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Do high-profile departures from ‘Everytown’ signal bad news for Bloomy?

Michael Bloomberg, shown here at a Bloomberg News breakfast, is facing a huge backlash from gun owners.
Michael Bloomberg, shown here at a Bloomberg News breakfast, is facing a huge backlash from gun owners.Photo by Slaven Vlasic

Do two recent high-profile departures from anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s “Everytown for Gun Safety,” including Wednesday’s Huffington Post report that Executive Director Mark Glaze – former head of Bloomberg’s other venture, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) – will leave next month, signal that the $50 million gun control venture may be imploding, or at least in trouble?

Former Pennsylvania Governor and Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge was out almost as soon as he was in on the "Everytown" advisory board about ten days ago. And last weekend, Shannon Watts, the Indiana-based founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, another Bloomberg-supported anti-gun organization, could barely draw a big enough crowd to protest the National Rifle Association in Indianapolis to make it newsworthy.

The former New York mayor has had some rough luck with his big-money anti-gun ventures, ginning up more public resentment toward “anything Bloomberg” than support for any of his gun control initiatives. He spent an estimated $350,000 last year in an unsuccessful attempt to derail two recall elections of anti-gun Democrats in Colorado. Some 50 mayors have bailed on his MAIG group and others have been convicted of serious crimes, a few even pulling prison sentences.

His high-profile launch of the “Everytown” effort was cleverly and quickly compromised by grassroots gun rights activists who flooded Facebook with pro-gun “Everytown” pages that, apparently despite efforts to remove them, are still up and running. The Watts-led demonstration was pathetic against a turnout of 75,000-plus NRA members and supporters, including several pro-gun mothers’ groups, and a video of Watts playing the mute to conservative commentator Dana Loesch has gone viral.

Watts, who appears as determined as Bloomberg to disarm her fellow citizens, was amply protected by men in suits and dark glasses, and who allegedly were carrying concealed weapons. Likewise, Bloomberg is a constant target of criticism for his hypocritical use of armed security while he campaigns relentlessly to strip American citizens of their ability to protect themselves.

By all accounts, last weekend’s NRA gathering was a huge success. With Glaze departing next month from the “Everytown” campaign, there is already some mild speculation that the $50 million so-called “grassroots” effort is turning to weeds.

This could bring speculation right around to what is happening in Washington State with the “dueling initiatives” face-off. Initiative 594, which received $30,000 from MAIG in December and has already been hinted as a measure Bloomberg’s “Everytown” project will visibly support, is an 18-page gun control initiative being sold as a “universal background check.”

I-594 is backed by Seattle-based big money elitists calling themselves the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility. WAGR has cranked up several fund-raising efforts via e-mail, complaining about the gun lobby and its deep pockets, but a check of the Public Disclosure Commission reports shows WAGR has raised and spent nearly twice as much money as the genuine grassroots coalition backing Initiative 591.

I-591 is a simple one-page measure prohibiting government gun confiscations without due process, while requiring that background checks here comply with a uniform national standard. Proponents at Protect Our Gun Rights contend that background checks in Washington should be the same as in other states.

It appears to be no secret that Washington is considered something of a test tube for Bloomberg-type gun control. If gun rights can be bought here with a well-financed political campaign, Second Amendment advocates are concerned that this sort of slick effort will be used in other states. Bloomberg, they say, has deep pockets and he seems obsessed with eroding gun rights.

Last weekend, the NRA launched a video effort to counter Bloomberg. Called “Bloomberg’s Millions,” the video raises the specter of millions of average citizens donating $25 apiece to NRA to fight the billionaire.

POGR is hoping that gun owners across the map recognize the threat to their rights that is developing in the Evergreen State, and chip in to stop the effort in its tracks north of the Columbia River by passing I-591 instead of I-594. Meanwhile, Washington Citizens Against Regulatory Excess (WeCARE) has launched a separate fund-raising effort to defeat I-594.

Could it come to pass that in his attempts to micromanage the lives of American citizens, from limiting their sodas to limiting their gun rights, Bloomberg becomes the most hated man in America?