“Three months ago, I entered the race for president to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump,” he said. READ MORE
SOURCE: Politico, by Caitlin Oprysko and Erin Durkin
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg suspended his presidential campaign on Wednesday, endorsing Joe Biden after pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into his own failed White House bid.
Make no mistake though, he, and his bankroll, are going to be there through the duration of the race, and beyond.
Speaking to supporters Wednesday afternoon in Manhattan, Bloomberg said he was “clear-eyed about our overriding objective, and that is victory in November.”
He said he bowed out to avoid further fracturing the Democratic Party and helping Trump.
“I entered the race for president to defeat Donald Trump, and today I am leaving the race for the same reason: To defeat Donald Trump, because staying in would make it more difficult,” Bloomberg told the crowd at the Sheraton hotel.
Bloomberg’s exit comes hours after a disastrous showing in the Super Tuesday primaries, which netted the former mayor only a single first-place victory in the territory of American Samoa.
After failing to win any states, he said he realized the numbers would never add up for him.
“The delegate math had become virtually impossible, and a viable path to the nomination just no longer existed,” he said. “I will not be our party’s nominee, but I will not walk away from the most important political fight of my life and I hope you won’t walk away either.”
The former mayor urged his supporters to get on board with Biden’s campaign, saying taking down Trump would require “uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it, and after yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden.”
Still, Bloomberg took a moment to speculate about what might have been. “There is no doubt in my mind we would have beaten Donald Trump in November,” he said. “And you know who else knows that? Donald Trump. He’s scared stiff of us, and for good reason, because every time he hit us, we hit back twice as hard.
Despite his massive spending, he said he always recognized his campaign was a longshot.
“I knew what this race would be all about, and I knew we didn’t have much of a chance, but we did it anyways,” he said.
Bloomberg made an extremely late entrance into the race last November when it appeared as though Biden’s campaign was faltering. His late entrance into the race kept him from appearing on the ballot in the retail politics-heavy first four states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
The former mayor dumped more than half a billion dollars into his campaign, investing in a vast ground game, blanketing the airwaves with ubiquitous ads and campaigning in Super Tuesday states while his rivals were focused on Iowa and New Hampshire. And it appeared for a time that his spending was paying off as Bloomberg quickly shot up in the polls. But his bid began to come undone after an abysmal performance in the first primary debate he participated in, where Sen. Elizabeth Warren savaged Bloomberg over his treatment of women, his wealth, and his defenses of past policies like stop and frisk.
Coupled with Biden’s resurgence after a commanding victory in South Carolina, Bloomberg’s surge to top-tier status in the polls appeared to stall out, culminating in his disappointing showing Tuesday night.
Bloomberg’s endorsement of Biden comes after two of the former vice president’s chief rivals in the moderate lane — Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg — ended their bids and backed the former vice president in a show of centrist unity.
Bloomberg has long said that even if he did not become the Democratic nominee, he would continue spending his vast fortune in favor of that candidate in order to defeat Trump in November, a pledge he reiterated upon dropping out.
Bloomberg manipulates with Superbowl Ad. READ MORE
Earlier this month, Michael Bloomberg added to the quarter billion dollar tally he has spent pursuing the Democrat presidential nomination with an $11 million ad that aired during the Super Bowl. It was his highest-profile effort to date in a relentless media blitz meant to familiarize Americans with his name and a “life story” that is more PR ad copy than actual biography. But the ad was perhaps more revealing than Bloomberg intended, showing him to be long on dishonesty and emotional manipulation and short on facts and substance.
Bloomberg himself barely appears in the 60 second commercial. Most of the airtime features the mother of an aspiring football player whose son was killed.
There is no question that a grieving mother has compelling emotional impact, and no one can blame the woman for wanting to tell her son’s story or to try to make a difference that will spare others a similar experience.
What is blameworthy, however, is Bloomberg’s exploitation of the woman’s personal tragedy to intentionally mislead the public.
While the woman described her loss, a graphic then appeared on the screen, stating, “2,900 CHILDREN DIE FROM GUN VIOLENCE EVERY YEAR.”
There is nothing in the commercial that explains what policies Michael Bloomberg is promoting that would have prevented the family’s tragedy or that would prevent similar tragedies in the future. The ad gives no information on the circumstances of the son’s death, other than that someone shot him.
