Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Bloomberg's Anti-Gun Bus Tour Travels A Road To Nowhere

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The nation’s self-appointed chief gun control extremist, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, didn’t have to scramble to put together a press conference after the tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard. He already had one planned. And there was no confusion about the program among the many gun control supporters who are carefully stage-managed at his events. As reported by The Washington Post, they “took their places by memory, because by now they know where to go.”

 

They’ve had plenty of practice because Bloomberg spent the summer months deploying them to no fewer than 100 press conferences all over the country. He even paid for a specially decorated bus to serve as the visual centerpiece of the tour. Every one of the events was intended to spur support for his gun control agenda on the part of local politicians, but his tour was hardly the momentum-building event he hoped it would be. In fact, it alienated his existing supporters and drove more than 50 mayors to resign from his group entirely.  

 

How did such a major investment end up yielding the precise opposite of the desired result? I have already written about the first huge mistake of the tour. Bloomberg’s main media attraction for his bus tour was the reading of a list of “victims of gun violence” to honor their memories. But at the very first stop in New Hampshire, observers were outraged when Bloomberg’s list included terrorists, cop killers, murderers and rapists. Bloomberg was forced to publicly apologize, and his massive squad of consultants started working furiously to “scrub” the list. They set about the difficult task of deciding which victims were truly victims, and, in the end, the list was reduced by half.  

 

But the damage had already been done. One of only two mayors in New Hampshire who were part of the Bloomberg group resigned in disgust, telling the Manchester Union Leader, “I don’t want to be part of something like that.”   

 

The tour continued on across the country, but the reception it received deteriorated even more as it moved into the heartland. Bloomberg’s surrogates were outnumbered by Second Amendment supporters at numerous stops. At one event in Ohio, a single Bloomberg representative was met by dozens of gun rights activists, who literally took the event over and turned it into a pro-gun rally. And in North Dakota, Bloomberg’s single mayor in the state wanted nothing to do with the tour, refusing to appear at the event in person and going so far as to question the Bloomberg agenda. He told the media he was “not an active member” and had doubts about Bloomberg’s objectives, asking rhetorically, “Is it a problem here in North Dakota? I don’t think so.”    

 

Other mayors were not as circumspect in voicing their discontent. Mayor Bob Scott of Sioux City, Iowa, said “They’re not just against illegal guns, they’re against all guns.” Mayor Patricia Shontz of Madeira Beach, Fla., said the group is “attempting to erode all gun ownership, not just illegal guns. This is gun control, not crime prevention.” And Mayor Keith Hoffman of East Berlin, Ohio, alluded to the complaint of many mayors who did not deliberately join the group, but merely signed a vague statement about reducing crime, then later found themselves listed as members. He said, “It was a mistake, really … they swindle you in and then put your name on the list.”  

 

That’s the track record of the Bloomberg bus tour, and Capitol Hill was its final stop. When the bus appeared in the nation’s capital, it had been only three days since a deranged madman illegally smuggled a shotgun into the Washington Navy Yard. The perpetrator set about on a random pattern of destruction in the largely unguarded complex and went unchecked for nearly half an hour. SWAT teams outside were ordered not to intercede and dozens of panicked employees, military and civilian alike, were left to their own devices in a facility where only a scant few security officers were authorized to carry firearms.  

 

In the aftermath, Bloomberg’s fellow gun control supporters railed about a non-existent AR-15 and vowed to make the same background check system that the perpetrator had cleared when purchasing the shotgun he used in the attack apply to even more purchasers. Despite a long history of mental illness that was well-known to authorities, firearm-related incidents that had led to police investigations and a record of misconduct during his prior military service, the perpetrator had never undergone the sort of mental healthcommitment or adjudication that would have resulted in his name being added to the database that is checked when aperson purchases a firearm from a dealer. Indeed, these red flags didn’t even affect the security clearance he needed to work as a military contractor, which requires a far more extensive background check than that for individual purchasers of firearms. In other words, Bloomberg wants to cast a net full of holes even further.  

