Tag Archives: BLOOMBERG

Bloomberg’s (Farewell) Debate Bloopers

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His presidential bid swan song was fraught with errors, and make no mistake — Bloomberg is still going to be “there” fighting the 2nd Amendment tooth and nail.

bloomberg

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Joe Biden isn’t the only presidential candidate having uncomfortable verbal lapses. One of the more telling moments of the tenth Democratic presidential primary debate on February 25th occurred when former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg put his mouth where his money is, blurting out that in 2018, he had “bought” Democrats their majority in the House of Representatives.

The admission came in the wake of an earlier attack by Pete Buttigieg on the viability of Bernie Sanders as the nominee — that of the 40 Democrats “who actually turned the House blue,” none had embraced Bernie’s platform.

Bloomberg — one of the two billionaire bookends on the debate stage — chimed in to take the credit. Out of those 40, “twenty-one of those were people that I spent $100 million to help elect. All of the new Democrats that came in and put Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave the Congress the ability to control this president, I bought … I, I got them.” (See the video at the 1:34:00 mark.)

One of the Democrats that Bloomberg claims to have “bought” is Lucy McBath (D-GA). Ms. McBath was previously a national spokesperson and faith and outreach leader for the Bloomberg-founded and funded gun-control group, Everytown (which includes Moms Demand Action). It should come as no surprise that, earlier this month, Rep. McBath endorsed her benefactor in his run for the White House, as have several of the other Democratic members similarly beholden to the former mayor.

Since 2007, Bloomberg has spent at least a quarter of a billion dollars on gun control efforts across the country, through Everytown and otherwise. Within hours of Bloomberg announcing his presidential bid, it was disclosed that his campaign was being allowed to “rent” the private Everytown/Moms email lists, because of his “unique role” and the “significant investments he’s made.” Small wonder that during the February 25th debate, Bloomberg boasted onstage that, “I have a six million-person organization around this country, Moms Demand Action and Everytown.” (See the video at 1:45:30.)

And while he is self-funding this vanity project presidential run, it is important to remember that Bloomberg has more money than the annual budget of many countries. And we’re not just talking about small countries, like Liechtenstein. Given his net worth is estimated at more than $60 billion, that puts him ahead of the annual budget of countries like Peru, Romania, and Chile.

Now, with his own campaign on the line, Bloomberg is not likely to turn off the money hose. Despite his late start in the race, he has already outspent every other candidate in the 2020 presidential election, racking up over half a billion in campaign advertising expenditures alone – more than the ad buys of all of the other Democratic candidates combined. (For those with less abstract political interests, Mike 2020 events are notorious for their lavish food and drinks.)

Thus far, all that moolah has resulted in considerable movement in the polls for the former New York City mayor. When he entered the race in late November of last year, he had meager polling numbers around two percent. After turning on the money, though, Bloomberg’s numbers have risen to the mid-teens.

The real impact of this extravagant, unprecedented spending remains to be seen, as Bloomberg opted to skip the first four democratic primaries this month to focus on the “Super Tuesday” states.

What is clear is Bloomberg’s attitude about his billionaire “buying power.” In addition to his ill-judged claims of buying politicians and owning so-called “grassroots” organizations, he’s dismissive about the concerns of Americans who – regardless of party affiliation – may feel there’s something inherently wrong about “buying” an election: “I’m spending a lot of money to try to replace Donald Trump. And for people that don’t want me to do that, I guess they want to keep Donald Trump as president because if you want to get him out there, you should hope I spend even more.”

Pro-Gun Rally By Thousands In Virginia Ends Peacefully

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Thousands in Virginia showed to support their unalienable rights. Zero problems, major statements! READ MORE

va rally

SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Thousands of gun-rights activists from around the country rallied peacefully at the Virginia Capitol on Monday, protesting plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation that have become a key flash point in the national debate over gun violence. About 22,000 people attended the rally, 6,000 on Capitol Square and 16,000 outside the security gates, authorities said.

