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Anti-Gun Mayors Hatch Scheme

Friday, April 28, 2006

Anti-gun New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) convened a meeting with a cadre of like-minded mayors this week to discuss “reducing gun violence.”  

Among the attendees was Anthony Williams (D), Mayor of Washington, D.C., where handguns have been banned for decades, but where the violent crime rate remains stratospheric.  Predictably, the outcome of the meeting was yet another call for more restrictive gun laws to reduce crime.

According to Bloomberg, NRA represents a minority of opinion when it comes to Americans’ views on gun laws.  “I think when you look at the numbers, when you do surveys, it’s a very small number of people who actually believe that people should be carrying concealed weapons…on the streets of our cities…” Bloomberg said.  “Those kinds of extremist positions are held by very few people.”  Apparently Bloomberg doesn’t realize that Right-to-Carry is both popular and the law of the land in 40 of our 50 states, and only two states deny their citizens the right to protect themselves and their families outside of the home.

Commenting on Bloomberg’s assertion, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox said, “The rest of the country does not want or care for his elitist gun control policies.  It’s an elitist mindset that is typical of Mayor Bloomberg and his policies. This elitist mindset is captured perfectly by the list of concealed permit holders in New York City--the mayor’s political cronies, a handful of wealthy Wall Street executives and all of his movie-star friends.”

Typical of their elitism, the mayors’ excluded a true gun safety organization at the summit.  On Monday, Larry Keane, Senior VP and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), transmitted a letter to Mayor Bloomberg requesting his group’s inclusion at the event.   In providing Bloomberg with NSSF’s law enforcement and gun safety credentials, Keane cited:  1) the City of Boston’s acknowledgement in dropping its suit against the gun industry that, “members of the industry and [NSSF] are genuinely concerned with and are committed to the safe, legal and responsible sale and distribution and use of their products”; 2) its “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” straw purchase prevention and awareness program, that has been praised by BATFE; 3) its support of enforcing existing laws against truly corrupt or criminal FFLs; and 4) “Project Childsafe” that is funded by U.S. Department of Justice grants and the firearm industry.  More than 30 million free safety kits, that include a cable-style firearm locking device and key safety messages about safe handling and storage of firearms, have been distributed.  These kits have also been provided to the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association with firearm safety kits for its thousands of members.

One would think that any summit that truly sought to explore possible and proven solutions to reducing gun violence would be balanced, and would include those who have expertise in these matters.  However, one would be wrong, as this summit was nothing more than a PR opportunity for Mayor Bloomberg and his cronies to promote their anti-gun rhetoric and propaganda.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.