New York City/United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- The one group at the forefront of trying to take away our right to keep and bear arms today is perhaps the best-funded such group in history. Despite the attempt to have a grass-roots name, this is a group largely funded by Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor currently running for president.
The Everytown group, which counts Moms Demand Action as its force of grass-roots activists, is proving to be very potent. It’s not hard. Bloomberg’s money has been able to provide a sustained grassroots force that past groups like the Brady Campaign and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence haven’t been able to really build.
Backed by Bloomberg’s billions, Everytown simply will flood a state with wall-to-wall TV advertising. In addition, Bloomberg’s group has a director of “cultural engagement.” In short, if you want to know why the social stigmatization of gun ownership and support for the Second Amendment has taken off, this is the group to thank for it. The fact of the matter is that Bloomberg’s gun-control empire is re-shaping the political landscape – and not in favor of those who support liberty.
Bloomberg’s resources have been a huge game-changer. For the longest time, the biggest strength that pro-Second Amendment groups had was the NRA’s ability to mobilize thousands of grass-roots supporters in a Congressional district to do all of the little things – really, Democracy 101 stuff – that either supported candidates or who helped educate the public in the legislative and political arenas.
The fight is now a full-spectrum fight. Bloomberg has managed to fuse an offensive on not just the political and legislative fronts, but he also leverages Hollywood, and he leverages “research” into gun violence as a public health problem. While the Violence Policy Center long pushed that, Bloomberg has again packaged it in a form that is delivered by Moms Demand Action.
It should be noted that this full-spectrum fight is also being waged with a long-term plan in mind. He is not only an incredibly wealthy anti-Second Amendment extremist, he also is very strategically and tactically astute – far more so than we’ve seen from other anti-Second Amendment groups in the past. Just how good is Everytown’s strategic acuity?
Well, let’s put it this way, the Brady Campaign was dangerous because it used emotional stories well, and it sought to separate gun owners from the NRA – it passed legislation, it made gains, but it was primarily media-driven. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence had more of a religious fervor, but it wasn’t as effective, given its past push for outright gun bans. The Violence Policy Center was too extreme, even as it provided the intellectual underpinnings for the “public health” push for gun control. None had real grassroots strength.
Everytown doesn’t just unite those three “legs” of the stool, it has also shown a cold ruthlessness not seen from other groups. Bloomberg’s group has set in motion a chain of events that poses an existential threat to all pro-Second Amendment groups.
According to court filings, Everytown was involved in pushing Andrew Cuomo’s regime to engage in the politically-motivated abuse of financial regulations to financially blacklist the NRA. The resulting legal battle has since crippled the organization, touching off the infighting that we see today, and the needs of the NRA to fight the lawsuit ended up destroying the NRA/Ackerman-McQueen partnership in a very ugly way. Meanwhile, Bloomberg and Cuomo have taken advantage of the infighting they stirred up to win elections.
How can Everytown be beaten? The first step is unity. The infighting has to stop – and the NRA and other pro-Second Amendment groups need to get their act together. Second Amendment supporters must hang together, or Bloomberg will pick off pro-Second Amendment groups one by one and leave us isolated. Once isolated, our rights will be gone.
The second step is to hit Bloomberg – and his group – where it is vulnerable. There are three areas: One is Bloomberg’s nanny-state tendencies in general, ranging from the size of one’s soda to his environmental agenda. The other is the fact that he is an out-of-touch billionaire who is more than little hypocritical on some of these issues. The third is that his group peddles phony caricatures about gun owners – and those who support the Second Amendment.
The third step is to begin a long-term effort of our own. The fact is, we must build a pro-Second Amendment culture in this country, to make the thought of punishing millions of Americans for crimes and acts of madness they did not commit repulsive. We must work every day to prove Bloomberg is a liar about us, through how we address Americans we are trying to persuade to support our battle for freedom, through the approach we take in defending our rights, and being mindful about how we come across.
If we fail, Bloomberg may well succeed where Sarah Brady, Pete Shields, and others have failed.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.