The size of the crowd and the expected participation of white supremacists and fringe militia groups raised fears that the state could see a repeat of the violence that exploded in 2017 in Charlottesville. But the rally concluded uneventfully around noon, and the mood was largely festive, with rally-goers chanting “USA!” and waving signs denouncing Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

Many protesters chose not to enter the designated rally zone, where Northam had instituted a temporary weapons ban, and instead packed the surrounding streets, many dressed in tactical gear and camouflage and carrying military-style rifles as they cheered on the speakers.

“I love this. This is like the Super Bowl for the Second Amendment right here,” said P.J. Hudson, a truck driver from Richmond who carried an AR-15 rifle just outside Capitol Square. He was one of the few African-American rally goers in the crowd that was overwhelmingly white and male, and frequently was stopped and asked to pose for pictures wearing his “Black Guns Matter” sweatshirt.

Police announced one arrest: a 21-year-old Richmond woman charged with wearing a mask in public after she allegedly ignored an officer’s warnings to remove a bandanna covering her face.

The Richmond protesters came out in the thousands despite the frigid temperature to send a message to legislators, they said.

“The government doesn’t run us, we run the government,” said Kem Regik, a 20-year-old private security officer from northern Virginia who brought a white flag with a picture of a rifle captioned, “Come and take it.”

Northam was a particular focus of the protesters’ wrath. One poster showed his face superimposed on Adolf Hitler’s body.

But Democratic lawmakers said the rally wasn’t going to impact their plans to pass gun-control measures, including universal background checks and a one-handgun-purchase-a-month limit.

“I was prepared to see a whole lot more people show up than actually did and I think it’s an indication that a lot of this rhetoric is bluster, quite frankly,” said Del. Chris Hurst, a gun-control advocate whose TV journalist girlfriend was killed in an on-air shooting in 2015.

Some of the protesters waved flags with messages of support for President Donald Trump. Trump, in turn, tweeted support for their goals.

“The Democrat Party in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia are working hard to take away your 2nd Amendment rights,” he tweeted. “This is just the beginning. Don’t let it happen, VOTE REPUBLICAN in 2020!”

TRUMP TWEET

The Virginia State Police, the Virginia Capitol Police and the Richmond Police had a heavy presence, with officers deploying on rooftops, others patrolling in cars and on bicycles.

Authorities were looking to avoid a repeat of the violence that erupted in Charlottesville during one of the largest gatherings of white supremacists and other far-right groups in a decade. Attendees brawled with counterprotesters, and an avowed white supremacist drove his car into a crowd, killing a woman and injuring dozens more. Law enforcement officials faced scathing criticism for what both the white supremacist groups and anti-racism protesters said was a passive response.

In contrast to Charlottesville, there was little sign of counterprotesters challenging the gun-rights activists.

Police limited access to Capitol Square to only one entrance, and a long line formed to get into the rally zone.

Gun rights advocates also filled the hallways of the building that houses lawmakers’ offices. One couple, Jared and Marie March, traveled from Floyd County, over three hours west of Richmond, to meet with lawmakers.

“Guns are a way of life where we live,” said Marie March, who was concerned about a proposed red-flag law which she said would allow citizens to be stripped of their guns due to “subjective criteria.” A proposal to establish universal background checks amounted to “more Big Brother,” she said. “We just feel like we need to push government back into their rightful spot.”

Monday’s rally was organized by an influential grassroots gun-rights group, the Virginia Citizens Defense League. The group holds a yearly rally at the Capitol, typically a low-key event with a few hundred gun enthusiasts listening to speeches from a handful of ambitious Republican lawmakers. But this year, many more attended. Second Amendment groups have identified the state as a rallying point for the fight against what they see as a national erosion of gun rights.

The pushback against proposed new gun restrictions began immediately after Democrats won majorities in both the state Senate and House of Delegates in November, with much of the opposition focused on a proposed assault weapons ban. More than 100 localities have since passed measures declaring support for the Second Amendment.

