Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, the eighth-richest person in the United States, and the billionaire behind the rabidly anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety, was asked on CBS’ “60 Minutes” why he didn’t run for president of the United States. His answer was revealing.
“If I thought we could win, or had a reasonable chance, I would have [run for president],” he said. “It would be totally unlikely, very unlikely that an independent could win. And in my case, I was mayor for a long time. People know where I stand. I couldn’t pretend to be something I’m not.”
So Bloomberg realized that his efforts to ban things like “Big Gulp” sodas, coal mining and, effectively, the Second Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights made it impossible for him to fool a majority of Americans into voting for him. He “couldn’t pretend to be something” else than what he is, so he opted not to run.
That’s honest—at least to himself.Everytown consistently uses “gun death” statistics that include suicides to make it seem as if there are many more homicides than there are.
Officially, Everytown is a private group that doesn’t disclose its donors. Bloomberg is, of course, the founder of Everytown. He funds the anti-gun group and, we must presume, the group does what he desires. So it is interesting that he realizes his anti-freedom, paternalistic views are too well known to the American people for him to win the presidency, but that he nevertheless thinks his group Everytown for Gun Safety is far enough removed from his views to be taken as nothing but a “gun safety” group by Americans.
After all, even if journalists, given their own political leanings, are unwilling to use the old journalist’s mantra “following the money” to report Everytown’s real mission, Everytown has itself lied so much and so blatantly that it also can no longer hide its real agenda. (Tellingly, this is likely the reason Bloomberg morphed “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” [MAIG] into Everytown, as MAIG had so dirtied its name it needed a new one.)
Everytown consistently uses “gun death” statistics that include suicides to make it seem as if there are many more homicides than there are. They have included terrorist acts in their mass shooting statistics and inflated the numbers of mass shootings. There are too many lies and deceptions to report in one article, but here is a quick analysis of their two biggest campaigns at present—both riddled with lies.
Universal Background Checks
The misinformation and outright deceit from Everytown on so-called “universal” background check laws (universal is in quotes because criminals by definition won’t abide by such laws, so such a law can’t be truly universal) is hard to sum up—there is just too much of it. Here are a few highlights.
Everytown says on its website that “under current federal law, background checks are only required on gun sales at licensed dealers. This loophole in the system make [sic] it easy for millions of guns to change hands each year with no background check, and no questions asked.” But the study Everytown sources for this claim is a small survey of gun owners that has to do with stolen guns. This study estimated that “about 380,000 guns [are] stolen” each year, not millions. Everytown doesn’t explain how “universal” background check laws would stop criminals who steal guns from selling the stolen goods to other criminals. The organization also don’t explain how such laws would stop criminals from illegally selling guns to prohibited persons.
The NRA wants real solutions to these problems, such as prosecuting those who sell guns to criminals and encouraging gun owners to safely store firearms they are not currently using. But Everytown isn’t interested in practical solutions that respect American freedom. They want bans, harsh controls and to criminalize as many gun owners as they can.
As a caveat, Everytown claims that “[s]ince enacted [background checks at gun dealers] have blocked nearly 3 million sales to felons, domestic abusers, fugitives, and other people prohibited by law from having guns.” There have been nearly 3 million initial denials since the FBI began the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in 1998, but many of these happen because someone has a similar name to someone who is prohibited or for another reason having nothing to do with felons, domestic abusers, fugitives and other criminal activity.They want bans, harsh controls and to criminalize as many gun owners as they can.
Everytown says law enforcement “overwhelmingly opposes” the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017,” but they don’t source any data for this “overwhelming” claim. They do site a 2013 press release from the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, a group that consistently opposes pro-gun legislation, including the “Hearing Protection Act of 2017,” for this claim, but that hardly constitutes an “overwhelming” majority.
Everytown also says, “Reciprocity would force states to let violent offenders and people with no firearm safety training carry hidden, loaded handguns—even if those people could not otherwise legally purchase a gun in the state.”
This is fear-mongering nonsense. Anyone who reads the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017” can clearly see that the bill recognizes the diversity of state concealed-carry laws by making each person subject to the concealed-carry laws of the state where they are present. This includes respecting the local laws that prohibit firearms.
Everytown also says that “a person denied a permit in his home state—e.g. after a criminal conviction—could simply get an out-of-state permit, and carry back at home.”
Actually, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act allows a person to carry concealed only if they are not federally prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm, are carrying a valid government-issued photo ID and are lawfully licensed or otherwise entitled to carry a concealed handgun. It is already illegal under federal law (18 U.S.C. 922(g)) for prohibited persons to possess a firearm.The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would simply protect the freedom of law-abiding gun owners who live in the other 28 states.
Reciprocity is already a reality in the 22 states that recognize all other concealed-carry licenses or allow law-abiding nonresidents to carry a firearm without a license. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would simply protect the freedom of law-abiding gun owners who live in the other 28 states.
All that said, just imagine if Bloomberg were an honest person. He could honestly splash around his $47 billion in ways that might really help. He could look at American freedom for what it is, instead of seeing it as the problem he pretends it is. He could then bolster our freedom while funding new approaches to bust criminals. It would be so much easier this way—working with Americans 100 million-plus gun owners instead of against them.
As Mark Twain said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
Frank Miniter is the author of The New York Times bestseller The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide—Recovering the Lost Art of Manhood. He is also the author of This Will Make a Man of You and The Future of the Gun. He is a contributor to Forbes and writes for many publications. His website is FrankMiniter.com.