 

So it comes as no surprise that The Washington Post described the end of the Bloomberg event by saying, “Soon, all that remained was one person at the lectern … but there was no one left to hear him.”  Indeed, the louder Bloomberg shouts his nonsensical rhetoric, the fewer remain willing to listen.  

Chris W. Cox

BY Chris W. Cox

NRA-ILA Executive Director

Follow This Contributor

Chris W. Cox has served as the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of NRA, since 2002. As NRA’s principal political strategist, Cox oversees eight NRA-ILA divisions: Federal Affairs; State & Local Affairs; Public Affairs; Grassroots; Finance; Research & Information; Conservation, Wildlife & Natural Resources; and Office of Legislative Counsel. Cox also serves as chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), the Association’s political action committee; president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which focuses on non-partisan voter registration and citizen education; and chairman of NRA Country, an effort to bring country music artists together with NRA members in support of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.

TRENDING NOW
National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, September 15, 2017

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

Gun owners received good news this week with the passage of the SHARE Act by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources (see related story). Meanwhile, progress continued to be made on another NRA legislative ...

Urban Myth: Crime Doesn’t Pay – California City Authorizes Stipends to Gang Members

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Urban Myth: Crime Doesn’t Pay – California City Authorizes Stipends to Gang Members

In a special meeting on August 29, the nine-member City Council of Sacramento unanimously agreed to allocate $1.5 million in funding and to move forward with a “gun-violence reduction strategy” that will include cash payments ...

Washington Post’s Resident Anti-Gun Zealot Parades his Ignorance in SHARE Act Column

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Washington Post’s Resident Anti-Gun Zealot Parades his Ignorance in SHARE Act Column

Dana Milbank is not a serious journalist. A former White House correspondent for the Washington Post, Milbank now writes what can be characterized as a humor column for the paper.

NRA Backed SHARE Act Passes Committee

News  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

NRA Backed SHARE Act Passes Committee

“Today marks an important step in protecting the Second Amendment freedoms of America’s hunters and sportsmen and strengthening our outdoor heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The SHARE Act will cut burdensome red tape that restricts ...

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

Hunting  

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

As we have reported, this year’s version of the SHARE Act is the most expansive and far-reaching yet. Besides previously-introduced provisions aimed at enhancing opportunities for hunting, fishing, and shooting and broadening access to federal lands ...

California Legislature Adjourns the 2017 Legislative Session

Saturday, September 16, 2017

California Legislature Adjourns the 2017 Legislative Session

Last night, the California Legislature adjourned the 2017 session.  Three anti-gun bills, AB 7, AB 424 and SB 464, passed the Legislature and will now be considered by Governor Brown.  Contact Governor Brown and urge him ...

NRA Applauds Reintroduction and Expansion of SHARE Act

News  

Hunting  

Friday, September 8, 2017

NRA Applauds Reintroduction and Expansion of SHARE Act

On Sept. 1, U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan introduced H.R. 3668, the Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act), a wide-ranging package of legislation aimed at promoting Second Amendment rights and America’s outdoor sporting traditions.

“What Happened”: Clinton Recognizes NRA’s Power, Rewrites History, and Urges Dems to Double-down on Gun Control

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

“What Happened”: Clinton Recognizes NRA’s Power, Rewrites History, and Urges Dems to Double-down on Gun Control

This week, twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released her new book, “What Happened,” which chiefly serves to assign blame to the myriad politicians, journalists, organizations, countries, prejudices, and technologies she claims caused her defeat. Gun ...

Shocking News as Governor of Virgin Islands Orders National Guard to Seize Americans’ Firearms

News  

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Shocking News as Governor of Virgin Islands Orders National Guard to Seize Americans’ Firearms

Certainly, the rest of America’s thoughts and prayers are with the USVI as Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, closes in on the Caribbean. Nevertheless, the scope of Gov. Mapp’s order is a shocking incursion ...

Wisconsin: Important Concealed Carry Legislation Scheduled for Committee Vote This Week

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Wisconsin: Important Concealed Carry Legislation Scheduled for Committee Vote This Week

This Tuesday, September 19, Senate Bill 169 is scheduled for a vote during the executive session in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  SB 169 would allow for the concealed carry of a firearm without a concealed carry license ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

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.