 

NRA Statement on 2019 Election Results

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NRA ILA releases statement overview of controversial Bloomberg elections — common sense trumps money. READ MORE

2020 elections

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The National Rifle Association released the following statement on the 2019 election results:

“As if Gov. Northam’s legacy of ineptitude wasn’t enough, Virginians are about to experience life under a distant tycoon’s thumb. Candidates who proudly accepted Bloomberg’s cash — and every voter they misled — will soon realize the cost of being beholden to a Manhattan billionaire who despises Virginians’ right to self-defense. Fortunately, many NRA-backed candidates in Virginia, New Jersey, Kentucky and Mississippi prevailed over their Bloomberg-funded opponents. As the battle continues, so does the NRA’s defense of the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.”

Bloomberg’s Killjoys Target Fourth of July Fireworks

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They seriously don’t get it… READ MORE

crossing the delaware

[Editor’s note: I know 4th of July was a bit ago but didn’t coincide with the last blog post date, and I wanted to share this one because it’s just crazy…]

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

In a July 3, 1776 letter to his wife Abigail, founding father John Adams wrote about how Independence Day should be celebrated. Adams explained,

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

In the years since, Americans have done their best to live up to Adams’s expectations by celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, Americans spent $1.3 billion on illuminations in 2018, with $945 million of the total spent on consumer fireworks. As for the volume of pyrotechnics, Americans consumed 277.5 million lbs. of fireworks in 2018. Simply put, celebrating with fireworks is an integral part of and ubiquitous on Independence Day.

Never a group to tolerate the traditions of others, or to celebrate American freedom, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety made clear this week that Americans have been commemorating Independence Day wrong.

On July 1, the gun control group tweeted out an image with the message “Consider gun violence survivors on the Fourth of July.” The image was accompanied by a further message that stated,

Every day, an average of 100 Americans are fatally shot & hundreds more are shot and injured. If you’re planning to set off fireworks to celebrate the 4th, consider letting members of your community know so those who might be sensitive to loud noises can prepare themselves.

There are those with a sensitivity to loud noises, including some veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. No one should go out of their way to exacerbate these individuals’ condition.

However, Everytown’s blanket admonishment raises a serious question, which was identified by Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon. Gutowski tweeted, “This confuses me. Are there people in America that are unaware we set off fireworks on the 4th of July?”

It doesn’t take a cynic to suspect that Everytown’s Independence Day lecture isn’t about helping those with sensitivity to loud noises. The group has routinely sought to pervert cherished holidays in order to push its gun control agenda. In 2013, Everytown component Mayors Against Illegal Guns created a placemat that encouraged loved ones to argue about gun control during Thanksgiving dinner. The lame stunt was repeated the following year. Everytown supporters are encouraged to send anti-gun “holiday cards” to their members of congress.

Americans should strive to be safe and neighborly in their July 4th activities, but none should let a would-be oligarch and his political minions deter them from fun and legal celebrations. After all, Adams’s prescription for Independence Day observance was “from this Time forward forever more.”

Gun Controllers Want Credit Card Companies to Monitor and Restrict Lawful Purchases

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Now they’re blaming credit cards for violent crimes… Really! NY Times columnist calls for financial institutions to monitor its customers gun purchases. READ MORE

credit cards

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Gun controllers frustrated that their federal agenda has been repeatedly rejected by Americans through their elected representatives are seeking to restrict gun rights by way of the private financial system. The goal is to pressure financial services companies into either not doing business with the firearms industry and gun owners or to comprehensively surveille their lawful activity.

On December 24, the gun confiscation supporters at the New York Times ran a thinly-veiled advocacy piece by Andrew Ross Sorkin in the news section, titled, “Devastating Arsenals, Bought With Plastic and Nary a Red Flag.” The piece outlined how some of the perpetrators of high-profile mass murders had purchased firearms and ammunition in the same manner that many ordinary law-abiding Americans do, with credit cards.

