Political Animal


March 24, 2013 10:44 AM Bloomberg’s billions to counter NRA muscle in 2014

By Samuel Knight

New York Mayor and gun control advocate Michael Bloomberg said that he will fund ad campaigns in 2014 against senators who oppose an assault weapons ban and stronger background checks on firearms purchases.

“I think my money would be well spent,” he said on “Meet The Press.”

NRA president Wayne LaPierre, who appeared on the NBC show after Bloomberg, wasn’t impressed.

“He can’t spend enough of his $27 billion to impose his will on the American public,” he said.

“He can’t buy America,” he added, without a trace of irony.

“Meet The Press” host David Gregory challenged LaPierre on who is actually peddling toxic influence, citing a recent Quinnipiac poll that claimed 91 percent of Americans and 88 percent of gun owners support universal background checks.

“Are you thwarting the will of the American people?” Gregory asked.

LaPierre responded that the poll was based on a “dishonest premise.”

“There’s not a bill on the Hill that provides universal checks,” he said.

LaPierre also denounced universal background checks, bemoaning the fact that they would force private “hunters” and “farmers” who sell guns to each other to submit to federally regulated scrutiny.

He claimed that the NRA is working with Congress to “fix the current mess of a [background check] system” and wants to strengthen the enforcement of existing gun laws.

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.


  • martin on March 24, 2013 11:23 AM:

    He claimed that the NRA is working with Congress to “fix the current mess of a [background check] system” and wants to strengthen the enforcement of existing gun laws.

    How is it that no one ever asks LaPierre why he is always in favor of enforcing laws he opposes?

  • schtick on March 24, 2013 11:27 AM:

    Gregory plays softball.

  • dp on March 24, 2013 11:41 AM:

    I suppose it would be silly to ask if Gregory followed up with a question about how supporting provisions that weaken enforcement constitutes working to strengthen enforcement.

  • c u n d gulag on March 24, 2013 11:59 AM:

    Remember the good old days, when the NRA was a gun safety organization, and not the marketing arm of gun and ammo companies?

    It was a long, long, time ago.
    And strange, but back then, there were a lot fewer gun deaths and accidents.
    No every one had a gun.
    And those who did, really did, for the most part, practice gun safety.

    Now, every imbecile who gets a hankering for one, can get one.

    And then mourn when their kids shoot themselves, because after having a few drinks, Dad & Mom left their guns where their kiddies could get to them.

    And of course, no one charges the poor, poor, grieving parents, who, if the didn't make sure their kid was seat-belted in the car, and died in an accident, would face much more serious consequences, than if their kids get shot with their own guns.

    I've had so much irony lately, that I think I'm beginning to rust.

  • max on March 24, 2013 12:42 PM:

    New York Mayor and gun control advocate Michael Bloomberg[...] NRA president Wayne LaPierre"

    This is like a replay of the Iran-Iraq war.

    ['Can't they both lose?']

  • mudwall jackson on March 24, 2013 1:31 PM:


    you'd like to think ...

  • exlibra on March 24, 2013 2:33 PM:

    LaPierre also denounced universal background checks, bemoaning the fact that they would force private “hunters” and “farmers”[...]

    Bloomberg has already thought of that:


    Watch the ad (link is on the left hand side, on the first page of the article)

  • Richard W. Crews on March 24, 2013 4:25 PM:

    HAIKU :

    seemingly normal
    crossing some line we can't see
    people can crack

    Because gun control ain't about the criminals. It's about the regular folks who aren't very "regular" and we can't tell - because of our freedom to be whatever. How ya' gonna' tell? I say we can't, so it's the guns, not the people, that we must control.

    make gun sales, not possession, illegal
    We should go way beyond ALL gun sales having background checks; assigning liability to every gun, saddling every owner with that until the gun is terminated by being turned into authorities for destruction. So, sales become risky, as you don’t sell the liability – it sticks with you, making you responsible for letting that gun go. Improperly secured stolen guns retain responsibility.
    We should make EVERY sale of semi-auto guns illegal. This will shut down the churning market. It will immediately reduce the value of every semi-auto in existence to near zero. Since I don’t believe pasty-white young gameBOYS have good links to an underground gun market, they will not be able to find many guns.
    I bet we can identify misfits through their efforts to find theses guns – since they start as misfits within a secure society and try to delve into the hastily created underground. Should be easy pickings for the ATF narks. Heck, I bet criminal gun sellers would turn in (anonymously) most of their encounters with these losers!

  • beejeez on March 24, 2013 8:34 PM:

    Sheesh, Max, Mudwell -- Bloomberg offers to throw perhaps millions at battling the NRA and you guys are sneering at him? Tough crowd.

  • kk on March 25, 2013 2:09 AM:

    We don't need universal background checks. What we need is a law that makes the seller of a gun liable for money damages if the gun is wrongfully used by a purchaser who has not undergone a background check, just like a saloon keeper is liable if he sells another drink to an intoxicated patron who drives drunk and kills someone. Go ahead, Mr. Farmer and Mr. Hunter, sell that gun--but you better be very sure that the person you're selling it to won't end up costing you.