Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety takes aim at NRA
by Kevin Foley
April 25, 2014 12:00 AM | 2040 views | 18 18 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Mother’s Day, 2000, I volunteered with the Million Mom March, a national event designed to draw attention to runaway gun violence in America. The march was prompted in part by the horrific Columbine massacre a year earlier.

More than three-quarters of a million people showed up in Washington that day, with millions more attending events in 70 other cities including Atlanta.

I interviewed a number of participants and most of the people I spoke to had lost a loved one to gun violence.

Each had a painful, poignant story to tell; a little boy accidently shot dead by his friend; a teenage girl gunned down at school; a young man caught in the cross fire of rival gangs.

Everyone there agreed America needed to rein in guns.

Then nothing happened.

That’s because the National Rifle Association, the $12 billion gun industry’s trade organization whose sole purpose is to sell as many guns as possible, threatened the political careers of lawmakers who so much as considered gun safety legislation. Cowed, congressman and senators ran for cover.

So here we are, almost 15 years later, and the bloody mayhem continues unabated. Not even the horror of 20 babies and six educators shot to pieces in Newtown, Connecticut, could snap Americans out of their lethargy.

From that awful day to this, 15,000 more people have been killed by guns. If gun deaths were a disease, they’d be classified an epidemic.

At the time of the Million Mom March, President Bill Clinton noted that until gun safety became a prominent national voting issue, until tens of millions of Americans who understand guns are a public health crisis stand up to the four million-member NRA, nothing would change.

Now Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, wants to bankroll that change. He says he will spend at least $50 million combating the NRA and do it on the NRA’s own turf, Washington, using the NRA’s legislative and grass roots playbooks.

Bloomberg has launched Everytown for Gun Safety (everytown.org) that seeks to energize and motivate grassroots voters to demand common sense gun safety legislation.

“This new organization will bring more people into the fight against gun violence, which affects every town in America,” said Bloomberg.

During his tenure as mayor, Bloomberg pushed tough gun safety measures that helped make America’s largest city safer. In 2012, just 237 firearm homicides were recorded, an all-time low in a city of 8.3 million.

Given its sordid history of smearing opponents, we can expect an all-out campaign of distortions and lies from the NRA because Bloomberg represents the first real threat to its purported omnipotence.

Like the NRA, Bloomberg knows money talks on Capitol Hill, and he intends to spend his millions on a political action committee, keeping tabs on politicians who cravenly toe the NRA line, supporting gun safety candidates, and mobilizing Main Street.

That last one will be challenging. According to Pew Research, 42 percent of those supporting the NRA are politically engaged, compared to just 24 percent of those who support gun safety laws.

Nevertheless, public sentiment seems to be on Bloomberg’s side. Fifty-two percent of Americans support stricter gun laws. On legislation like universal background checks, which the NRA supported after Columbine but now opposes, 80 to 90 percent of Americans agree.

Bloomberg may get some additional help when Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein releases his anti-NRA movie, which he promises will make those associated with the organization “wish they weren’t alive.”

Moved by the Newtown massacre, the producer behind gun-glorifying blockbusters like “Pulp Fiction” and “Kill Bill” told CNN’s Piers Morgan he will no longer make movies in which guns play leading roles.

“I can’t continue to do that,” said Weinstein. “The change starts here.”

Kevin Foley is an author, writer and public relations executive who lives in Kennesaw.
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Kevin Foley
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April 28, 2014
Update:

As expected, at the NRA's national meeting in Indianapolis, NRA propagandist Wayne LaPierre is attacking Bloomberg while making wildly paranoid, apocalyptic predictions if every American isn't armed to the teeth. Local folks are pushing back on LaPierre's insanity:

...around 100 members of “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,” which is affiliated with Bloomberg’s new push, rallied near the War Memorial on North Meridian Street in Indianapolis, Fox 59 reports.

“We’re not anti-gun. We support the Second Amendment. Many of our moms are gun owners,” said Shannon Watts, who founded the group after the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings. “Our issue is with the NRA leadership, who has become so extremist that they are allowing and even promoting laws that put guns in the hands of dangerous people.”

Ben Twomey
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April 29, 2014
Talk about wild statements. Those of the "Moms" group, which is no more than a shill organization for Bloomberg's efforts to control people,are pretty wild. Of course, 99% of the statements coming from the anti-Second amendment groups are wild and unsubstantiated.
Samuel Adams
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April 30, 2014
Who is Foley calling a "propagandist?"