But the obvious takeaway is that children like this young athlete are at a high risk of being killed, and only Michael Bloomberg has the moxie and know-how to stop it.
It’s clear that Michael Bloomberg himself knows next to nothing about firearms. In fact, when he began his political career with a run for New York City Mayor in 2001, Bloomberg didn’t know how to answer a question about the Second Amendment because he didn’t know what it was.
But even Michael Bloomberg knows that adults are not the same thing as children. And according to multiple media stories debunking his Super Bowl ad, his figure about “children” dying from “gun violence” inflates the number nearly 100% by including the high-risk category of 18- and 19-year-old adults.
An article by FactCheck.org., for example, claims the misleading statistic is based on information from Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group that is funded primarily by the billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg’s “source,” in other words, is actually propaganda that he himself paid to generate.
But even Everytown was more honest than the ad itself, claiming in a 2019 fact sheet, “Annually, nearly 2,900 children and teens (ages 0 to 19) are shot and killed … .” That figure that comes from averaging Centers for Disease Control Data from 2013 to 2017.
FactCheck.org explains that when 18- and 19-year-old adults are omitted from the data, the figure drops to 1,499. So the Bloomberg ad nearly doubles the number of minors who succumb annually to gunshot injuries to come up with a figure for “children.”
Again, these deaths are lamentable, but they are not what Bloomberg claims. What the ad did establish is that Michael Bloomberg cannot be trusted to tell the truth even on his own signature policy issue and that he will in fact spend huge sums of money to lie to the American public for his own political benefit.
Michael-Bloomberg-founded Everytown for Gun Safety reportedly distanced itself from Bloomberg following the publication of his comments in defense of stop and frisk. READ MORE
SOURCE: Breitbart, AWR Hawkins
On February 11, 2020, Breitbart News reported a speech Bloomberg gave at the Aspen Institute wherein he defended his strategy of aggressively policing minority neighborhoods. He gave the speech in 2015, and a recording of it is now seizing public attention.
The Aspen Times quoted Bloomberg as saying, “Cities need to get guns out of [the] … hands” of individuals who are “male, minority, and between the ages of 15 and 25.” In the full audio of the speech, he bluntly said of young minorities, “Throw them against the wall and frisk them” and admitted that they “put all the cops in minority neighborhoods … because that’s where all the crime is.”
Also, on February 11, 2020, Breitbart News reported excerpts of a 2013 interview with WOR during which Bloomberg said:
One newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying, ‘Oh it’s a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group’ being targeted by the city’s stop-and-frisk policies. That may be, but it’s not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murder. In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.
On February 14, 2020, WAMU noted that Everytown for Gun Safety released a statement distancing itself from Bloomberg.
Everytown was founded as an umbrella group of sorts, absorbing Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns and sharing a gun control agenda with Bloomberg-funded Moms Demand Action.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.
Bloomberg stands in the way of Virginians’ Right-to-Carry. READ MORE
Further revealing that their operative motive is political prejudice rather than public safety, the Michael Bloomberg-bought Virginia House of Delegates has escalated their direct attacks on law-abiding gun owners and your NRA. Astute readers will remember that earlier this year Delegate Dan Helmer (D-40) introduced HB 567, a bill calculated to shut down the NRA Range in Fairfax, Va. This week, the House of Delegates Public Safety Committee passed HB 264, which targets NRA’s high-quality firearms training.
HB 264 would limit law-abiding Virginians’ ability to obtain a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) by reducing the ways in which an applicant could demonstrate the requisite competence with a handgun.
At present there are a several ways to demonstrate this competence, which are enumerated in VA Code Ann. § 18.2-308.02. This includes:
Completing any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course;
Completing any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law-enforcement agency, institution of higher education, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Criminal Justice Services;
Completing any firearms training or safety course or class, including an electronic, video, or online course, conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor;
HB264 would eliminate all reference to the National Rifle Association in § 18.2-308.02 and eliminate the training option outlined in the first bullet point entirely.
This means that the state would no longer by default recognize the firearm safety and training courses offered by NRA. Firearms instructors would be required to obtain an additional state certification from the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in order to offer classes that would satisfy the training requirement for a CHP. The legislation does not grandfather current NRA instructors from this requirement. At present, there are almost 3,000 NRA certified firearms instructors in the Commonwealth.
