Last week, the most visible gun control advocate in this country, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, appeared on MSNBC and CNN, promoting his new TV ad urging that Congress impose so-called "terrorist watchlist" gun control legislation. The ad features an edited portion of the well-known video of a scraggly-looking al Qaeda misfit claiming -- falsely -- that jihadists can buy machine guns at gun shows in the United States, without a background check.
Everyone in Congress knows the machine gun claim is a lie, and surely most are familiar by now with the many problems of "watchlist" legislation. But when Bloomberg appeared on MSBNC's "The Last Word," hosted by self-proclaimed socialist Lawrence O'Donnell, O'Donnell didn't blame Bloomberg's dishonesty for his pet legislation's failure to move. O'Donnell instead said Congress is "in favor of illegal guns," to which Bloomberg outrageously added, "Congress must believe that there is a constitutional amendment that says the right of terrorists to buy arms shall not be infringed."
O'Donnell asked, "What does the NRA say?" and Bloomberg replied, "They won't say anything." That, of course, is another lie. NRA has said -- many times -- that 95 percent of the people who are on the watchlist are already ineligible to possess firearms in the United States, because (according to the FBI) they are notU.S. citizens or legal resident aliens of the United States. NRA has also pointed out repeatedly that the "watchlist" legislation would violate a watchlisted person's right to due process of law, by preventing him from clearing his name and getting his firearm rights restored in a fair hearing. NRA has also said that supporters of the legislation have yet to come up with a single violent crime committed by a watchlisted person with a gun acquired after a federal background check. And NRA has noted federal studies showing that less than one percent of imprisoned gun criminals obtained their guns at gun shows.
That Bloomberg resorts to lies shows something about his character. That he resorts to lies that are so easily disproven shows how desperate he has become, as he tries to convince the American people and Congress to go along with his agenda. And maybe that should tell the billionaire anti-gun gadfly that some things cannot be bought at any price.
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