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Blunt candor from Bloomberg’s departing gun control advocate

Mark Glaze, right, appeared early last year at a gun control event in Washington, D.C.
Mark Glaze, right, appeared early last year at a gun control event in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured a stunning display of candor from the man it described as “the face of the gun-control movement” for billionaire anti-gunner Michael Bloomberg, who acknowledged as he stepped down Friday as head of the ex-mayor’s gun control effort that, “when a mass shooting happens…nothing that we have to offer would have stopped that mass shooting.”

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Mark Glaze, is the now-former executive director of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns and more recently, Bloomberg’s newest incarnation of a gun prohibition lobby, the $50 million so-called “grassroots” Everytown for Gun Safety. That’s the group that Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, has dubbed “Every Liar for Gun Safety” for repeating a statistic that is widely known to be a canard: That 40 percent of all gun sales are done without background checks.

Even the Washington Post Fact Checker long ago debunked that claim with “Three Pinocchios,” a designation that amounts to branding something a bald-faced lie.

Glaze was talking to the WSJ’s Reid J. Epstein and he was having a reflective moment. His observations, recorded earlier this month, were that Barack Obama’s unrelated political problems – health care, Edward Snowden and congressional gridlock – had damaged the gun control cause.

That’s not so, and Glaze’s further comments show that the real damage to the gun control cause is right in front of his nose, and he evidently doesn't realize it. The story noted, “Mr. Glaze said the movement hasn’t solved one of its signature problems: Many mass shootings wouldn’t have been stopped by tighter regulations proposed by gun-control advocates, even if they might have prevented other gun crimes.”

And so Glaze wondered, “Because people perceive a mismatch in the policy solutions that we have to offer and the way some of these mass shootings happened, you know, it is a messaging problem for us, I think. … Is it a messaging problem when a mass shooting happens and nothing that we have to offer would have stopped that mass shooting? Sure it’s a challenge in this issue.”

Now, a gun rights advocate like Gottlieb would tell Glaze that’s not a “messaging problem.” That’s an inconvenient truth. The gun prohibition movement – perhaps best exemplified in the Northwest by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility and its Initiative 594 – is in trouble because increasing numbers of people have wised up to the rhetoric.

The so-called “universal background check” that is the centerpiece for I-594 – the 18-page gun control measure being financed largely by Seattle-centric elitists who have so far out-raised and out-spent the genuine grassroots group pushing the alternative Initiative 591 – would not have prevented recent school shootings, nor did that requirement prevent Santa Barbara. Thanks to Glaze’s candid remarks, it is now clear leaders of the gun prohibition lobby know their “common sense” solutions wouldn’t really solve anything.

Advocating a “solution” that would not solve a problem is not “common sense,” gun rights advocates argue. It can only be one of two things: Dishonesty or insanity.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray wants to gather the City Council next Wednesday, June 25, for a special meeting to, according to a press release, “begin the conversation of a unified approach to public safety.” That meeting will begin at 1 p.m. and will include the executive cabinet and staff.

A “unified approach” would, by its very definition, have to include people from the firearms community. Murray may not realize it or like it, but Seattle is home to quite a few gun owners. A unified approach would have to make room for their voices. So far, it appears, they are being left out, as usual.

Perhaps the biggest “signature problem” that the gun prohibition movement has is that it routinely excludes any input from gun owners, a political miscalculation repeatedly made by anti-gunners. Why listen to people whose civil rights you want to trample and whose lifestyle you want to destroy?

It might be fitting for Murray to hold his council session on June 25, a date that should be set aside in honor of miscalculation. Next Wednesday is the 138th anniversary of Custer’s Last Stand.