There’s an election tempest brewing. It’s going to be big. We must take the warning signs seriously. The time to prepare is now.
At the eye of the coming storm is Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire and avowed antigun former Mayor of New York City, who last week pledged $10 million to influence key gubernatorial races. Bloomberg is the founder of the discredited, misnamed Mayors Against Illegal Guns and established and continues to fund the also misnamed Everytown for Gun Safety as well as The Trace, which, if not misnamed, pretends to be a news organization, but acts as his propaganda service.
His candidates, all Democrats with anti-gun platforms, include Georgia’s Stacey Abrams, Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, Nevada’s Steve Sisolak and New Mexico’s Michelle Lujan Grisham.
That big-check commitment comes on top of the $80 million Bloomberg pledged to flip the U.S. House of Representatives. That’s a substantial investment for a man who has all-but-announced he’s going to run for president in 2020 as a Democrat. He believes that his most recent investment of $5 million in attack ads through Everytown targeting 15 U.S. House of Representatives races will be his springboard.
Truth in Advertising? Hardly.
To try to cloud the issue, the ads call for “gun safety.” A closer look, however, reveals they’re really grabbing at our rights.
- Stacey Abrams calls for universal background checks, including those between family members.
- Gretchen Whitmer wants waiting periods for firearms purchases and bans on modern sporting rifles.
- Steve Sisolak also wants to ban MSRs in Nevada and institute a background check initiative the courts found to unenforceable, a decision Bloomberg-funded Nevadans For Background Checks is appealing to Nevada’s State Supreme Court.
- Michelle Lujan Grisham took part in Bloomberg-funded March for Our Lives demonstrations and released an antigun agenda, complete with calls for ban on MSRs and standard capacity magazines and funding so-called gun violence research.
It isn’t enough to tap into Bloomberg’s money. Grisham has also toured with Gabby Giffords, who fronts Americans for Responsible Solutions, a law center and a Super PAC. It appears that she’s a believer in equal opportunity in accepting funds to deny Second Amendment rights to New Mexico’s citizens.
Giffords isn’t about to be outdone by Bloomberg when it comes to the antigun megaphone. Her gun-control group is zeroing in on 10 specific U.S. House of Representatives’ races. Giffords plans to display 3-D printed statues of schoolchildren cowering under desks. Her shock tactics don’t end there. Giffords PAC is running a $1.5 million election ad buy in Colorado.
More Now than Last Time
More than a passing squall, this is a storm that can have damaging and lasting effects. The Wall Street Journal reported that antigun political ads are 22 times more frequent this election cycle than they were in 2014. From Jan. 1 through Sept. 9, 102,636 pro-gun control ads were aired compared to 4,491 four years ago.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation through our #GUNVOTE voter registration, education and get out the vote (GOTV) campaign is actively working to educate target shooters, hunters and gun owners about what the candidates are saying, and to judge for themselves who will respect and protect their rights on election day. These elections will be just as critical as the 2016 presidential election, in which Supreme Court appointments were a crucial issue. Now, control of the Senate, those who confirm justices to the Supreme Court, hangs in the balance and House politicians now in the minority promise to launch a series of investigations that would grind the White House to a halt.
Larry Keane is Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.