Over the weekend Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled a $12 million ad campaign dedicated to pushing senators to back legislation that would expand background checks against gun buyers. This ad blitz was the latest salvo in the expensive attack on illegal guns the billionaire mayor has focused on in recent months and it prompted National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre to accuse him of trying to “buy America.” At a press conference this afternoon where he was announcing a new program to help connect low-income city residents with job opportunities, many of the questions Mayor Bloomberg fielded from reporters were about his war of words with the NRA. Mayor Bloomberg first addressed the response he’s received after announcing the ad campaign and said an “enormous number” of people have thanked him for the commercials.
“Nobody’s going to walk up to me and say bad things, so I’m not so sure that I can actually represent, but I’ve just had lots and lots of phone calls, text messages, emails, people in the street … that are just so thankful that somebody’s willing to stand up and to counter the NRA,” he said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he’s unfazed by pro-gun groups like the National Rifle Association and their lawsuits against New York’s new gun control legislation. Indeed, Mr. Cuomo took his argument a step further this morning and labeled the legal efforts “propaganda” and part of a plot to “misinform and scare people.”
“The extremists … spread fear and unrealistic theories of conspiracies of a citizenry that needs to be armed because the government is possibly tyrannical,” Mr. Cuomo said on The Capitol Pressroom. “You need a system and government regulations to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. … That’s what we put in place in New York with the New York SAFE Act. It doesn’t interfere with anybody’s Second Amendment right; … that’s not what the New York SAFE Act is about. That’s why they need the fear and they have to misinform and scare people because, on the facts, it makes total sense.”
When Governor Andrew Cuomo quickly passed tough new gun control measures in January, he faced a raft of criticism for skipping the standard deliberative period and allegedly ignoring the more minute legislative details. The criticism recently found new substance with the bill’s apparently unworkable 7-bullet magazine requirement, which Albany is now working to reverse. And, on his weekly radio show with John Gambling, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that “one criticism” may indeed have merit.
“This is true of a lot of things,” Mr. Bloomberg said after accusing an unrelated City Council bill of having unintended side-effects. “You asked before about the magazines in Albany. We just got to start to thinking a little bit more about the implications of things before we rush to legislate and rush to legislate everything.”
As the U.S. Congress debates gun control legislation, two of the countries’ leading advocates on the issue–Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Michael Bloomberg–held a City Hall press conference today to pressure federal lawmakers to have enough “courage” to vote in favor of the bill when it hits the floor. Standing behind victims’ family members from last year’s massacre at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, Mr. Biden and Mr. Bloomberg argued the measures being proposed are neither controversial or unconstitutional.
“There’s not one single thing being proposed–not one, not one , not one, not one–that infringes on anyone’s Second Amendment constitutional right. Not one,” Mr. Biden said. “Three months ago, a deranged man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School with a weapon of war. That’s what he walked in with–a weapon of war. That weapon of war has no place on American streets and taking it off American streets has no impact on one’s constitutional right to own a weapon.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo says his popularity probably took a shot after he pushed through a controversial gun policy package earlier this month.
The prognostication in question came during a Tuesday morning radio interview with New York Post columnist Fred Dicker. Mr. Dicker, who’s sparred with Mr. Cuomo in the past on the issue, predicted Mr. Cuomo’s typically sky-high numbers would take a tumble in the next statewide survey and Mr. Cuomo simply agreed.
“We know what the polls say on this because we’ve done it. We haven’t done it after the fact, but they were clear enough before the fact,” Mr. Cuomo replied. “I think your prediction is right.”
Vice President Joe Biden participated in a Google+ “hangout” this afternoon to discuss President Barack Obama’s gun control plan. Mr. Biden stressed his belief the plan, which includes an assault weapons ban, would help prevent law enforcement personnel from being “outgunned.” He also addressed concerns the ban would infringe on peoples’ ability to protect themselves by suggesting a shotgun is far more useful than any assault weapon for self-defense in the event of a situation such as a major natural disaster.
“You know, guess what? A shotgun will keep you a lot safer, a double-barrelled shotgun, than the assault weapon in somebody’s hands who doesn’t know how to use it, even one who does know how to use it,” Mr. Biden explained while using his hands to mimic the gesture of holding a shotgun for added effect. “You know, it’s harder to use an assault weapon to hit something than it is a shotgun OK? So, you want to keep people away in an earthquake, buy some shotgun shells.”
friday news dumps
At the end of December, the Journal News published a detailed map cataloging all of the handgun permit owners in Westchester and Rockland counties, a move that caused much controversy among both gun rights and privacy advocates who felt the map placed figurative targets on the highlighted households. This evening, the publication announced it was was pulling the map, but claimed it was due to New York State’s new gun control law, passed at the start of the week, rather than a response to criticism.
“Today The Journal News has removed the permit data from lohud.com. Our decision to do so is not a concession to critics that no value was served by the posting of the map in the first place,” Journal News publisher Janet Hasson explained. “On the contrary, we’ve heard from too many grateful community members to consider our decision to post information contained in the public record to have been a mistake. Nor is our decision made because we were intimidated by those who threatened the safety of our staffers. We know our business is a controversial one, and we do not cower.”
Earlier today, President Barack Obama unveiled a broad set of gun control proposals prompted by the wave of anti-gun sentiment generated by last month’s massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a prominent gun control advocate, scheduled a press conference this afternoon to praise the White House for what he described as “a bold and comprehensive plan to tackle gun violence” that matches much of his own vision.
“Today it’s clear that the president and the vice president heard us and they heard the American people,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “The vast majority of Americans support common-sense gun regulations, and clearly, the White House was listening.”
James L. Miller is many things, a motorcycle enthusiast, accused online scammer, doomsday prepper, gunmaker and cat lover. Christian Kerodin also wears a number of hats; he is an air conditioning repairman, blogger, author, self-styled security consultant and convicted extortionist. Both men also seem to be the masterminds behind a plan to build a massive, armed survivalist compound in Idaho that has been making national headlines.
In his interview on the Brooklyn GOP Radio podcast this evening, NRA President David Keene was asked about the controversial articles on Gawker and in the Journal News that contained lists of gun owners. Mr. Keene blamed the stories on cultural differences that he said exist between “elite media” and the rest of American society.
“The whole battle over the Second Amendment has little to do with crime or any of these things” Mr. Keene said. “It has to do with culture and the view that different people have about what kind of a country this ought to be.”
Mr. Keene explained that he believes the media has adopted an anti-gun perspective because liberal reporters see gun ownership as antithetical to their values.