This change would be even more dangerous than it first appears. The DCJS firearm instructor certification requirements are set by regulation. This means that they can be altered by Virginia’s executive branch. Anti-gun politicians, like disgraced Gov. Ralph Northam and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, could increase the burdensome certification requirements without going through the General Assembly. This could choke off the availability of the DCJS firearm instructor certification, and therefore law-abiding Virginians’ access to the training necessary to exercise their Right-to-Carry.
HB264 would also eliminate the ability to acquire the requisite CHP firearms training through a video or online course.
These changes are designed to make it harder for law-abiding Virginians to access the firearms training required to exercise their Right-to-Carry. Reducing the number of individuals certified to provide CHP training and manner in which the training may be administered would limit the availability of such training – endangering those facing a threat that necessitates immediate access to a CHP. This reduction would also increase the costs of receiving training – creating a regressive economic burden that would disproportionately harm the poor and vulnerable.
These burdensome changes will not benefit public safety. For his book More Guns Less Crime, Economist John R. Lott attempted to measure the effects of burdensome Right-to-Carry training requirements. Lott determined that “The presence or length of training periods typically show no effect on crime…” Lott also found that an increase in training requirements and permit fees will lower the rate at which individuals obtain Right-to-Carry permits.
The Public Safety Committee’s attack on high-quality electronic, video, or online firearms training is especially luddite and nonsensical. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles offers online “driver improvement clinics” (sometimes court-ordered) that can determine whether or not a driver will be permitted to continue to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth. Virginia’s premier public institutions of higher education, like the College of William & Mary, offer online degree programs.
Once again, the Bloomberg-bought House of Delegates has proven that their gun control agenda is about their own ugly political and cultural bigotries.
Stay tuned to http://www.nraila.org for updates. And, in the meantime, please sign up to volunteer to help defeat Gov. Ralph Northam and Michael Bloomberg’s gun control legislation.
Donald Trump Jr. slammed incoming Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, a Republican, for siding with extreme anti-Second Amendment advocate and communist China sympathizer Michael Bloomberg. READ MORE
SOURCE: DailyWire.com by Ryan Saavedra
Last Friday, Breitbart Second Amendment columnist AWR Hawkins called attention to two massive contributions totaling $500,000 that Bloomberg’s far-left group Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund gave to Galvano’s political committee, the Innovate Florida committee, after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018.
Galvano responded to the contribution by saying in September 2018 that he “will make no apologies” for supporting gun control championed by Bloomberg, and said that he was “grateful for the support” from Bloomberg’s group.
In a statement to The Daily Wire, Trump Jr. slammed Galvano for siding with Bloomberg, who is running for president as a Democrat and on the issue of stripping Americans of their Second Amendment rights.
“Any supposed ‘Republican’ who proudly accepts money from Mini Mike Bloomberg and is supportive of his gun control agenda is nothing more than a stone cold RINO,” Trump Jr. told The Daily Wire. “The last thing Florida Republicans need is a liberal, gun-grabbing Bloomberg minion leading them in the State Senate.”
Andrew Pollack, who lost his daughter in the Parkland tragedy, slammed Galvano in a tweet, writing: “Democrats exploited the murder of my daughter. I never imagined a Republican would do the same, but that’s exactly what Bill Galvano did. He took $500,000 from Bloomberg & tried to reinstate disgraced Sheriff Scott Israel This boils my blood! #FixIt”
In a separate tweet, Pollack highlighted the money that Galvano got from Bloomberg’s far-left group, writing: “Florida Senate President @BillGalvano is bought and paid for by Michael Bloomberg. He’s accepted over $500k from Bloomberg’s anti-gun PAC. He’s constantly working against Governor Desantis and the Republican Party. He’s a RINO #FixIt”
The past donations from Bloomberg’s far-left group to Galvano garnered attention because Galvano led a Senate panel this last week to ram through Bloomberg’s gun control agenda in Florida.
News 4 Jax reported: A Senate panel Monday unanimously signed off on a far-reaching measure that would close the gun-show “loophole,” create a record-keeping system for private gun sales and set aside $5 million to establish a “statewide strategy for violence prevention.” The proposal (SB 7028) is a priority of Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, as evidenced by the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee’s consideration and passage of the measure the day before the 2020 legislative session begins.
