push out the new micro-site petition around guns on campus.”
That afternoon, Janey Rountree, whose official New York City government title is Firearms Policy Coordinator, asked the group to find out how shooter T.J. Lane got his gun and asked, “Are reporters working on this or planning to push the question?” [.......]
Despite the ghoulish PR response, all the rhetoric from Bloomberg and Obama simply has spurred more people to buy guns.
Forty-seven percent of Americans self-report having a gun in the home, according to a Gallup poll released in October 2011. That number was up from 41% a year earlier and the highest Gallup has recorded since 1993.
The firearms industry is one of the few that has been growing and investing during the Obama economic malaise. The companies in the US that manufacture, distribute and sell firearms, ammunition and hunting equipment had a direct economic impact of $14 billion in 2012.
When you take into account the supplier and ancillary industries, the total economic activity was a whopping $33 billion.
“I’ve been trying to figure out the power of the NRA,” Schumer told Time magazine in June. “It’s not the money they give out: they give out $3 million, $4 million a year. There are many groups that give much more. It’s not even their membership. They say 5 million — let’s say it is. There are tons of groups with more than 5 million members. It’s that they have a core group of active members who translate what’s going on to the average person — who are sympathetic to them because they’re part of their milieu.”
What Schumer and Bloomberg don’t understand is citizens believe strongly in the right to bear arms, as enshrined in our Constitution. And all the money in the world won’t change that.
“We’ll never match Bloomberg dollar for dollar, but we don’t have to,” said the NRA’s Chris Cox. “The hearts and minds of the American people certainly aren’t for sale to a billionaire mayor from New York City.”