Bloomberg’s ‘Every Town for Gun Safety’: Saving you from you

Bloomberg’s ‘Every Town for Gun Safety’: Saving you from you

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Come and get it / Photo: ttstam (Terence Tam), used under Flickr Creative Commons license
Come and get it / Photo: ttstam (Terence Tam), used under Flickr Creative Commons license

WASHINGTON, April 16, 2014 — The time has come for the American people to rise up and fight the NRA.

Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City — assuredly one of the safest and least gun crime ridden cities in the World — wants you to join Every Town for Gun Safety (ETGS) in its anti-NRA crusade. He has pledged to raise $50 million to help elect smart, “gun sense” minded politicians in local and federal elections around the country. This will help counter the NRA and other gun lobby groups intent on undermining the integrity of state and federal elections with their blood- and gun-grease-soaked money.

ETGS is a response to an imaginary problem: skyrocketing, apocalyptic levels of gun violence that have left America strewn with bullet-riddled corpses. While that America is foreign to most Americans, it is the America inhabited by people like Bloomberg. Along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, ETGS will raise money to fund political campaigns and initiatives that erode the intent of the Second Amendment while leaving the filthy thing formally intact.

The name is genius. How can any Republican or NRA supporter oppose an organization called “Every Town for Gun Safety” and be taken seriously? That would be like opposing Mothers Against Child Abuse. ETGS doesn’t have to actually promote gun safety; they just have to say their name.

Nothing is more intimidating than numbers, especially if they are smartly placed next to graphs and drawings of homes and children. The ETGS website is full of numbers and info-graphics. Say it with a chart, and the claims must be real.

In the section labeled “Backround Checks Save Lives” we read, “Americans overwhelmingly support background checks. Surveys show that 92 percent of Americans—including 82 percent of gun owners and 74 percent of NRA members—support criminal background checks for all gun sales.” Case closed, though the sources for those numbers are left out so people can focus on the their stark reality.

In the section“Preventable Deaths” we read, “About a third of U.S. children live in homes with guns. That wouldn’t pose a risk if guns were stored responsibly. But because many guns are not, American kids are 16 times more likely to be accidentally shot and killed than kids in other developed countries. A majority of these deaths happen when children are in their own homes, unsupervised, and playing with a gun.”

They ram home the point: “We need to start an honest conversation about what responsible gun ownership means, and we should develop technology and laws that make safe storage the norm.”

Those gun nuts at the NRA seem to think that they’re qualified to teach children the tenets of responsible gun ownership at an early age, an effort the NRA has been pursuing for decades. The ETGS recognizes the futility of that kind of effort and won’t be dragged into it. The suggestion that an organization with the words “gun safety” in its name should teach gun safety is just a Republican dirty trick. Gun safety can’t be taught; it must be legislated.

In their “In the News” section, ETGS posts news stories about Bloomberg’s pledge to raise $50 million for the campaign; how Facebook was pressured by gun-control groups to responsibly  restrict users’ speech and reduce the visibility of pages which have anything to do with guns; and stories about the scores of school shootings since Newtown.

Those are the only stories they need. They don’t need stories about the defensive use of guns, about people who deter threats to neighbors and their families by their ownership of guns, or about the way armed citizens stood up to intimidation by the federal government in Nevada. To ETGS, those stories are irrelevant.

Bloomberg believes that we should be pleased ETGS is out there, ready to protect us from neighbors who want to own guns. Groups like these make it easier for everyday people who fear their neighbors’ right to defend themselves, and who know nothing about firearms, to come together and demand that action be taken.

Without the guidance of wealthy men like Bloomberg, grassroots movements to influence national and local elections and to defang the Second Amendment might have no chance against grassroots groups like the NRA and NAGR and their grassroots pockets full of blood-money.

What else would Bloomberg do with the money? Pay the bail of Leland Lee, the California lawmaker and gun-control advocate who was caught running guns? The laws of the land don’t apply to the government; Lee will walk and maybe find a job at ETGS. Who knows more about illicit guns in our streets than a man who helped put them there?

IF ETGS is to be successful, Bloomberg needs to learn from his earlier “gun safety” groups. If Mayors Against Illegal Guns taught us anything, it’s that groups that go after law abiding, rational, gun-owning Americans and their rights will succeed mostly in swelling the ranks and coffers of the NRA.

If Moms Demand Action has taught us anything, it’s that people who are completely ignorant of firearms and who are filled with irrational fear of their neighbors’ constitutional rights are highly effective at getting pro-gun Republicans nominated for office. If Bloomberg has learned from these previous errors, perhaps he can make ETGS a success.

With a name like “Every Town for Gun Safety,” how can he lose? Well, rather than promote gun safety, ETGS might focus its resources on combating the NRA, a grassroots, gun-owner organization with nationally certified gun safety programs. If it does that, it might fail spectacularly.

And it might not. The ETGS strategy is simple: Scare people, restrict their rights to bear arms, coerce the market into producing “smart guns,” and eventually disarm the populace. They hope to make us safe from ourselves, to make America free of gun violence forever, because no one will have guns. They have met the enemy, and it is us.


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