What we have here is a billionaire who lives one way—a spectacularly walled-off life, from all appearances—and wants you to live in some lesser way.
Yes, we’re talking about former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the world’s eighth-richest man according to Forbes. He can afford to be protected by armed security at his 13 or more residences. But come on now, he seems to wonder, who gave the serfs guns anyway? Yes, he is the Grinch who got all the toys, but can’t stand hearing the people happily singing anyway. But unlike the Grinch who stole Christmas, instead of coming down from his mountaintop with all the toys packed on his sleigh, when Bloomberg heard the people singing from the rest of the country outside of New York City, he decided he must take those peoples’ freedom, too.These might not be his sexiest schemes, but voter initiatives do play to his strength—by strength, of course, I mean his money.
Bloomberg, Grinch that he is, has tried a lot of things over the years—when he was mayor of New York City, he even wanted to snatch peoples’ Big Gulp sodas. And just ruling over New York City was never enough for him—remember his super-secret, undercover sting operations when he sent people from New York to “illegally” buy guns in other states? So now his many gun-control start-ups, his sting operations, the frequent rebranding of his gun-control groups and his bus tours have led him to … anti-Second Amendment voter initiatives. These might not be his sexiest schemes, but voter initiatives do play to his strength—by strength, of course, I mean his money.
This November, in part thanks to Bloomberg’s state-by-state campaign of deception, both Maine and Nevada will have so-called “universal” background check gun-control initiatives on their ballots. California will also have an initiative that would ban magazines that hold more than a certain number of bullets, would require background checks on ammunition sales and more. (If you don’t live in one of these states, you should realize these are only the next steps in the possible growth of these rights-impeding initiatives. In the last election cycle, for example, a Bloomberg-funded “universal” background check voter initiative was approved after a very disingenuous campaign in Washington state.)
Bloomberg has been a chief funder of these Second Amendment infringements because he can vastly outspend average Americans. As of June 10, Nevadans for Background Checks, which is pushing the voter initiative to make normal, law-abiding behavior illegal in the state, had received a total of $4.8 million in contributions. The top donor was Everytown for Gun Safety, a group funded by Bloomberg that provided about 77 percent of the Nevada gun-control group’s total war chest, according to Ballotpedia.
So, as of June 10, Bloomberg, Hanauer and Parker—none of whom even live in Nevada—had contributed nearly $4.3 million.Other major donors to this gun-control initiative in Nevada include Nicolas "Nick" Hanauer, a venture capitalist and political activist who lives in Seattle, Wash., ($275,000) and Sean Parker, a co-founder of music sharing service Napster who was formerly the president of Facebook ($250,000). Parker, by the way, is constantly in the news—not always in good ways. Here’s a fun example: In 2013, Parker got married in Big Sur, Calif., and gave every wedding guest a “Lord Of The Rings” costume. The $10 million wedding got so out of hand, it resulted in millions of dollars in damage to a public campsite. Parker reportedly had to pay $2.5 million in penalties. Alex Madrigal, a writer for The Atlantic, said this about the wedding: “Nothing says, ‘I love the Earth!’ quite like bringing bulldozers into an old-growth forest to create a fake ruined castle. And to build this fantasy world on a spot that should have been open to regular old middle-class people: That makes it even better.”
So, as of June 10, Bloomberg, Hanauer and Parker—none of whom even live in Nevada—had contributed nearly $4.3 million (or about 88 percent of the gun-control group’s funds).
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association is working hard in a grassroots effort to counter the initiative and has launched an informational website, VoteNoQuestion1, that exposes the truth about how the so-called “universal” background check would make criminals out of Nevada gun owners.
“The law-abiding gun owners of Nevada need to know that Question 1 would cost them their money and their freedom,” said NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen. “It could even criminalize many of their commonplace activities.” Mortensen added, “This ballot initiative was bought and paid for by outside gun-control groups bent on the Californication of Nevada. Armed with the facts, we believe the freedom-loving people of Nevada will reject Question 1.”
Nevada fought this same battle in 2013. That year, Bloomberg spent more than $1 million to push such a bill through the Nevada legislature. The bill passed on a mostly party-line vote, but Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed the legislation.
On Nov. 8, the Nevada “universal” background check voter initiative will read:
Voting yes supports this proposal to require firearm transfers to go through a licensed gun dealer. Certain transfers, including temporary transfers and those between immediate family members, would be exempted.
Voting no opposes this proposal to require firearm transfers to go through a licensed gun dealer.
The NRA and Nevadans for State Gun Rights is trying desperately to educate the people as to what this initiative really portends, as those who don’t understand their rights might not know this law would only burden law enforcement; criminalize normal law-abiding behavior that dates back to our nation’s birth and before; and make owning a gun more expensive, and thereby particularly burden the poor—while doing nothing to realistically prevent criminals from getting guns.
(In the next column, we’ll look at what can and is being done by the NRA and gun owners to get the truth to the public about these critical issues.)