Suddenly, big money in politics is a good thing, says the gun-control left.
Back in the early 2000s money in politics wasn’t even supposed to be protected speech, according to the left. It took a U.S. Supreme Court decision—Citizens United v. FEC (2010)—to prohibit the government from stopping corporations, associations and more from utilizing their First Amendment rights to support or oppose politicians near elections.
Now, after state elections handed Virginia’s legislature to Democrats on Nov. 5, the mainstream media is applauding Michael Bloomberg’s massive money dump—reportedly $2.5 million just on a select number of Virginia races—to sway voters in the state’s local elections.
“A gun-control lobbying group funded largely by billionaire Michael Bloomberg just helped Democrats take over the state government in Virginia—right in the National Rifle Association’s backyard,” boasted CNBC.
“‘The NRA is weaker than they’ve ever been,’” said a headline in The Washington Post.
“Everytown officials—who provided CNN with details of their Virginia strategy—say their approach to the off-year election demonstrates the potency of the gun-safety message one year before the nation heads to the polls to decide control of Congress and the White House,” said CNN.
As a telling aside, it’s worth noting here that by boasting that “Everytown officials … provided CNN with details of their Virginia strategy,” CNN actually showcased their lack of journalistic credibility. Everytown, you see, doesn’t even respond to journalists who won’t print their propaganda with few questions asked. I know this firsthand after numerous attempts to interview Everytown officials—and have been told this by other journalists, people who write for conservative-leaning publications, who have tried to reach Everytown for comment.
Next, it must be said that the narrative that Bloomberg’s money is overwhelming gun-rights proponents, though convenient to those who want to disarm law-abiding Americans, is also too simplistic. Nationally, a lot of factors are affecting voter turnout and more; meanwhile, locally, specific issues, personalities and more are also influencing races.
Still, this media narrative highlights the fact that many in the mainstream media have morphed into nothing more than an arm of the Democratic Party. To them, money in politics is a good thing when it supports their candidates, but a bad thing when it doesn’t—in others words, they are so obviously pushing narratives they think are helpful to the party they back that they can’t smell their own hypocrisy.
Money in politics, of course, is neither good nor bad. Money can be used, just as speech can, to deceive, such as the propaganda Bloomberg dishes out, or to tell the truth.
The media misdirection in this case is a foreshadowing of what they want to happen in the 2020 elections. Bloomberg’s group Everytown, and the many mainstream media outlets that print its press-releases almost verbatim, want voters to believe that more control over you, via new gun-control laws, bans and restrictions, are popular with voters and therefore will inevitably be passed after the November 2020 elections. They want voters to get in line with this inevitability.
The politics here, however, are hardly inevitable; in fact, many signs point the other way.
The departures of Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Eric Swalwell D-Calif.) from the race for president, for example, speaks loudly and clearly, as all three of those failed candidates made gun control a central plank in their campaign platforms.
Actually, his “hell yes” that, if elected president, he’d somehow confiscate millions of popular semi-automatic rifles owned by law abiding Americans was part of the reason for his lack of popularity.
The exercising of Second Amendment rights, after all, is hardly only a Republican thing. Some 25% of Democrats say there is a gun in their home, according to the Pew Research Center (in comparison, 48% of independent voters and 56% of those who identify as Republican, say there is at least one gun in their homes).
It is difficult to calculate what percentage of Americans do chose to own guns, as this is a question many gun owners are not interested in answering, so these numbers are likely low.
It is also hard to survey what percentage of the voting public really wants new restrictions on their freedom. Many of the survey questions used, particularly those related to so-called “universal-background check laws” (How can it be “universal” when criminals by definition won’t obey the law?), are worded to skew the response.
Public Policy Polling, for example, asked: “Do you support or oppose requiring a criminal background check of every person who wants to buy a firearm?”
Anyone who hasn’t looked deeply into the topic can be forgiven for answering “yes” to this question. They simply don’t know that might be, depending on how any particular law is written, agreeing that gun owners should be barred from allowing a friend to shoot one of their guns at a range; or that gun owners shouldn’t allowed to loan guns to friends to go hunting; or that private sales between family members should be forbidden; or that a lot of other things America’s law-abiding gun owners have always done should now be illegal even though no one is seriously arguing that these onerous restrictions on our freedom will reduce violent crime rates, as the facts show that criminals get guns in other ways.
As for 2020, voters are aware that “universal background check laws” are only a small part of what’s at stake. In this election, issues like whether a possible new nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court might support our individual right to keep and bear arms, will also be on the ballot. (Frank Miniter’s latest book is The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide to the Workplace.)