American Rifleman - December 2013 - 16

OFFICIAL JOURNAL

INSIDE NRA

political report
By Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director

Bloomberg's Anti-Gun Bus Tour Travels
A Road To Nowhere

T

he nation's self-appointed chief
gun control extremist, billionaire
Michael Bloomberg, didn't have to
scramble to put together a press conference after the tragedy at the Washington
Navy Yard. He already had one planned.
And there was no confusion about the
program among the many gun control
supporters who are carefully stagemanaged at his events. As reported by
The Washington Post, they "took their
places by memory, because by now
they know where to go."
They've had plenty of practice
because Bloomberg spent the summer
months deploying them to no fewer
than 100 press conferences all over the
country. He even paid for a specially
decorated bus to serve as the visual
centerpiece of the tour. Every one of the
events was intended to spur support for
his gun control agenda on the part of local
politicians, but his tour was hardly the
momentum-building event he hoped it
would be. In fact, it alienated his existing
supporters and drove more than 50 mayors to resign from his group entirely.
How did such a major investment
end up yielding the precise opposite of
the desired result? I have already written
about the first huge mistake of the tour.
Bloomberg's main media attraction for
his bus tour was the reading of a list
of "victims of gun violence" to honor
their memories. But at the very first
stop in New Hampshire, observers were
outraged when Bloomberg's list included
terrorists, cop killers, murderers and
rapists. Bloomberg was forced to publicly
apologize, and his massive squad of
consultants started working furiously to
"scrub" the list. They set about the difficult task of deciding which victims were
truly victims, and, in the end, the list was
reduced by half.
But the damage had already been
done. One of only two mayors in
New Hampshire who were part of the

Bloomberg group resigned in disgust,
telling the Manchester Union Leader that
"I don't want to be part of something
like that."
The tour continued on across the
country, but the reception it received
deteriorated even more as it moved into
the heartland. Bloomberg's surrogates
were outnumbered by Second Amendment supporters at numerous stops. At
one event in Ohio, a single Bloomberg
representative was met by dozens of
gun rights activists, who literally took the
event over and turned it into a pro-gun
rally. And in North Dakota, Bloomberg's
single mayor in the state wanted nothing
to do with the tour, refusing to appear at
the event in person and going so far as to
question the Bloomberg agenda. He told
the media he was "not an active member"
and had doubts about Bloomberg's objectives, asking rhetorically, "Is it a problem
here in North Dakota? I don't think so."
Other mayors were not as circumspect in voicing their discontent.
Mayor Bob Scott of Sioux City, Iowa, said
"They're not just against illegal guns,
they're against all guns." Mayor Patricia
Shontz of Madeira Beach, Fla., said the
group is "attempting to erode all gun
ownership, not just illegal guns. This
is gun control, not crime prevention."
And Mayor Keith Hoffman of East Berlin,
Ohio, alluded to the complaint of many
mayors who did not deliberately join
the group, but merely signed a vague
statement about reducing crime, then
later found themselves listed as members. He said, "It was a mistake, really ...
they swindle you in and then put your
name on the list."
That's the track record of the Bloomberg
bus tour, and Capitol Hill was its final stop.
When the bus appeared in the nation's
capital, it had been only three days since
a deranged madman illegally smuggled
a shotgun into the Washington Navy
Yard. The perpetrator set about on a

random pattern of destruction in the
largely unguarded complex and went
unchecked for nearly half an hour. SWAT
teams outside were ordered not to intercede and dozens of panicked employees,
military and civilian alike, were left to
their own devices in a facility where only
a scant few security officers were authorized to carry firearms.
In the aftermath, Bloomberg's fellow
gun control supporters railed about a
non-existent AR-15 and vowed to make
the same background check system
that the perpetrator had cleared when
purchasing the shotgun he used in the
attack apply to even more purchasers.
Despite a long history of mental illness
that was well-known to authorities,
firearm-related incidents that had led to
police investigations and a record of misconduct during his prior military service,
the perpetrator had never undergone
the sort of mental health commitment or
adjudication that would have resulted in
his name being added to the database
that is checked when a person purchases
a firearm from a dealer. Indeed, these red
flags didn't even affect the security clearance he needed to work as a military
contractor, which requires a far more
extensive background check than that
for individual purchasers of firearms. In
other words, Bloomberg wants to cast a
net full of holes even further.
So it comes as no surprise that The
Washington Post described the end of
the Bloomberg event by saying, "Soon,
all that remained was one person at the
lectern ... but there was no one left to
hear him." Indeed, the louder Bloomberg
shouts his nonsensical rhetoric, the fewer
remain willing to listen.

NR A- I L A : ( 80 0) 3 92- 8683 * NR A- I L A web s i te: w w w. nr aila. org

16 D

ECEMBER

2013

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American Rifleman - December 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - December 2013

Contents
American Rifleman - December 2013 - Cover1
American Rifleman - December 2013 - Cover2
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 1
American Rifleman - December 2013 - Contents
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 3
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 4
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 5
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 6
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 7
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 8
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American Rifleman - December 2013 - Cover3
American Rifleman - December 2013 - Cover4
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