Michael Bloomberg is at it again:
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that he's pumping $50 million into a new umbrella gun-control group that will include "robust" field staffs in at least a dozen states, including Oregon and Washington.
The former mayor of New York, Bloomberg announced the merging of two organizations he has funded, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, into an organization called Everytown for Gun Safety.
Of course, the "Get big money out of politics" crowd rose up in outrage over this. Er, any time now. Uh...(crickets chirping). Well, maybe not. Could it be that all of those people complaining about money in politics just hate the big money on the other side?
Bloomberg's effort is doomed to fail and once again leave gun control advocates frustrated and befuddled, just like Joe Biden's asinine efforts a year ago. And for the same reasons. A quick look at the "Learn" tab of the new website shows why.
The first thing that greeted me there was "Americans are 20 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than people in other developed countries." What a shocking number. No wonder Americans go about their day in mortal terror, zigzagging as they sprint from place to place, desperately praying that they aren't gunned down in cold blood.
As I noted over a year ago, in the wake of the Newtown shooting, a hugely disproportionate amount of gun violence and murder in this country takes place in a very distinct and geographically small set of urban areas around the country. When that's taken into account, the rest of America's homicide rate drops dramatically and in many areas is even less than that of some European nations. For the vast majority of Americans, "20 times more likely" is hysterically false, and many of them realize it.
The flip side, of course, is also true. By mushing all of America together when it comes to gun violence and murder, Bloomberg and friends not only make 99% of America appear to be more violent than it really is, they end up obscuring and downplaying just how ultraviolent those bad neighborhoods really are. "20 times more likely?" A gun murder rate 30 times that of Europe in those areas would be a huge improvement, let alone a rate that is way down with the rest of the nation. How fuzzing all that up could possibly help the people bearing the brunt of gun violence in this country is a mystery to me.
Here's another piece of deceit:
"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."
It's true that the general concept of "universal" background checks polls very well. What Bloomberg and friends won't tell you is that consensus falls apart the minute you start defining "universal" into something meaningful and effective.
"You want to include my family?" Boom, support takes a plunge. "You want to include my next door neighbor?" Boom, support takes a plunge. "You want me to get a background check on my coworker if I loan him one of my shotguns for a few weeks in the fall?" Boom, support plunges. And if you try to win back support by making exceptions, you may have enhanced background checks, but only a liar would call them "universal" anymore.
I could go on and on. Don't even get me started on the utter stupidity behind the effort to ban "assault" weapons.
I think there are a lot of well-meaning people who sincerely want to do something effective about gun violence who get side-tracked by gun banners like Bloomberg(Yes, I think that's his real goal). They buy into the bullshit without really thinking about it and then are baffled and angry when nothing happens. Well, nothing happens, and all that energy is wasted, because the entire effort is founded on falsehoods and deception. This latest from Bloomberg is no exception.
If we want to do something about day-to-day gun violence in America we have to be willing to face up to the social and cultural pathologies at work in the neighborhoods that see the highly disproportionate amount of that violence. Just cutting the gun murder rate in half in those neighborhoods would save thousands of lives each year. But that would be a difficult and painful task and our political elites are clearly not up for it. Half of them are too dishonest to properly define the problem and the other half are scared shitless of being called racists.
If we want to do something about mass killers we need to learn the lessons from their actions and implement policies that might have a chance of actually preventing future killers from carrying out their plans. Instead of that, after Newtown we were greeted with the spectacle of Joe Biden gathering and presenting all sorts of gun control wish lists, none of which would have prevented the Newtown shooting or the next mass shootings down the line. There's no magic bullet here either, but once again our political elites are nowhere close to being up to the task.
It's a free country, so Bloomberg can waste his $50 million if he wants. Apparently there's going to be a Minnesota chapter of Everytown for Gun Safety at some point and I look forward to engaging them down the road, if they'll be open to an honest discussion. Based on the website, I strongly doubt it.