The online edition of the piece carried the headline “How Banks Unwittingly Finance Mass Shootings,” suggesting that financial services companies were somehow complicit in violence by facilitating the exchange of lawful goods that were ultimately used for criminal purposes. Under such juvenile logic the U.S. Treasury Department should have to answer for all of the unlawful conduct they’ve facilitated by printing dollars and minting coins.

According to the misbranded op-ed, banks and other financial services companies are “uniquely positioned” to monitor gun owner purchasing habits. Under Sorkin’s preferred scenario, credit card companies would require retailers to tag firearms-related purchases with additional data that could be used by the credit card companies to compile information on gun owners. The surveillance data could then be used to flag suspicious purchases for law enforcement.

Moreover, the piece suggests that this data collection could be used to restrict certain types of lawful firearms transactions outright. Sorkin suggested,

Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods this year announced that they would not sell firearms to anyone under 21. If banks chose to use the systems they already have in place, they might decide to monitor such customers, perhaps preventing them from buying multiple guns in a short period of time.

To their credit, when asked for comment by the Times’s advocate, the major financial transaction firms expressed a reluctance to violate the privacy of their law-abiding customers. A Visa spokesperson explained, “We do not believe Visa should be in the position of setting restrictions on the sale of lawful goods or services… Asking Visa or other payment networks to arbitrate what legal goods can be purchased sets a dangerous precedent.” A Mastercard spokesperson added that the transaction company values the privacy of their customers’ “own purchasing decisions.”

Sorkin’s “news article” echoes many of the ideas he advocated in a February 2018 Times commentary. Making clear Sorkin has none of the objectivity on this topic one might have expected from a professional journalist pursuing a news story, the earlier piece overtly advocated for leveraging the private financial system to restrict firearms transactions. Sorkin contended that it would take “leadership and courage” on behalf of the financial services industry in order to implement his private firearms restrictions, which included a plan to eliminate commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms “from virtually every firearms store in America.” Were journalistic ethics as integral to the operation of the legacy press as those institutions purport, Sorkin’s authorship of the more recent item may have drawn interest of a forthright editor, ombudsman, or the Columbia Journalism Review.

The Sorkin article is just part of a wider-ranging effort to attack firearms owners through the financial system. In April 2018, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety expressed their support for increased credit card company surveillance of firearms transactions. Moreover, the anti-gun organization has developed “guidelines” for financial institutions doing business with the firearms industry. Under the guidelines, firearms manufacturers and retailers would be forced to adopt a host of gun control measures in order to do business with financial services providers.

In 2013, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice instituted Operation Chokepoint. Under the program, the DOJ leveraged the power of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to discourage banks from transacting with lawful businesses they deemed to be “associated with high-risk activity,” including members of the firearms industry.

The anti-gun proposals targeting credit card companies should be of grave concern to all gun owners. As the Federal Reserve regularly reports, consumer use of credit and debit cards is growing. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s 2017 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice reported that “[i]n October 2017, the period covered by this DCPC, consumers made most of their payments with cash (30.3 percent of payments), debit cards (26.2 percent), and credit cards (21.0 percent).”

The recent credit card proposals also prompt important questions. Under what a scenario would a gun owner’s purchases be flagged as suspicious or be outright denied? Might the criteria be defined by anti-gun activists to include any volume of firearms-related goods they consider deviant? Gun owners routinely purchase large quantities of firearms products and ammunition for the same reason consumers buy anything in bulk, to save money.

Moreover, gun owners should be aware that any increase in the information that the financial services companies collect may wind up in the federal government’s hands. A June 2013 item in the Wall Street Journal reported that the National Security Agency was scooping large quantities of data from credit card providers. At the time, experts speculated that the NSA would not be able to obtain the exact products an individual purchased, but could see where the purchases were made and the merchant category codes. Changing merchant category code data to be more descriptive is one of the ways control advocates intend to advance their credit card company gun control scheme.

