By Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director
Billionaire anti-gun zealot Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, recently appeared on "Meet the Press." Host David Gregory asked him, "How can you muster the clout and the power to take on the NRA?" Bloomberg raised some eyebrows with his response.
"If you look at what the real numbers are, I think that we can pull together here and raise enough money . . . to take on this issue and explain to Congress this is just an outrage," said Bloomberg.
Having called your Second Amendment rights an "outrage," Bloomberg went on to add, "I`m going to not only do that myself, I`m going to ask plenty of other people to do it. If you want to beat the NRA, you have to go out and get your message out. And it costs money to do that."
But not all is well in the ranks of Bloomberg`s supporters. His anti-gun lobbying group, "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" (MAIG), is in a state of turmoil. That may explain why Bloomberg has had to provide more than 95 percent of the funding for his anti-gun crusades from his personal fortune.
Bloomberg proudly cites the number of mayors in his group. But at least 25 members of his group are not mayors at all. Another five members have already lost their re-election campaigns or have retired.
The superstitious might wonder if joining Bloomberg`s group brings bad luck to its members. But read the rest of this column before you decide, because that`s just the beginning. There`s more. Much more.
Nine members of the group--all of them actual mayors, at least for the moment--were arrested or indicted on criminal charges. These include the perennial misdeeds of corrupt politicians at the lowest levels of government--bribery, corruption and money laundering. The list of charges hanging over Bloomberg`s members also includes conspiracy, tax fraud, possession of child pornography and sexual assault on a child.
Criminal cases involving five other members of the Bloomberg corps have already been completed, with the mayors in question convicted of the charges against them. Again, we have the garden variety of government corruption--bribery, extortion and conspiracy. But we also see charges for assault and even assaulting a police officer.
That particular ex-mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit, faced 10 felony charges in two cases before he made a plea deal. He has been erased from MAIG`s official membership roster, but is still counted when Bloomberg proudly states that "over 450 mayors from more than 40 states have joined" his group. He doesn`t talk about how many have left his group (and political office) in disgrace.
But corruption charges and criminal trials aren`t the only reason mayors have resigned from MAIG. More than 40 other mayors have resigned from the group when they were made aware of its true legislative agenda. Oldmans Township, N.J., Mayor Harry Moore resigned his membership in a letter to Bloomberg, which said in part, "I joined your coalition because of its purported purpose to combat the criminal acquisition and misuse of guns, which is a goal shared by all Americans. Regrettably, it has become abundantly clear to me that you are using this coalition of mayors to advance a hidden agenda of bringing lawsuits against members of the firearms industry and spreading anti-gun propaganda."
Moore also protested Bloomberg`s illegal "sting" operations, which jeopardized the safety of actual law enforcement personnel. "The Department of Justice warned you to refrain from these actions ... I do not want the blood of a police officer on my hands so that you can advance your anti-gun litigation campaign," wrote Moore.
Another resignation came from Mayor Marlene Anielski of Walton Hills, Ohio. Her letter forcefully stated, "Mayor, you and your coalition of allies have misrepresented yourselves to the mayors of America and its citizens," and closed by saying, "I can only hope that you will see my departure and the recent departure of other mayors from your coalition as a sign that things must change. We are all on the same side when it comes to stopping criminals from getting guns. Where you lose me is in your true quest--to end lawful firearms ownership and destroy a lawful American industry."
One current MAIG member, Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J., actually reinforced our point when he said, "I`m not concerned about law-abiding citizens having access to guns. Not one shooting in my city last year was by somebody who went, had a background check, bought a gun and shot somebody in my city. Does not happen." Bloomberg apparently did not hear Booker`s wisdom, despite the fact that they were sitting next to each other on the same Sunday show when Booker made the comment.
Is your mayor on Bloomberg`s list? You can find out by visiting our website at www.NRAILA.org/mayors, or by calling us at (800) 392-VOTE. If so, we have seen that polite protests from local voters do have an impact.
Don`t let your city`s or town`s good name be used against your Second Amendment rights. Check the list today--and if your mayor is on it, it`s time for City Hall to hear from you.
By Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director