Billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has launched a new big money gun control strategy designed to “outmuscle the National Rifle Association,” according to yesterday’s New York Times, and his first attack appeared in this morning’s on-line main page of the Seattle Times.
Bloomberg is calling this new effort “Everytown for Gun Safety.” According to the New York Times article, this project is “a restructuring of the gun control groups he funds, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (MDA),” and he thinks such efforts will buy him a spot in heaven.
According to the New York Times article, Bloomberg will spend $50 million this year to build this “nationwide grass-roots network.” Evergreen State gun rights advocates are certain that part of this fortune will be spent in Washington to push through Bloomberg’s vision of “gun responsibility” in the form of I-594. If that passes, they wonder what comes next, perhaps gun registration and owner licensing.
One quote in the New York Times piece is already raising eyebrows at the Weekly Standard. It appears Bloomberg believes he can buy his way into Heaven. Here is the quote:
“But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: ‘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’.”
This morning’s launch coincides with today’s gathering at the Seattle Center, starting at 10:30 a.m., which is designed to boost Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure advertised as a so-called “universal background check” proposal. As revealed by yesterday’s Elway poll, support for this measure is above 70 percent.
I-594 is funded by other deep pocket Seattle-based gun control proponents. They have so far pumped more than twice as much into their effort as have grassroots gun rights activists into Initiative 591.
I-591, supported by Protect Our Gun Rights (POGR), prevents government gun confiscation without due process – a tenet that recalls the gun-grabbing chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005 – and requires that background checks in Washington comply with a uniform national standard. Supporters say this measure does not, as alleged by anti-gunners, “roll back” existing gun laws or prevent background checks.
The national background check currently in use is mandated by the federal Brady Law, passed in 1993. No state initiative can roll that back, nor could it prevent background checks.
I-594 is backed by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which has received $30,000 from Bloomberg’s MAIG. That’s small change in the total of more than $1.6 million that has been raised and already largely spent in the WAGR campaign.
Both initiatives will be on the ballot this November, and it appears both will pass, based on the numbers released yesterday by the Elway poll.
Gun rights activists are already raising alarms about the appearance of Bloomberg’s advertising on the Seattle Times website this morning. They are beginning to realize it's going to be a long six months to election day, and based on what they have seen happen in New York, Connecticut, California and Colorado, they know they have a bare knuckles political fight on their hands.