Even those who do not value the right to keep and bear arms but do cherish their other civil liberties should be concerned with the recent credit card transaction proposals. Back in early 2018, when some of these ideas were first floated, Georgetown University Law Professor Adam Levitin pointed out, “There’s a privacy angle here… There’s the slippery slope danger if it’s guns today maybe it is pornography tomorrow and the day after it’s right-wing literature.”

And with even mainstream television fare such as “Friends,” “Seinfeld,” and “The Simpsons” having come under fire by today’s social justice vigilante mob, it’s difficult to imagine any product or service that could be immune from their perpetually outraged sensibilities.

New rules or surveillance procedures imposed by the credit card industry on firearms transactions would have a profound negative effect on gun owners and the firearms industry and pose a broader threat to all liberty-minded Americans. NRA will continue to monitor these efforts and keep our members apprised of any further developments.

Poll: Most Americans Oppose Ban on “America’s Rifle”

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Despite media claims, a new Gallup poll shows Americans overwhelmingly support the AR15 ownership. READ ALL ABOUT IT

gallup ar15 poll

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Last week, Gallup released the results of a poll which included a finding that should surprise no one: Americans oppose a ban on AR-15s and similar semiautomatic firearms by robust a margin of 17%. Meanwhile, current support for such a ban is 7% lower than the historical trend dating back to 1996, when Gallup first began polling on the issue. Americans, in other words, appear not to have been swayed by the intense media editorializing, celebrity pontificating, and youthful activism of the past year aimed at prohibiting what are by all accounts the most popular types of rifles in the country.

Of course, even in America, you could probably find people who would claim to support a ban on apple pie. It’s not very nutritious, they might say. It’s regressive, others might insist. Americans, after all, have the right to their opinions, even the unpopular ones.

When it comes to guns, the minority opinion is strongest among people who identify as Democrats. Gallup’s latest poll shows 56% of Democrats would support a ban on semiautomatic rifles, 16% above the national average. That is more than twice the percentage of Republicans (25%) who responded the same way. But even among Democrats, support for a semiauto ban has fallen 7 points since this time last year, notwithstanding the fact that some pundits were predicting that 2018 would finally be the year when banning highly popular guns would somehow become a winning political issue.

So what has all the “game-changing” post-Parkland grandstanding accomplished in the last eight months?

When it comes to banning guns, apparently nothing.

And it’s not just us who think so.

No one individual has shoveled more bad money into the gun control cause than billionaire Michael Bloomberg. In fact his insistence on burning huge sums of money on the issue for minimal returns almost makes you wonder how he ever got so rich in the first place.

But even he seems to understand the reality of the current situation.

According to an article in the Washington Times, Everytown for Gun Safety — the umbrella group for Bloomberg’s gun control activism –has actually shifted its midterm election spending into “ads covering abortion, health care and the Republican tax bill — but nary a mention of assault rifles … . “

Commenting for the article, gun control advocate Adam Winkler mused, “Perhaps the gun issue has waned a bit in the absence of highly publicized mass shootings in the past few months.”

And that, of course, is the irony of the gun ban movement: it needs the very events it claims to want to prevent for anyone to pay attention to it.

Even then, however, that attention and intensity typically prove to be short-lived.

Hyping other issues, of course, does not actually signal a retreat by Everytown from its gun control agenda. Rather, it’s a recognition that gun controllers will have to buy votes and politicians by other means to force their prohibitionist views downward on the American people, rather than using those views to inspire people to support their candidates in the first place.

In other words, it’s pretty much the opposite of a true grassroots approach.

Take, for example, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who was embarrassed this week by the release of audio recordings catching her and her staffers admitting that they conceal or downplay her true positions on issues like gun control in order to mislead voters on the positions she will take once elected.

All this is exactly why NRA-ILA — a true grassroots organization — is dedicated to ensuring that voters know exactly what they’re getting when it comes to the Second Amendment views of political candidates.

You might even say we try to make it as easy as pie … apple pie, of course.