By Chris W. Cox
NRA-ILA Executive Director
As the head of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), Mayor Michael Bloomberg has revealed several of his personality characteristics in his crusade to attack our Second Amendment rights. We know he is petulant and stubborn from his refusal to accept the U.S. Senate votes cast on April 17. But developments since then force us to wonder if he is also delusional.
Bloomberg has spent tens of millions of his personal fortune—estimated at $27 billion—to run TV ads attacking senators who voted against his anti-gun agenda. But the ads have only solidified the targeted senators’ opposition. Even his ally in the Senate, Senator Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.) told Time magazine, “Frankly, I don’t think Bloomberg’s ads are effective.” Indeed, in several states Bloomberg’s attack ads drove up the popularity of the targeted senators, by giving them a platform to point out that they are listening to their constituents, not some distant mayor.
Bloomberg must have eventually realized that his ads were digging him a deeper hole. He switched his tactics, launching a national bus tour to harangue senators in their home states. But the tour went wrong at its very first stop. As a media hook, the “No More Names” tour featured the reading of a list of all “victims of gun violence” since the Newtown tragedy. Bloomberg’s consultants first deployed this gambit in their protest at the NRA Annual Meetings, but of our more than 80,000 attendees, no one really paid attention to what his few protesters were doing.
But they were paying attention in New Hampshire, the bus tour’s first stop. And when the name “Tamerlan Tsarnaev” was read, observers were outraged. “He’s a terrorist!” shouted one attendee.
Yes, the Bloomberg list of “victims murdered by guns” included one of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing suspects. This slap in the face to the real victims of the bombing spread like wildfire, and after several hours of being pounded in the media, a Bloomberg spokesman was forced to apologize for the “mistake.”
But that wasn’t the only mistake in the list—far from it. The list also included California cop killer Christopher Dorner, and at least four others who were killed in shootouts with police. One analysis found that fully one in 12 names on the list were crime suspects, killed either by police or by armed citizens acting in self-defense.
In response, the New Hampshire Sheriff’s Association and Association of Chiefs of Police co-signed a letter to Bloomberg which read, in part, “It is deeply shameful that your organization listed these criminals as having been ‘murdered’ … We are deeply offended that your group suggested that a terrorist and these criminals, who tried to injure or kill our brother officers, are victims.” It was also too much for several mayors, who resigned from the Bloomberg group. The ones who didn’t quit are now effectively endorsing Bloomberg’s idea that “victims of gun violence” include terrorists, murderers and rapists.
Now, those remaining mayors have also effectively endorsed the abuse of taxpayer funds to push for gun control. Press accounts have revealed that while Bloomberg funds the MAIG “Action Fund” with his personal millions, he’s operating MAIG itself with New York City personnel, assets and resources. First, the group’s website was traced back to city servers. Another report noted that a city lawyer had traveled to Nevada to lobby for a bill criminalizing private firearm transfers, going to pains to hide his city email address on his lobbyist registration.
This led to a cascade of similar revelations, forcing Bloomberg’s city spokesman to admit that MAIG operates solely with city employees and funding. Ironically, the city employee also serves as a MAIG spokesman, further confirming the point.
Bloomberg’s abuse of taxpayer dollars found critics on both the right and left. “It doesn’t seem kosher to me,” said Gene Russianoff of the liberal New York Public Interest Research Group. Another city insider told the New York Post that he couldn’t understand why Bloomberg would use city resources to advance his personal pet agenda when he has “near-unlimited personal wealth.”
Well, you don’t get wealthy by spending it all. And why should he, when the city announced just last month that it would receive a federal grant of $1.77 billion dollars? That’s tax dollars from all of us at work. So the word “delusional” may actually be too kind, when describing someone who believes that it’s appropriate to honor murderers and terrorists as “victims,” while using taxpayer funding to lobby for the destruction of our constitutional rights.
James W. Porter II, PRESIDENT
Allan Cors, FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
Pete Brownell, SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
Wayne LaPierre, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
Edward J. Land Jr., SECRETARY
Wilson H. Phillips Jr., TREASURER
Kyle Weaver, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GENERAL OPERATIONS
Christopher W. Cox, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION