Michael Bloomberg Takes Aim at Gun Control – Misses By a Long Shot

Earlier this year, former New York Nanny Mayor Michael Bloomberg started a gun control group called Everytown for Gun Safety.

The group is making significant political investments in the midterms. They’ve announced endorsements in more than 100 federal and state elections, and have produced two television commercials that will run in Illinois and Oregon.

From USA Today:

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Everytown for Gun Safety’s endorsements and the new ads in Illinois and Oregon are part of an effort by Bloomberg to make curbing gun violence a pivotal issue in midterm elections that will determine which political party controls the Senate and the agenda on Capitol Hill. Republicans need to net six seats to win the majority in November.

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The campaign includes what supporters call a “Gun Sense Voter” road show with stops in Oregon, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Connecticut over the next three weeks. The tour, led by Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, also will visit Seattle where Everytown is pushing a state initiative that would expand background checks for firearms purchased online and at gun shows.

(Remember, Watts and her silly moms group targeted Kroger last month in an attempt to force the grocery chain to ban open carry in their stores. Kroger stuck to its guns and said NOPE.)

Let’s take a look at the ads Nanny Bloomberg’s group is running.

The first is testimony from Nate Pendleton. His daughter Hadiya was shot to death on January 29, 2013 in Chicago. The 15-year-old honor student was killed at the Vivian Gordon Harsh Park in Kenwood. Michael Ward, 19, and Kenneth Williams, 21, have been charged in her murder, which police say happened after Ward shot into a crowd hoping to hit a rival gang member.

While Hadiya’s death is tragic and I absolutely understand why her family would want to prevent others from feeling the same pain, I fail to see how more gun control will help.

How did Ward and Williams obtain guns? They are gang members who were 18 and 20 years old at the time of the crime, so it is highly unlikely that they legally owned firearms.

In fact, Ward was on probation for a weapons charge that occurred when he was only 17.

Oh, and he violated that probation three times before killing Pendleton:

By March 28, court records show he violated that probation after an arrest for breaking into a car. On July 12, he violated probation again on a similar misdemeanor charge, and on November 26, he violated probation for a third time in less than year, when he was arrested for criminal trespass.

Would the kind of background checks Bloomberg’s group wants enacted have stopped Hadiya’s murder?

Not likely. Here’s one reason:

Researchers in 2000 reviewed more than a decade of crime data in states with and without background checks. They found no significant difference in murder rates in states that had implemented the checks and states that had not, according to the study, which was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. (source)

Gun violence has long been a problem in Chicago – a city with some of the most strict firearms laws in the country.

As of July 2014, Chicago police had already seized over 3,300 illegal firearms.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the likely problem is lax sentences for those caught carrying illegally.

Ward seems to fit that category. Perhaps if he had been jailed for violating his probation, Hadiya would still be alive. But somehow, he fell through the cracks in the system.

What about Steve Forsyth? He was killed when a gunman opened fire in the Clackamas Town Center outside Portland, Oregon, on December 11, 2012.

Bloomberg’s second ad features Forsyth’s brother-in-law, Paul Kemp.

The gunman in that shooting, 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts, used a stolen Bushmaster M4 Type Carbine.

The Clackamas Town Center has a posted policy of prohibiting firearms on the premises, but apparently Roberts didn’t see the sign.

Here’s how that shooting spree ended:

Roberts attempted to reload the AR-15, but was unable to do so, the weapon having apparently jammed. During that time, Nick Meli, a concealed carry permit holder, reportedly drew his Glock 22, took aim at Roberts, but did not fire since there was a bystander behind Roberts. Meli asserts that Roberts saw him, and that this may have contributed to Roberts’ decision to commit suicide, though this is unsubstantiated. (source)

Could stricter background checks for firearm purchases have prevented Forsyth’s murder?

Not likely, since Roberts stole the gun he used in his shooting spree.

Bloomberg and his devotees proclaim that a major source of illegal gun obtainment is through gun show and private sale loopholes, but research doesn’t support that claim:

According to surveys DOJ conducted of state prison inmates during 2004 (the most recent year of data available), only two percent who owned a gun at the time of their offense bought it at either a gun show or flea market. About 10 percent said they purchased their gun from a retail shop or pawnshop, 37 percent obtained it from family or friends, and another 40 percent obtained it from an illegal source. (source)

Not one to be deterred by hard data and facts, Nanny Bloomberg has pledged to spend 50 MILLION on his worthless gun-control agenda this year.

So far, one million has been donated to support an initiative in Washington state that would require background checks for most gun sales and transfers in the state. Local gun-rights groups are backing a competing initiative that would bar the state from conducting background checks more extensive than those now required by federal law.

Some gun-rights advocates are opposed to Bloomberg’s intervention in state elections. Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Bellevue, Wash., is one of them:

“He doesn’t live here. He doesn’t vote here, but he’s spending over $1 million to determine what Washington laws are going to be,” Gottlieb said. “He’s trying to buy his agenda, and a lot of Washington voters are concerned.”

I’m not sure what Nanny Bloomberg’s ultimate goal is, but his anti-gun, pro-government control propaganda campaign is filled with dishonest tactics and is devoid of logic. The two commercials his group produced obviously are an attempt to appeal to the emotions of the viewer – a tactic that can be (unfortunately) quite effective. The ads also use anecdotal evidence – personal experiences – instead of a sound, fact-based approach.

It is unfortunate that propaganda like that dispersed by Bloomberg and his ilk is widely accepted as truth by so many.

I wonder if gun control advocates realize that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago.

A Pew Research Center study found U.S. gun homicides rose in the 1960s, gained in the 1970s, peaked in the 1980s and the early 1990s, and then plunged and leveled out over the past 20 years.

Last year, a Pew survey of Americans revealed that 56% believe gun-related crime is HIGHER than it was 20 years ago.

Only 12% guessed it to be lower.

John Lott, the former chief economist of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, told Politico that preventing gun trafficking, gangs, and drug use might be more effective ways to cut down on gun violence:

“There are a lot more things that you could spend money on that could be more cost-effective and get to the root of the problem. Background checks might not really do anything, but if it’s going to make people feel better — a placebo effect — I guess it’s worth it.”

Surely, Bloomberg’s 50 million would be much better spent on more effective crime reduction methods.

But as long as “activists” with an agenda (and a lot of cash) continue to spread propaganda to the ill-informed masses, the real causes of violence in this country will continue to be ignored, and crime will continue.

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