Anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s $50 million gun control campaign dubbed “Everytown for Gun Safety” today launched an advertisement that targeted politicians who spoke yesterday to members of the National Rifle Association here in Indianapolis, and the nastiest may be yet to come.
A group led by Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America — which is part of Bloomberg’s multi-million-dollar so-called “grassroots” movement against gun rights — will gather today for a media event. They will be countered by members of several pro-gun women’s organizations that will gather by the Indianapolis Convention Center, where the NRA is meeting for its 143rd annual convention.
Among those conservative, pro-gun politicians who appeared yesterday was Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. After chatting with NRA News, he strolled through the aisles of the nine-acre exhibit hall and then spoke at the annual leadership event.
Quoted by the Washington Times, Jindal smacked Bloomberg for remarks the former New York mayor made about having earned his way into Heaven automatically. One might suggest Bloomberg believes he can get through the Pearly Gates without a background check.
“I’d rather have the men and women of the NRA than Mayor Bloomberg and his $50 million,” Jindal told the audience, according to the Times. He made it clear that rights are not for sale.
While the exhibit hall was crowded yesterday, it should be jammed tight today. The weather is nice, excitement is in the air, and more than one person yesterday indicated an eagerness for a verbal face-off with the anti-gun crowd, which will include Seattleite Cheryl Stumbo, a victim of the Jewish Federation shooting in 2006.
She has been campaigning for Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure facing Washington voters this fall. That measure pushes “universal background checks,” but consistently missing from the rhetoric is the fact that the gunman who launched the attack that wounded Stumbo and killed another woman had passed a background check. I-594 is backed by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, itself a well-financed Seattle-based organization that has already received money from Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns and will likely get more such funding from his "Everytown" campaign.
Today at the Puyallup gun show sponsored by the Washington Arms Collectors, grassroots volunteers who aren’t being financed by anyone will be distributing thousands of bumper stickers. Those stickers urge Yes votes on Initiative 591, the simple measure that prohibits government gun confiscation without due process, and requires background checks done in Washington to comply with a uniform national standard.
Tens of thousands of NRA members and guests who will jam the convention center will vastly out-number the gun prohibitionists. The new “Not Our Words” video from the Bloomberg group will likely not dampen any spirits.
This year’s NRA convention has the earmarks of another record-setter. Several exhibitors and convention veterans observed that it was the biggest Friday crowd they could remember, and Saturday crowds are always much bigger.
The turnout today will not be just to hear speeches from NRA officials or to look at hundreds of exhibits. Bloomberg’s big bucks version of “grassroots” has fired up the genuine grassroots, and that fury could carry to November. The people gathering in Indianapolis this weekend dislike the former Big Apple mayor, and the more he spends to erode their rights, the more motivated they seem to get.