The sweeping legislation would require background checks and a three-day waiting period for firearms sold “on property to which the public has the right of access,” such as “a flea market, a gun show, or a firearm exhibit.” The measure would also mandate that guns be securely stored in households and other places where minors under age 18 — up from the current threshold of 16 — could have access to the weapons.
Former NRA President Marion P. Hammer responded at the time by indicating that Galvano betrayed those who voted for him, saying, “Looks like our Second Amendment Rights were sold for a large contribution from anti-gun former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”
Hammer said that the gun control bill advocated for by Galvano this week, SB-7028, was “the worst I have ever seen” and “is clearly meant to simply ban all private sales of firearms through red tape and fear.”
“This bill contains so much red tape and nonsense that there is almost no way a law-abiding person could comply,” Hammer continued. “The only thing we know for sure is that this bill will only stop law-abiding people from exercising a constitutional right, and it will be completely ignored by criminals.”
“Voting in favor of this bill is like a doctor giving a patient an antibiotic for a virus. The doctor knows an antibiotic won’t cure the illness, but at least he can make people think he’s ‘doing something,’” Hammer added. “Supporting a bill so you can say you’re doing something is ‘political eyewash.'”
There’s more! Democratic contender Bloomberg again denies the importance of the 2nd amendment. READ MORE
Jack Wilson — a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. — is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow worshippers during a service at the church on Dec. 29, Wilson took swift action. He exposed himself to danger to deliver a single shot from his lawfully carried handgun that instantly ended what undoubtedly would have been even more terrible carnage among the hundreds present.
Other congregants were also seen producing lawfully carried handguns in response to the threat. Several closed in on the fallen assailant to ensure he was neutralized. None of them panicked or acted rashly and no errant shots were fired.
The entire episode was over in six seconds and was captured on the church’s livestream.
The evidence is inescapable and available to anyone who cares to view it. Anybody who has ever tried to justify a public policy proposal on the grounds that it could save “just one life” is now on notice that lawful concealed carry saved many lives in just that one episode.
Yet one person who did not bother to watch the video or acquaint himself with the facts is Democrat presidential contender Michael Bloomberg. Commenting on the incident at a campaign stop in Montgomery Ala., Bloomberg did not mention Jack Wilson’s name. Bloomberg did not even acknowledge that the events depicted in video and widely reported in the media – including on Bloomberg’s self-named news site – were authentic.
But if they were, he huffed, it didn’t change his mind that only the police (which apparently include the current and former officers on his own armed protection detail) should be able to carry firearms in public.
“It may true, I wasn’t there, I don’t know the facts, that somebody in the congregation had their own gun and killed the person who murdered two other people,” he said. “But it’s the job of law enforcement to, uh, have guns and to decide when to shoot.” He continued, “You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place.”
In the best-case scenario, responding police would still have been minutes away from the violence breaking out in the West Freeway Church of Christ. The shotgun-wielding assailant could have killed many more people in that time had he not faced armed resistance of his own.
But Bloomberg’s own words indicate he would consider that an acceptable price to pay to vindicate his arch-statist and anti-constitutional view that the government should have a complete monopoly on the lawful use of lethal force.
What, in Bloomberg’s mind, make police the only people who can be trusted with firearms?
Does he feel that only law enforcement can effectively and safely use firearms?
Jack Wilson answered that question on Dec. 29, 2019, by delivering a single, precise shot at 15 yards that felled its target and only its target, saving innocent lives.
But somehow that’s still not good enough for Michael Bloomberg because Wilson is not an active-duty police officer.
What lesson are we supposed to learn from Bloomberg’s response to the White Settlement events, other than who shoots whom isn’t as important to him as who gets to decide who lawfully wields lethal force?
Are you willing to helplessly take one for Team Bloomberg’s scheme of law and order if you end up in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Note that Michael Bloomberg isn’t taking that risk himself; his payroll includes plenty of armed men to keep him safe.
The Second Amendment is your guarantee that you need not take the risk either, which is why Michael Bloomberg’s worldview cannot be reconciled with that fundamental liberty.
This stands in stark contrast to President Trump, who understands exactly what the right to keep and bear arms is all about and unabashedly respects that right.
