Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may want to keep a closer eye on his advocacy staff, after a director of his anti-gun legislation compared the death toll from gun violence to the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.
Jason Rzepka, director of cultural engagement at the liberal anti-gun group Everytown For Gun Safety, made the comments at a Netroots event last week.
Everytown is an anti-gun group started by Bloomberg, the 16th richest man in the world. The organization spends $50 million per year, combining campaign contributions with field operations, and aiming to bring at least one million gun-control supporters to the polls.
During the event, a member of the audience asked Rzepka what his organization was doing to rebut opponents of gun control. He was also asked if there are “any big opposition research opportunities that we could take part of because we really want to let the media and the public know as much as possible about these opponents and the amount of money and power behind them?”
Rzpeka responded that the group is working to increase awareness and public support for improving gun safety laws, and also to “strengthen the tremendously weak gun laws across the country.”
“But in some ways, I think a lot of people are becoming numb to it and they’re losing sight of the fact that 31,000 American lives that are being lost each year,” Rzpeka said.
“I think if 31,000 Americans died from just about anything else, we probably would have figured it out,” Rzpeka said. “Like we spent a trillion dollars responding to an attack on the World Trade Center. So, you know …”
Nearly 3,000 Americans died during the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Everytown For Gun Safety has not responded to a request for comment.