Gun prohibitionists using deception to garner support for their cause is nothing new. However, a response to their deceit is rarely as swift as what they experienced last week from a well-known major league baseball player.
On June 2, as part of the Michael Bloomberg-backed "Wear Orange" campaign, which urged gun control activists to wear orange to show their support for firearm restrictions, the New York Mets players, coaches, and staff donned orange shirts and posed for a pair of group photos. The Mets proceeded to boast of the organization's participation in the anti-gun effort by posting the photos on Twitter and with an accompanying article on their official website, and urging others to "Get involved."
The next day it was revealed that the Mets were less than forthright with players when getting them to pose for the photo. Pitcher Dillon Gee posted on his Twitter account a link to a pro-gun article critical of the Mets participation in the gun control event, with the comment "this is not why [I] put on that shirt this day. I in no way support [B]loomberg/[Piers] Morgan or gun control." Gee later noted on the site that he was told by the Mets that wearing the shirt "was in support of raising awareness for gun violence," adding, "I don't support senseless gun violence. That's all."
In the following days, Gee elaborated on the picture and his subsequent tweet to the New York Daily News. Gee told the paper, "Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just didn't like being lumped in with something I don't support. There was a miscommunication and I just wanted to clear it up." Accurately pointing out the flaw in the Bloomberg-supported campaign's logic, Gee went on to say "Just clearing up that I don't support the (law) of gun control…I'm still against gun violence. But they are totally different subjects."
Gee's experience begs the question as to whether other players or Mets employees were misled, or felt pressured, to participate in the "Wear Orange" campaign. Notably, it was reported in 2008 and 2010 that Mets Team Captain David Wright holds a New York City premises pistol license. New York City's pistol licensing regime is among the country's most difficult to satisfy, prompting many to seek the help of a consulting firm or attorney, and prohibitively expensive, at more than $400 for the application and fingerprint fees. Public figures like Wright might have little difficulty navigating the process, but for those of lesser means or celebrity, who might also be more vulnerable to criminal violence, these types of Bloomberg-endorsed gun control schemes can prove a significant burden.
It's contemptible that the Mets saw fit to use their players to push a political agenda without fully informing the unsuspecting athletes. However, we can't say we're surprised by the tactic. Gun control supporters have made it their business to obscure their actual agenda, knowing it's the only chance they have at advancing their discredited policies.