Billionaire gun control crusader Michael Bloomberg must have done some fall house cleaning and discovered spare change between the sofa cushions. The failed 2020 Democratic presidential candidate announced he will spend an extra $100 million towards gun control in Florida ahead of November’s presidential election.
The tenth-of-a-billion-dollar announcement means more gun control spending from Bloomberg, adding to the $60 million he pledged earlier to help Democratic nominee Joe Biden in addition to the $1 billion he burned through on his own fleeting presidential candidacy. Well, in fairness he did win American Samoa and its delegates.
Sunshine State Showdown
Bloomberg believes his checkbook can carry the day for gun control to buy the White House and Congress for his vision of destroying gun rights in America. He’s facing strong headwinds in the Sunshine state though. Florida’s 29 electoral votes are key to winning the White House and President Donald Trump won them in 2016. Biden, with vice presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), holds a slight advantage by most polls but the margin is narrowing. Biden and Harris comprise the most antigun presidential ticket in modern history.
Less than 50 days from the election, Bloomberg and gun control allies have recognized the shifting landscape and are acting fast. Bloomberg advisor Kevin Sheekey described the dire straits to the New York Post, saying “Voting starts on Sept. 24 in Florida so the need to inject real capital in that state quickly is an urgent need.” They are concerned and for good reason.
The ongoing national surge in firearm sales isn’t stopping. The coronavirus pandemic, rising violence and rioting in U.S. communities and calls to defund the police have led more than 13.8 million Americans to purchase a gun so far in 2020. More than 5 million have done so for the first time. In Florida, that equates to 3.5 times more firearm purchases this year compared to historical trends and nearly 430,000 first-time gun buyers.
Erin Palette, a Florida resident and founder of the gun-rights group Operation Blazing Sword, summed it up to the Washington Free Beacon. “I’ve long said that gun owners become gun voters. These mass purchases of guns for self-defense indicates an unprecedented level of distrust by the average American of the government’s ability to keep them safe.”
Florida isn’t an outlier. Battleground states Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arizona, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania have seen similar gun-buying bumps. Bloomberg’s first $60 million pledge aimed to assist Biden and gun control to buy more Congressional seats in those states but gun control groups are even leaving guns out of their TV ads in some of these states.
Bloomberg Gun Control: A Record Not To Run On
The former New York City Mayor displayed his misunderstanding of the Second Amendment while a candidate and voters noticed. During a Fox News Town Hall, Bloomberg had an infamous “do as I say, not as I do” moment. The billionaire fielded a question about his hypocritical platform to ban guns while employing armed bodyguards, asked “Does your life matter more than mine, or my family’s, or these peoples’s?”
Bloomberg dismissed the questioner, stating “Alright, look… I probably get forty or fifty threats every week…That just happens when you’re the mayor of New York City, or very wealthy, or campaigning for the president of the United States. You’re gonna get lots of threats.” For Bloomberg it’s gun control for thee and not for me.
Bloomberg’s antigun wish list includes expanded background checks and closing loopholes that are just the Second Amendment, as well as banning modern sporting rifles. MSRs are the most popular-selling centerfire rifle in America with more than 18 million of them legally-owned. He’s openly said Americans cannot be trusted to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Bloomberg’s priorities are in sync with Biden and Harris and Biden tweeted his desire to ban so-called “assault weapons” and fully half of all magazines this week after a criminal used a handgun to ambush two Los Angeles Sheriff deputies. The Democratic National Committee platform passed last month and included those gun control priorities and more, including a goal of crushing the firearm industry and with it the Second Amendment.
#GUNVOTE® On November 3rd
Bloomberg and his pet groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action continue to pour millions into more gun control ahead of November’s election at the same time millions of Americans are voting with their wallets to purchase firearms in record numbers. Education and action are critical for gun owners both new and old and NSSF launched the #GUNVOTE campaign to provide important resources to voters so they don’t risk their rights at the voting booth.
Lawrence Keane is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearm industry trade association.