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Bloomberg's Mayoral Gun Group Losing Members
WNYC via NPR ^ | November 1, 2009 | Transcript

Posted on 11/03/2009 9:15:19 AM PST by neverdem

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, led by New York's Michael Bloomberg, is losing members after the National Rifle Association mounted a campaign against the group. The NRA and various gun proponents contend that the mayors' efforts represent a slippery slope.

JACKI LYDEN, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, led by New York's Michael Bloomberg, is losing members after the National Rifle Association mounted a campaign against the group. The NRA and other gun proponents contend that the mayors' efforts represent a slippery slope.

WNYC's Arun Venugopal reports.

ARUN VENUGOPAL: Pennsylvania has about 100 members in Mayors Against Illegal Guns, by far the most of any state. But in the last few weeks, nearly a dozen of Pennsylvania's mayors have quit the coalition. One of them is Walter Niedermeyer, mayor of the town of Slatington. Niedermeyer left the group after the NRA sent flyers to his constituents.

Mayor WALTER NIEDERMEYER (Slatington, Pennsylvania): They sent me these letters. They called me up, asked me, please get off it. So I figure these are the people that vote. These are the people I work with. These are the people I support, too, so I'll do what they want me to do.

VENUGOPAL: The group's name, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, seems self-explanatory. The mayors say they want to stop criminals from getting guns while protecting the rights of citizens to own them. But opponents suspect the group ultimately wants to go after lawful gun owners as well. And they point to the main force behind the group, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who spent nearly $3 million of his own money on its activities.

(Soundbite of gunshots)

VENUGOPAL: At the Ridge and Valley Rod and Gun Club in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, some members are actively opposing members of the coalition.

Mark Epstein(ph) has brought his AR223 semi-automatic rifle to the shooting range.

Mr. MARK EPSTEIN: The thing with the mayor and that coalition, not that it's affecting us yet, but it could affect us if any of those laws go through.

VENUGOPAL: By that he means any regulations that would make Pennsylvania resemble a state with stricter gun laws, like New York.

The NRA has featured Bloomberg in a variety of media materials, including magazine articles, online news updates and this recent TV ad it ran in connection with the Virginia governor's race.

(Soundbite of TV ad)

Unidentified Man: He's Bob McDonnell, defending Virginia's freedom from whoever tries to take it away, even if it's the New York mayor and his cronies.

VENUGOPAL: Mayor Bloomberg downplays the NRA's campaign against him and the defections from the mayors' coalition. Those who've left, he says, are mostly from small towns. And for the 60 who've quit since the NRA began its campaign, the group says another 110 have joined.

Mayor MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (New York City): The growth is as good as it's ever been. And I think you're going to see once - eventually you get critical mass -and then a lot of mayors will join, and they're going to say to the NRA, come on, you know, this is craziness.

VENUGOPAL: Last year, Bloomberg announced that the mayors' coalition had developed a code of conduct with Wal-Mart, the country's largest gun retailer. Wal-Mart agreed to videotape gun sales at its 3,500 stores and to conduct background checks on store clerks. The coalition has also been working to close the so-called gun show loophole, which allows some buyers to avoid background checks. But the NRA says such efforts are the first steps down a slippery slope.

Rachel Parsons is an NRA spokesperson.

Ms. RACHEL PARSONS (Spokesperson, National Rifle Association): They have lobbied Congress time after time for more restrictive gun control legislation. And we think that if their constituents do not agree with that, then they are not representing those who put them in office.

VENUGOPAL: But for gun control advocates, the mayors' coalition has become a useful and well-funded ally.

Paul Helmke is the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Mr. PAUL HELMKE (President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence): I really feel that it's been one of the most significant things that help affect the debate on gun violence prevention, in a number of years.

VENUGOPAL: Others, however, say it's too early to make a call. John Bruce is a political scientist at the University of Mississippi. He says the mayors' group has begun to influence the debate. But he says its real hurdle is Congress, where gun laws are written.

For NPR News, I'm Arun Venugopal.

Copyright ©2009 National Public Radio®. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to National Public Radio. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: banglist; bloomberg; donttreadonme; maig; nationalrifleassn; nra; shallnotbeinfringed; standdown

1 posted on 11/03/2009 9:15:20 AM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Its been losing members for a while, the NRA site had a google map showing the member mayors in blue and those who quit in green.

There apparently were no members in Texas ever. Few of them outside the east, north east and west coast as a matter of fact.


2 posted on 11/03/2009 9:17:11 AM PST by GeronL (http://tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com .... I am a rogue nobody. One of millions.)
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To: neverdem

I’m starting a group:

“Citizens against Mayor’s that are against guns”....

Freaking IDIOTS!


3 posted on 11/03/2009 9:17:39 AM PST by mikelets456
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To: neverdem

There is an oriental in Irvine, CA that is mayor and part of this group.