“It was over in 6 seconds thanks to the brave parishioners who acted to protect 242 fellow worshippers,” President Trump tweeted on Dec. 30. “Lives were saved by these heroes, and Texas laws allowing them to carry guns!
New Bloomberg-based legislation poses serious threat to Virginia gun owners. READ MORE
Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.
SB 16, introduced by Sen. Richard L. Saslaw, would create a total ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, like the AR-15. Even worse, the ban would even extend to common firearm parts. The restrictions included in the proposed legislation does not grandfather current owners. The legislation is clearly designed to be firearms confiscation, as current owners would be forced to dispossess themselves of their property or face a felony conviction.
Saslaw’s legislation provides,
It is unlawful for any person to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport an assault firearm.
Otherwise law-abiding gun owners found in possession of an “assault firearm,” even one they purchased prior to the ban, could be convicted of a Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.
The legislation lays out several criteria by which a firearm would be defined as an “assault firearm.” This includes,
A semi-automatic centerfire rifle with a fixed magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds. A semi-automatic centerfire rifle with a detachable magazine that has one of the following characteristics: (i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the rifle; (iii) a thumbhole stock; (iv) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (v) a bayonet mount; (vi) a grenade launcher; (vii) a flare launcher; (viii) a silencer; (ix) a flash suppressor; (x) a muzzle brake; (xi) a muzzle compensator; (xii) a threaded barrel… or (xiii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (xii)
A semi-automatic centerfire pistol with a fixed magazine capacity greater than 10 rounds. A semi-automatic centerfire pistol with a detachable magazine that has one of the following characteristics: (i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a thumbhole stock; (iii) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (iv) the capacity to accept a magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip; (v) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the pistol with the non-trigger hand without being burned; (vi) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; (vii) a threaded barrel… or (viii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (vii);
A shotgun with a revolving cylinder. A semi-automatic shotgun with one of the following characteristics: (i) a folding or telescoping stock, (ii) a thumbhole stock, (iii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the shotgun, (iv) the ability to accept a detachable magazine, (v) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of seven rounds, or (vi) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (v).
With this definition, SB 16 would outlaw America’s most popular rifle, the AR-15, along with countless other rifles, pistols, and shotguns that Virginians use for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.
A knowledgeable firearms owner will take a look at the ridiculous definition and realize that such ham-handed legislation must be born out of petty vindictiveness or a complete ignorance of firearm technology, as there is no logical public safety rationale.
For example, the legislation is so broad that it would ban hunting guns like the Mossberg 935 Turkey shotgun for its “pistol grip.”
The ban would prohibit the possession of guns like this Model SP-10 Magnum Thumbhole Camo due to its thumbhole stock.
The ban would also capture guns such as this version of the Browning BAR Mark II Safari hunting rifle, as it has a detachable box magazine and a muzzle brake.
Moreover, the “any characteristic of like kind” language that appears after each list of prohibited features introduces an unacceptable vagueness into the definition of what does or does not constitute an “assault firearm.” Law-abiding gun owners would be forced to prophesy just how a court might interpret those unclear provisions.
As bad and senseless as the prohibition on certain firearms is, the proposed ban on firearm parts truly shows how Michael Bloomberg is cashing in on his political investment.
The legislation provides,
“Assault firearm” includes any part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert, modify, or otherwise alter a firearm into an assault firearm, or any combination of parts that may be readily assembled into an assault firearm.
This passage would appear to make all of the firearm parts listed under the various feature tests in and of themselves “assault firearms” and therefore prohibited. As the individual part is treated as an “assault firearm,” possession of such a part would be punishable in the same manner as a prohibited firearm, as a Class 6 felony.
Many firearms are modular. For instance, the same muzzle brake or flash suppressor could be used to turn a semi-automatic firearm into an “assault firearm” under the bill’s definition, or it could be used by a hunter or precision rifle shooter on their bolt-action rifle.
In recent years the popularity of the AR-15 platform has led to the adoption of AR-15 parts in other types of firearms. An example of this trend is the Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle. The firearm is a bolt-action rimfire rifle that accepts an AR-15 pistol grip. As the pistol grip part is a prohibited feature on a semi-automatic rifle that can accept a detachable magazine and is designed for use on a prohibited AR-15, the mere grip itself could be banned under this legislation.