From the KEF Media website (i.e. Foley's real capitalist business):

"We're a hand-picked bunch of TV and radio news professionals, PR practitioners, and digital folks who understand your business and work together to get you maximum broadcast and digital exposure across the board."

What a hypocrite. At least the NRA stands for something.
Honest Abe
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April 25, 2014
Why is outlawing guns such a big deal? Guns can be outlawed at anytime by those who don't want them in their homes. Just post a sign saying this home is a zero tolerance no guns or ammunition allowed zone. All gun control advocates can do this at anytime they want to. And the possibility that one will be killed or permenantly crippled by guns is far less than death by auto accident.
Mike H
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April 25, 2014
An idiot with a gun marched around near a Forsyth county little league game Thursday.(see channel 2 video). The moms called the police as the kids cowered behind the dugout. The cops said they couldn't do anything. The moms took the kids home. The baseball game was stopped by an idiot with a gun.

What is worse, an idiot with a gun or the governor who just signed legislation making idiots with guns legal in Georgia?

I will not go into a grocery store, restaurant , or any business that tolerates idiots with guns in the store or parking lot.
Honest Abe
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April 25, 2014
Good for you Mike H !! Ban guns just from your personal space and everything will be okay. BTW: Have you checked your brakes lately?
Mister Walker
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April 25, 2014
All of you people who treat the NRA as some sort of mythic boogeyman miss the point.

The NRA is made up of PEOPLE. People who vote and feel strongly about their rights. People who understand that taking rights away from the law-abiding is not the answer to deter criminals.

And CobbCoGuy - EXCELLENT point. Almost makes me wish there were more Bloombergs and Soros' around, so....aw, who do I think I'm kidding? If there were 10 billionaire libs for every one billionaire conservative, the libs would STILL whine incessantly about "money in politics!"
anonymous
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April 25, 2014
The NRA is a lobbying organization for gun manufacturers and retailers. Their sole purpose is to maximize profits for the firearm industry by any means necessary. They do not represent the PEOPLE. The majority of the people even NRA members favor common sense background checks for the purchase of firearms.
Ben Twomey
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April 25, 2014
@anonymous: We have heard that gun-grabber rhetoric before. First of all, the NRA doe NOT exist to serve the gun industry.

Also, you sound like Foley, with your manufactured on the spot statitics about how many people favor this or how many are against that.

Quote a reliable source that the majority of people favor a common sense background check. Then define "common sense" background check.

Then explain why Chicago, with some of the strictest gun control laws in the country still leads the nation in homicides pretty much consistently.
anonymous
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April 27, 2014
@BEN Twomey, common sense (good sense and judgment) How about background checks for criminal records or outstanding warrants, spousal abuse, convicted felons, mental illness.
Ben Twomey
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April 28, 2014
@anonymous. If you will check you will find that we already have that in Georgia, and, I suspect, in most other states. I assure you that does not satisfy the "gun grabbers".
CobbCoGuy
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April 25, 2014
Kevin Foley, April 11, 2014, Koch is bad...

"Charles [Koch] has good reason to abhor regulators. His company is one of the biggest polluters in America, annually discharging 200,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, which explains why he spent $50 million pushing global warming denial."

Kevin Foley, today, Bloomberg is good...

"Now Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, wants to bankroll that change. He says he will spend at least $50 million combating the NRA and do it on the NRA’s own turf, Washington, using the NRA’s legislative and grass roots playbooks."

Is it me? Am I missing something? Wouldn't some folks say this is...uh...hypocritical?
why not
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April 25, 2014
Yes it is you, and you are missing something!The Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson are promoting their own self interests. They are spending millions of dollars buying politicians that will insure their fossil fuel and gambling interests are unregulated and untaxed. I do not see how Bloomberg of Soros are personally profiting or benefiting from their positions on keeping firearms out of the hands of those who cannot pass a legal background check.
Ben Twomey
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April 25, 2014
@whynot. That is your liberal fed opinion, and nhas no basis in fact.

You don;t see how Bloomberg or Soros are profitting?

Watch out, for it what you do not see that will bit you in the a--.
CobbCoGuy
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April 25, 2014
Bloomberg's agenda is control.
why not
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April 27, 2014
@Ben Twoney, "Bloomberg and Soros are profiting. Watch for what I do not see?" OK how are they profiting and what do I not see? Please explain.
Ben Twomey
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April 28, 2014
@why not. CobbCo Guy answered you question. Are you really naive enough to think these guys are spending lall this money out of the goodness of their hearts? If so, let me talk to you about some ocean front property in Death Valley.
Steakfarmer
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April 25, 2014
Action movies with no guns.

Yeah that will go over well.

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