4 posted on 11/03/2009 9:20:24 AM PST by edcoil (If I had 1 cent for every dollar the government saved, Bill Gates and I would be friends.)
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To: neverdem

close your eyes and repeat after me....

Gun grabbing equals political suicide...
Gun grabbing equals political suicide...
Gun grabbing equals political suicide...


5 posted on 11/03/2009 9:23:52 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: neverdem

Bloomberg is a liar, he would like to make it almost impossible for any citizen to own a gun.


6 posted on 11/03/2009 9:27:21 AM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (THE SECOND AMENDMENT, A MATTER OF FACT, NOT A MATTER OF OPINION)
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To: neverdem
Mr. MARK EPSTEIN: The thing with the mayor and that coalition, not that it's affecting us yet, but it could affect us if any of those laws go through.

Not true. Many legitimate gun dealers have had to spend thousands to defend themselves against a government employee funding the commission of crimes outside his jurisdiction. Where do they go to get their money and time back. Bloomberg should be servicing some huge smelly convict in his cell three times a day.

7 posted on 11/03/2009 9:36:57 AM PST by Still Thinking (If ignorance is bliss, liberals must be ecstatic!)
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To: GeronL

When I discovered that the mayor of my town was a member I wrote and asked him if he was aware of Bloombergs agenda. He sent me a response that said that his office had signed him up and (until now) he thought it was simply another taskforce to keep guns away from the bad guys. He indicated that he would rethink his involvement.

I would be surprised if he is still involved...


8 posted on 11/03/2009 9:48:59 AM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: neverdem

Only one member in Michigan. Southfield. Southfield, which borders Detroit, is also a very left wing area.


9 posted on 11/03/2009 11:25:59 AM PST by Darren McCarty (We do what we have to do.)
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To: neverdem; All
How about starting a group:

Mayors Against Early Release of Violent Felons????
10 posted on 11/03/2009 11:31:44 AM PST by Red in Blue PA (Obama, Hitler, Stalin: Who are 3 people nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.)
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To: neverdem
But opponents suspect the group ultimately wants to go after lawful gun owners as well.

Suspect?

11 posted on 11/03/2009 11:34:52 AM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: neverdem
Is this the group that hires Mentally ill criminals and sends them to gun shows?
12 posted on 11/03/2009 11:48:38 AM PST by Sarisky (Surely you can't be serious......yes I am...... and don't call me Shirley)
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To: neverdem

Form a anti phony Republican group and hunt club.


13 posted on 11/03/2009 11:54:50 AM PST by bmwcyle (We need more Joe Wilson's. OBAMA is ACORN ACORN is OBAMA)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Please don’t concentrate on this while the gun hysterics are going full-bore to outlaw the purchase and making of ammunition. We have a 200 + year supply of guns. We have a six month supply of ammo. I was at a gun show past weekend and ammo was being sold out.


14 posted on 11/03/2009 12:50:29 PM PST by pabianice
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To: GeronL
 
 
There was a TX guy listed - can't really remember where though, around the DFW area, maybe it was in Burleson. He may have "reassessed" his membership status by now.
 
 

15 posted on 11/03/2009 1:09:32 PM PST by lapsus calami (What's that stink? Code Pink ! ! And their buddy Murtha, too!)
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To: harpseal; TexasCowboy; nunya bidness; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; Shooter 2.5; wku man; SLB; ..
Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!
16 posted on 11/04/2009 5:13:41 AM PST by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: lapsus calami; GeronL
One Texas mayor is a member, Richard Ward of Hurst.

Mayor Richard Ward

17 posted on 11/04/2009 5:19:04 AM PST by Madame Dufarge
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To: Joe Brower

Damn, I was sooo hoping that the Democrat would beat Bloomberg last night. Id rather have a liberal in a RINOs office when it comes to firearm rights.


18 posted on 11/04/2009 5:40:16 AM PST by DCBryan1 (The first Civil War freed slaves from individuals. CW2 will free slaves from the government.)
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To: Madame Dufarge

Oh. He wasn’t on the NRA-ILC member map last time I checked.


19 posted on 11/04/2009 6:05:27 AM PST by GeronL (http://tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com .... I am a rogue nobody. One of millions.)
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To: neverdem

Too bad this piece of crap on legs won re-election.

He has a Caesarian complex. Just another liberal Mega Bucks guy who will run as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent because he is obviously so important and irreplaceable.

Besides, he has nothing better to do with his money.


20 posted on 11/04/2009 9:14:21 AM PST by ZULU (God guts and guns made America great. Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam.)
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To: ZULU
I heard on the radio this morning that they calculated that he spent $1,200 per vote.

Not as bad as the 2 million per word in that Health Care Bill in Congress.

21 posted on 11/04/2009 9:18:15 AM PST by mware (F-R-E-E, that spells free. Free Republic.com baby.)
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