Skip to comments.The real reason Michael Bloomberg cares about guns
Posted on 05/03/2014 9:55:57 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
During Michael Bloombergs three terms as mayor of New York, he loved nothing more than to lord over the nations largest city. Now hes just a normal civilian multibillionaire, sitting right below the prime minister of India on the Forbes list of the worlds most powerful people a lowly position that is no doubt a source of immense personal disappointment. Short of patrolling New Yorks parks in a spandex bodysuit to inflict vigilante justice on cigarette smokers and super-sized Slurpee drinkers, whats a rich ex-mayor to do?
Luckily for Bloomberg, in American politics, controlling sublime amounts of capital is its own qualification, and lavishing it on pet issues counts as philanthropy. And this time, without an elected office to use for a pulpit, hes going to need that money: After attacking tobacco and soda, Bloomberg is coming for guns.
In an extensive interview with The New York Times, the former mayor outlined his plan for a nationwide lobbying effort designed to counteract and overwhelm the National Rifle Association. He certainly has the cash: Despite its notoriety, the NRA spends only about $20 million a year, and relies heavily on the grassroots enthusiasm of its members. Bloomberg, on the other hand, shrugged at the idea of throwing in an experimental $50 million as if he were describing the tip he left on a restaurant check.
Bloombergs fortune and political strategies figure prominently in the description of his new hobby. But he evinces no passion for the issue unless hes defending the racist, ineffectual and unpopular police practice of stop and frisk. After all, this is the mayor who, after the NYPD accidentally shot nine innocent bystanders while attempting to subdue a single armed man near the Empire State Building, angrily told a reporter, If somebody pointed a gun at you and you had a gun in your pocket, what would you do? I think that answers the question. He sounds more like Charles Bronson than James Brady, so why is Michael Bloomberg Americas most prominent gun control advocate?
If Bloomberg wanted to spend some pocket change to undermine any other constitutional right, liberals would quickly complain about how the nations elites use their money to overinfluence policy and consolidate power away from the broader citizenry. The billionaire Koch brothers, who fund numerous conservative and libertarian causes, have become archetypes of this phenomenon, to the benefit of Obama-aligned outrage sites such as Salon and ThinkProgress. But when it comes to the Second Amendment, liberals dont see a question of freedom or liberty, even when a billionaire tries to buy it away.
What really irks Bloomberg about the right to bear arms isnt the red herrings we throw around in the gun rights debate, such as hunting or self-defense. Rather, he hates its foundation in popular sovereignty. Its easy to forget that when the Bill of Rights was being drafted, the founding fathers took for granted that the United States would not field an army during peacetime. With the enumerated rights to association and the press as well as arms they attempted to place the tools of 18th century revolution (and thus American sovereignty) permanently in the hands of the enfranchised public. Militias werent supposed to be local armies, they were supposed to be the Army. As Rep. Samuel Nasson wrote to Rep. George Thatcher in 1789, Spare me on the subject of Standing armeys in a time of Peace they allway was first or last the downfall of all free Governments it was by their help Caesar made proud Rome Own a Tyrant and a Traytor for a Master.
I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh-biggest army in the world. Michael Bloomberg, Former mayor of New York City
Bloomberg has never had a problem with standing armies; in 2011 he even bragged to an audience at MIT, I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world. The NYPD is the largest, best-equipped municipal police force in the country, and its influence extends far beyond American territorial borders. It operates in 11 foreign cities and runs its own foreign policy and intelligence network. Bloomberg personally boasted that the NYPD has the capacity to shoot down passenger planes. Its clear from his record that its not the gun part of gun control Bloomberg is interested in.
Theres no doubt America needs to curb gun use and possession. The question is, whose guns? There are 34,500 members of the NYPD, and in 2012 they fatally shot 16 people. That gives Bloombergs army a rate of over 46 shooting deaths per 100,000, killing people at a clip that dwarfs any civilian level in the country. To put it in perspective, Chicago an American city known for gun violence hit its peak murder rate of 34 per 100,000 in 1992. American law enforcement is increasingly militarized as Radley Balko reports in his book Rise of the Warrior Cop: Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. And this army takes a lot of prisoners: While gun violence has markedly declined following heightened crime in the 90s, incarceration rates havent returned to earth, nearly quintupling since the early 70s, making Americans the most imprisoned people in the world.
While Bloomberg is squaring up to spread fears about armed Mormon cattle ranchers gone wild, we should be more worried about guns in the hands of the police. To further his agenda, Bloomberg is counting on the publics unwillingness to look beyond the flashiest proximate cause of surprise violence, as well as liberal stereotypes about rural Americans who own guns. But the biggest, most violently irresponsible gun owner in the country isnt some left-wing caricature redneck or a deranged teen plotting a massacre from his basement. Its the state.
Malcolm Harris is an editor at The New Inquiry and a writer based in Brooklyn.
Whether you are a British soldier marching toward Concord, a criminal about to enter a house or a commissar about to seize a citizen or his property, its an entirely different situation when the target is armed.
How can a domestic American city police force have “its own foreign policy and intelligence network”? Has this ever been challenged in court? I realize that NYC tries its hardest to be a “Bill of Rights-free zone”, but that sounds pretty close to treason!
“Theres no doubt America needs to curb gun use and possession.”
He is not going to change our constitution and he is not going to be able to change the SCOTUS. So SCREW HIM!!!!!
The very elite hates guns because it prevents them from imposing their idea of utopia and they fear the average man.
Blooomie is a grabasstic little fascist..
Interesting article. Sad that Al Jazeera has better reporting than American media.
They talk about that here:
What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?
Meanwhile, this asshole Bloomberg has a horde surrounding him WITH guns. FUQ YOU BLOOMBERG.
I tripped on that at first. But, I think he goes on to refer to the state/fedgov as the entity whose guns need to be reduced and controlled, not the citizens.
I was wondering who bagged Flight 800...
The man is insane, drunk with power, a megalomaniac. Funny how those who most crave power least deserve it.
Does the Logan Act apply?
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He was once an ordinary douche bag.
If you want to find out what's going on in the USA, you have to go to the British press, Al Jazeera and RT.
Despite what trolls on Free Republic may tell you.
If somebody pointed a gun at you and you had a gun in your pocket, what would you do?
Hit the perp?