SB 16 also bans the importation, sale, and transfer of standard capacity firearm magazines that are designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Many handguns commonly-owned by law-abiding citizens for concealed carry come standard with magazines that would be banned. Otherwise law-abiding gun owners who violate the magazine provision could be found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail.
All Virginia gun owners must organize to fight against Bloomberg-backed gun confiscation in the Old Dominion. In the coming days NRA will keep gun owners apprised of the latest developments in Richmond and the actions necessary to defend the right to keep and bear arms. In the meantime, please sign up to volunteer to help defeat this and other terrible legislation.
“The Second Amendment already guarantees my equality: Firearms are the ultimate equalizer.” READ MORE
Suburban women are expected to play a pivotal role in the 2020 elections, which is why a lot of political groups are attempting to appeal to them. One of Bloomberg’s groups, Moms Demand Action, is styled to fool voters into thinking their extreme beliefs are representative of all suburban moms. Earlier this month in Virginia, this billionaire-funded group spent an enormous amount of money to flip a few seats and win a thin, anti-gun majority in the state legislature. Pro-gun suburban women in Virginia were outraged by the misleading campaign. We spoke with one, NRA member Megan Boland, who says the tactics employed by anti-gun groups in Virginia should serve as a cautionary tale to pro-gun suburban women across the country.
Q. What was your initial reaction when you heard gun control politicians took control of the Virginia House and Senate?
A. I was disappointed, but not surprised. As a communications professional, I could tell from the political ads that gun control groups were targeting suburban women with emotional messages. They were clearly trying to shame women like myself into believing that law-abiding gun owners are the problem in Virginia.
Q. As a long-time Virginian, what do you think is going on in Virginia politics?
A. It’s no longer Virginia politics. Virginia was flooded with out-of-state money from people like New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg. It’s very clear what he’s doing. He’s reaching into local- and state-level elections and beta testing his political message with the strategic and long-term goal of getting these local politicians eventually into national office. Personally, I’m really tired of billionaire men determining women’s futures and that’s what is going on here. If they really believe that women’s rights are important, why attempt to strip me of a Constitutional right?
Q. Do you think Gov. Northam and anti-gun lawmakers in Richmond will stop at “common-sense” gun measures? Where do you think they are headed with gun control?
A. There is nothing common sense about taking away people’s right and ability to defend themselves. Gov. Northam speaks about women’s equality, but the Second Amendment already guarantees my equality: Firearms are the ultimate equalizer. I think Northam and Bloomberg’s end game is to try and destroy the NRA and then, unopposed, eliminate the Second Amendment. I’m worried they’ll use things like red flag laws to silence us. For example, many of us fear an anti-gun nut job could try to red flag us and have our guns removed for simply talking about a weekend trip to the range. If we can no longer share our stories without fear of government retribution, it’s just one small step away from losing our rights. History is riddled with the systemic silencing of populations intended to dilute and destroy the culture until it is no more.
Q. What did you see the Bloomberg moms do in Virginia that upset you?
A. The big thing I see is that the Bloomberg Moms are getting into our schools and influencing administrators, teachers and, de facto, our children. Our side needs to do a better job of that. I’ve seen it time and again where gun control activists show up at playgrounds, local parks, and community parades and push their nonsense on other parents. I’ve tried getting equal access by going to my children’s school and inviting the NRA’s Eddie Eagle in the classroom. I’ve worked with my local law enforcement to make sure they are working with Eddie Eagle. There are a lot moms can be doing in their schools and communities to get our message out. The NRA is the only organization in the world dedicated to promoting the safe and responsible use of firearms; we need to talk about that! We need to make noise in our communities and be willing to have uncomfortable conversations with those who disagree with us. We have to do more than just gather for rallies and talk to people who are like-minded. We must engage respectfully with our opponents.
Q. Any final thoughts on what the rest of the country can learn from the Virginia elections?
A. The big thing we need is more pro-Second Amendment women to run for office, any office, school board, city council, judicial, state legislature and federally. I know [the head of Moms Demand Action] is working to get women to strategically build their resumes to run for office. We should be cultivating local women to do the same, and start by running for local office. This is such a huge issue, it requires those who support the 2A to get active and involved — not days before an election, but years before the election.
