Fighting one of the nation’s largest special interest groups might take a lot of time and money, but Michael Bloomberg says he has both.
The former New York City mayor announced on April 15 he was devoting $50 million to fund Everytown for Gun Safety, a grass-roots organization calling for stronger gun control, and to counter consistent lobbying efforts of the National Rifle Association.
Operating under the new group will be the pre-existing Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, to which Bloomberg also provides funding.
Describing its intentions, Everytown’s site reads:
“Gun violence touches every town in America. For too long, change has been thwarted by the Washington gun lobby and by leaders who refuse to take common-sense steps that will save lives.
But something is changing. More than 1.5 million mayors, moms, cops, teachers, survivors, gun owners, and everyday Americans have come together to make their own communities safer. Together, we are fighting for the changes that we know will save lives.”
Everytown doesn’t contest the 2nd Amendment, but only calls for “common-sense public safety laws(.)”
“It’s simply too easy for the wrong people to get guns.”
Everytown’s efforts appear just as nonpartisan as Bloomberg (who’s held offices as a Republican, Democrat and independent) himself; for example, its advisory board includes members of both the Bush and Obama administrations.
“We’ve got to make them afraid of us,” Bloomberg told the New York Times.
Speaking on the April 16 broadcast of NBC’s Today Show, Bloomberg said:
“This is not a battle of dollars. This is a battle for the hearts and minds of America so that we can protect our children, protect innocent people. If you take a look at the number of people who use illegal guns to commit suicide, the number of people that are killed every year, we’re the only civilized country in the world that has this problem. We have to do something. If you want to know how tough this is, go to one of the funerals and you look at the parents; look in their eyes and you’ll see what real tragedy is and why we have to do something.”
An average of 86 Americans are killed every day by gun violence, the organization says. About eight of that daily count are children and teens.