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Pro-gun Community Schools Bloomberg on Grassroots Activism

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Last week, Michael Bloomberg announced his new anti-gun group, Everytown for Gun Safety, in conjunction with a $50 million initiative to develop a "nationwide grass-roots network" to pursue gun control. While Bloomberg's plans can better be described as Astroturfing, the billionaire’s statements did manage to mobilize a legitimate grassroots response.  Unfortunately for Bloomberg, that response came from the pro-gun community.

Upon learning of the ex-mayor's plans, Second Amendment advocates immediately took to the battle to the web. Activists took advantage of an embarrassing oversight by the Bloomberg conglomerate and registered the name Everytown for Gun Safety with Facebook. The activists then began using the page to post pro-gun materials. The move caused an immediate sensation in the blogosphere and demonstrated the ex-mayor's ham-handed approach to grassroots. One person responsible for the page told Buzzfeed, "I took the Bloomberg name because I wanted this page to remain open to debate, unlike his group at Moms Demand Action that block anyone with alternative views. Gun owners are getting a bad rep nation wide from their anti gun propaganda. As to who I am, I am your average citizen that believes the second amendment 'shall not be infringed.'"

Other pro-rights advocates followed suit, registering Facebook pages for Everytown for Gun Safety along with various state names, such as Everytown for Gun Safety – Colorado or Everytown for Gun Safety - Indiana. Ironically, the materials posted on the preemptive Everytown for Gun Safety pages have more to do with actual gun safety – i.e., the safe-handling of firearms -- than anything found on the official Everytown for Gun Safety website.

Further, the response has reached other corners of the web. Pro-gunners have acquired Twitter handles with variations on the name Everytown for Gun Safety. Numerous others have produced images and videos parodying the new group and its materials.

Since gaining headlines all over the web, the initial Everytown for Gun Safety pro-gun Facebook page has been taken down by those who created it, with at least one outlet claiming that the removal was due to a possible threat of legal action. This is in line with what Everytown for Gun Safety Executive Director Mark Glaze told Buzzfeed on April, 16, "We're going through the proper process for transitioning our Demand Action page to 'Everytown,' which takes a few weeks, and acquiring trademark protection for both Everytown and Everytown for Gun Safety. Once that happens, we expect Facebook to shoo these cybersquatters politely off this name/page." In other words, rather than generating real grassroots support, Bloomberg is using his more typical tools of lawyers and consultants to quash an authentic grassroots movement.

While the NRA does not encourage or condone unauthorized use of legitimate trademarks, the intrepidness the pro-gun community has shown in response to Bloomberg’s rebranding campaign is instructive. The embarrassing web rollout of Bloomberg’s new group should serve as an education on the power of legitimate grassroots activism, and the limits of top-down, money-driven politics. The pro-gun activists that have taken to Facebook and Twitter aren’t a monolithic effort directed by a well-funded clique, they are scores of individuals who feel strongly about an issue and are acting in defense of their rights. No amount of money can buy Bloomberg that type of support or dedication.

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News  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lawsuit Filed Against California's Assault Weapons Control Act

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced it is supporting, along with the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s newly expanded Assault Weapons Control ...

“F” Stands for Fail: School Jeopardizes Student’s Future for Possession of Squirt Gun

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Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

“F” Stands for Fail: School Jeopardizes Student’s Future for Possession of Squirt Gun

Public education’s long-running “zero tolerance” war against anything that suggests the idea of a firearm (including, for example, clothing, gestures, toys, food, computer images, and favorable opinions of self-defense) has claimed another victim. This time ...

The Prosecutors and the Pagans: Two Sides of the Empire State’s Gun Laws

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Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Prosecutors and the Pagans: Two Sides of the Empire State’s Gun Laws

Early this month, members of the gun-control group Prosecutors Against Gun Violence met at a “Manhattan Summit” and took the time to express their dismay and alarm over federal bills proposing national concealed carry reciprocity. ...

Chicago: Mayor Emanuel Demands Tougher Laws for Gun Dealers as Straw Purchaser Gets Probation

News  

Friday, April 21, 2017

Chicago: Mayor Emanuel Demands Tougher Laws for Gun Dealers as Straw Purchaser Gets Probation

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with representatives of the UCAN organization to make the case for further gun controls to combat the city’s violent crime. Chicago’s WLS reported that Emanuel used the opportunity ...

South Carolina: Senate Subcommittee to Hear Multiple Gun Bills Tomorrow

Monday, April 24, 2017

South Carolina: Senate Subcommittee to Hear Multiple Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tomorrow, a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to discuss several firearm-related bills, and subcommittee members need to hear from you.

California: Open Carry Ban Passes in the Assembly

Friday, April 21, 2017

California: Open Carry Ban Passes in the Assembly

Yesterday, the state Assembly passed Assembly Bill 7 by a vote of 44 to 29.   AB 424 was not considered during yesterday’s floor session, however it remains eligible for a vote at any time.  

Brace Yourself: ATF Reconsiders Obama-Era Policy on Stabilizing Braces

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Gun Laws  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Brace Yourself: ATF Reconsiders Obama-Era Policy on Stabilizing Braces

News broke this week that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reconsidered and “clarified” its Jan. 6, 2015 Open Letter on the use of stabilizing braces as shoulder stocks.

Rhode Island:  House Committee Will Hear Over a Dozen Gun Bills Tuesday Night

Monday, April 24, 2017

Rhode Island: House Committee Will Hear Over a Dozen Gun Bills Tuesday Night

On Tuesday, April 24, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a marathon hearing on several anti-gun bills.

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bill Heads to Senate Floor

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bill Heads to Senate Floor

Yesterday, on the deadline for policy bills to move out of committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass Senate Bill 719 with its -5 amendment.  Because a number of bills were effectively dead for ...

For 2017, A Historic NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

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Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

For 2017, A Historic NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

For the past decade, NRA-ILA has sponsored leadership forums that have allowed our members to hear directly from national leaders.  Next Friday, that tradition continues and the line up of speakers is top notch.

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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.