Their anti-gun activities continue to dig Dick’s a deeper hole. Huge losses signal that Dick’s is dead in sportsman’s eyes. READ MORE
For the last year we’ve been reporting on the bizarre saga of Dick’s Sporting Goods’ transformation from a relatively functional purveyor of mainstream sporting goods to a groveling symbol of modern corporate virtue signaling. Last Friday, new evidence emerged of just how much that crusade has cost the retailer.
It hasn’t been a pretty story.
Dick’s CEO Edward Stack — with evident pressure from the media and anti-gun lobby — has embarked on an escalating series of policies to restrict the chain’s sale of guns, at one point a significant part of the company’s revenue stream.
Whether Stack had a sincere change of heart on the morality of his business model or whether he naively sought to protect his company with a futile attempt to appease a frothing mob that hates guns and capitalism with equal fervor is anyone’s guess.
But Stack went so far as to formally collaborate with the Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety and to sign a letter endorsing gun control bills pending on Capitol Hill. His company even retained corporate lobbyists to press Congress for additional gun control.
Needless to say, these moves resulted in Dick’s becoming synonymous with Benedict Arnold in the minds of well-informed Second Amendment supporters. Shoppers and major suppliers in the pro-gun community stopped doing business with Dick’s.
Now Bloomberg’s own media outlet, Bloomberg.com, is reporting that Dick’s itself estimates the price of its anti-gun advocacy at $150 million in lost sales in 2018, or almost 2% of the company’s annual revenue.
And while anti-gunners insisted they would reward Dick’s with increases in their own business, the same article mentions a new Stanford University study that casts doubt on that premise. According to that research, “Respondents said they were more likely to buy a product to support a CEO’s political stance than they were to boycott in disagreement, but their actions revealed the opposite.” The article continued, “When asked for specific examples, 69 percent could name a product they’d stopped buying, and only 21 percent could recall a product they started buying.”
So it seems, unsurprisingly, that being boastfully anti-gun is a dumb idea for a gun store, as is counting on the professed loyalty and support of anti-gunners (who, let’s face it, probably aren’t likely to be the most athletically inclined people and to need the other types of wares that Dick’s sells anyway).
Nevertheless, Stack remains defiant. “It was worth it,” the article quotes him as saying.
Easy for him to say when he’s successfully elevated his own perceived moral standing with his high-society peers by gambling with the money of his shareholders, who of course assumed much of the financial risk for Stack’s very public moralizing.
But make no mistake, Ed Stack remains a fabulously wealthy man, and the Dick’s retail empire remains big enough that it may successfully reshuffle its business model to remain viable.
But Ed Stack has done gun owners a favor by allowing them a myriad of opportunities to express their pro-Second Amendment commitments simply by avoiding any sort of purchase they may otherwise have made in his stores. Be it guns, ammunition, or even kayaks or baseball gloves, there are plenty of other outlets eager to serve the pro-gun public without condescending to them and collaborating with organizations that would take away their rights.
Dick’s corporate largesse may buy Ed Stack the fleeting admiration of the gun control and media elites.
But gun owners have long memories, and they will hopefully continue to add to the 150 million reminders they’ve already given Stack.
Under the proposed semi-automatic ban, it would be “unlawful to manufacture, sell, purchase, transport, carry, store, or otherwise hold in one’s possession” a firearm defined as an “assault weapon.” READ IT ALL
Last week, we reported that it was likely that sweeping gun control measures would be proposed in Pittsburgh. On December 14 Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto held a press conference to propose a trio of anti-gun city ordinances that, if enacted, would constitute a direct violation of Pennsylvania’s state firearms preemption law and Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent. At the event, Peduto was joined by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, who benefitted from $500,000 in spending from Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety during his 2018 re-election bid, and City Council members Corey O’Connor and Erika Strassburger.
Not content to spearhead his own city’s violation of state law, Peduto called for municipalities throughout the country to ignore state statutes duly enacted by their residents’ elected representatives. A press release from the mayor’s office chronicling the conference explained, “Mayor Peduto has asked cities around the country to support Pittsburgh’s measures and/or introduce similar legislation to create nationwide momentum behind the critically needed gun changes.”
