Prepare for the onslaught of right-wing radio, blogs and Fox News. Michael Bloomberg is continuing his fight against guns, and is using $50 million to start the campaign. It has been a year since gun control predictably flamed out in Congress. You know the saying ‘all politics is local?’ Well, unless your district is a hippie commune, gun control measures hardly fly.
Oh, and it doesn’t help when proponents of legislation think nearly every firearm is an AK-47. Is that just easy to say, or is your research that lacking? The new group, Everytown for Gun Safety, is borrowing a page from the NRA. It will seek to hold public officials accountable for their stance on gun-related issues, and make it an issue at the ballot box.
Bloomberg will chair the Everytown for Gun Safety and released a statement on the formation: “This is the beginning of a major new campaign to reduce the gun violence that plagues communities across the country. There is no question that more needs to be done to tackle this deadly problem, and that’s why more than 1.5 million Americans, nearly 1000 mayors and moms in all 50 states have already come together to fight for common-sense reform that will respect rights and save lives.”
Where will the group work the most? It seems they want to waste money in a few deeply red states and purple ones. Staff will be deployed in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Yeah, I see this going over really well in Arizona and Texas.
Officials are more likely to wear the poor rating as a badge of honor, than a ding against their electability.
If the group was serious about gun-related changes, it should not have Michael Bloomberg as the face. On the board is Michael G. Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Bush and Obama. Put a military face on this cause, and then go after the low-hanging fruit. Universal background checks. Mandatory locks for all firearms to help prevent child access. Gun safety classes for concealed permits. Having Bloomberg as the face is a mistake due to his ‘nanny-state’ reputation.
The group will also move to enhance protections for victims of domestic violence. Will Everytown for Gun Safety make an impact? If they push ahead with the right issues, yes. Not many people are against universal background checks and other safety measures. If they start a call for an assault weapons ban, then they will need more than $50 million.
The NRA is a lobbying powerhouse, and even Democrats back away when they start talking.