Councilmember O’Connor, who purportedly authored the anti-gun proposals, took a similar tack, stating that Pittsburgh “must seize the opportunity to make a real difference by partnering with other municipalities in the Commonwealth and cities across America to enact” gun restrictions. Councilmember Strassburger also encouraged the municipal lawlessness, stating, “I hope more cities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the entire nation will join Pittsburgh in this critical effort.”
The three legislative proposals are a total ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, a total ban on several types of common firearms accessories and standard capacity magazines, and the development of a procedure to confiscate an individual’s firearms without due process of law.
The legislation defines “assault weapon” by listing several models of commonly owned semi-automatic firearms, including the Colt AR-15 and certain configurations of the Ruger Mini-14. Moreover, the legislation goes on to add to the definition of “assault weapon” semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns that meet a certain set of criteria.
The prohibition criteria for rifles is the following:
a. The firearm is a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following:
i. A folding or telescoping stock;
ii. A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
iii. A bayonet mount;
iv. A flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and
v. A grenade launcher;
Pistols would be judged under the following criteria:
b. The firearm is a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following:
i. An ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;
ii. A threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip or silencer;
iii. A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned;
iv. A manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; and
v. A semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm;
The following shotguns would banned:
c. The firearm is a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least two of the following:
i. A folding or telescoping stock;
ii. A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
iii. A fixed magazine capacity in excess of five rounds; and
iv. An ability to accept a detachable magazine;
The legislation would also prohibit the possession of machine guns lawfully registered under the National Firearms Act.
The legislative proposal targeting common firearms accessories would ban the possession of firearms magazines “that [have] the capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.” The ordinance would also ban any semi-automatic centerfire rifle that can accept a detachable magazine and is equipped with either a pistol grip, thumbhole stock, folding or telescoping stock, or a forward pistol grip (among other items).
Both pieces of legislation impose severe penalties on those who refuse to submit to the city’s unlawful mandates. Those who do not comply “shall be fined $1,000 and costs for each offense, and in default of payment thereof, may be imprisoned for not more than 90 days.” Moreover, the proposals provide that “[e]ach day of a continuing violation of or failure to comply … shall constitute and separate and distinct offense.” Meaning that otherwise law-abiding individuals who fail to comply with the ordinances would face potential financial ruin.
The final proposal would empower law enforcement to search for and confiscate an individual’s firearms without due process. Acting on merely a petition offered by a law enforcement official or family or household member a court could issue an order for an individual’s firearms to be seized. The individual would have no opportunity to speak or present evidence on their own behalf prior to confiscation.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly has made clear that firearms laws are a state matter and that it is unlawful for the state’s political subdivisions to regulate firearms. 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6120, concerning the “Limitation on the regulation of firearms and ammunition,” states:
No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.
The language of the statute is crystal clear. Municipalities like Pittsburgh may not pass their own firearms regulations.
However, the simple statute wasn’t simple enough for the reading challenged lawmakers of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
In the 1996 case Ortiz v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania settled the question as to whether Pittsburgh and Philadelphia could restrict commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. In finding that they could not, the court stated:
Because the ownership of firearms is constitutionally protected, its regulation is a matter of statewide concern. The constitution does not provide that the right to bear arms shall not be questioned in any part of the commonwealth except Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where it may be abridged at will, but that it shall not be questioned in any part of the commonwealth. Thus, regulation of firearms is a matter of concern in all of Pennsylvania, not merely in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the General Assembly, not city councils, is the proper forum for the imposition of such regulation.
Another portion of the opinion described Pittsburgh’s position as “frivolous.”
In the 2009 case National Rifle Association v. Philadelphia, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania came to the same conclusion after Philadelphia ignored the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s 1996 ruling and enacted a ban on commonly-owned firearms and a lost or stolen reporting ordinance. Citing Pennsylvania’s firearms preemption statute and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s decision in Ortiz, the Commonwealth Court struck down the local firearms ordinances. Philadelphia appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and was denied.
In pursuing their local gun control ordinances, Peduto and his anti-gun allies have demonstrated an extraordinary indifference to state law, judicial precedents, and the taxpaying constituents who will foot the bill for this political grandstanding. NRA stands ready to use all available legal avenues to ensure that the residents of Pittsburgh are never subject to these unconstitutional and unlawful proposals.
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