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The real reason Michael Bloomberg cares about guns
Al Jazeera America ^ | April 25, 2014 | Malcolm Harris

Posted on 05/03/2014 9:55:57 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

During Michael Bloomberg’s three terms as mayor of New York, he loved nothing more than to lord over the nation’s largest city. Now he’s just a normal civilian multibillionaire, sitting right below the prime minister of India on the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people — a lowly position that is no doubt a source of immense personal disappointment. Short of patrolling New York’s parks in a spandex bodysuit to inflict vigilante justice on cigarette smokers and super-sized Slurpee drinkers, what’s 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, he’s 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.”

Bloomberg’s fortune and political strategies figure prominently in the description of his new hobby. But he evinces no passion for the issue unless he’s 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 America’s most prominent gun control advocate?

Standing armies

If Bloomberg wanted to spend some pocket change to undermine any other constitutional right, liberals would quickly complain about how the nation’s 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 don’t 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 isn’t 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. It’s 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 weren’t 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. It’s clear from his record that it’s not the “gun” part of “gun control” Bloomberg is interested in.

Whose guns?

There’s 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 Bloomberg’s 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 haven’t 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 public’s 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 isn’t some left-wing caricature redneck or a deranged teen plotting a massacre from his basement. It’s the state.

******

Malcolm Harris is an editor at The New Inquiry and a writer based in Brooklyn.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: 2a; 2ndamendment; ammo; banglist; bloomberg; bundy; cnsf; fascism; guncontrol; lawenforcement; police; sovereignty
Comments?
1 posted on 05/03/2014 9:55:57 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

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.


2 posted on 05/03/2014 10:02:24 PM PDT by allendale
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To: allendale

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!


3 posted on 05/03/2014 10:13:29 PM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“There’s no doubt America needs to curb gun use and possession.”

Bull.


4 posted on 05/03/2014 10:17:05 PM PDT by Stormdog (A rifle transforms one from subject to Citizen)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He is not going to change our constitution and he is not going to be able to change the SCOTUS. So SCREW HIM!!!!!


5 posted on 05/03/2014 10:21:57 PM PDT by oldenuff2no (Retired US ARMY Ranger.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The very elite hates guns because it prevents them from imposing their idea of utopia and they fear the average man.


6 posted on 05/03/2014 10:22:24 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Blooomie is a grabasstic little fascist..


7 posted on 05/03/2014 10:22:32 PM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Interesting article. Sad that Al Jazeera has better reporting than American media.


8 posted on 05/03/2014 10:37:37 PM PDT by Dogbert41 (Up yours NSA !)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Because we are spied on incessantly by our own paranoid gummint we cannot train, drill, or communicate nevertheless, like antibiotic resistant bacteria, we are the strongest, largest army in the world. The American. With literally hundreds of millions of firearms in the hands of a third of us we have an advantage no one can take away. As it has been said, on opening day the State of Pennsylvania fields the largest army in the world. It scares the crap out of the corrupt politicians. It is supposed to.

μολὼν λαβέ


9 posted on 05/03/2014 10:38:12 PM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: wastoute

They talk about that here:

What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-backroom/2312894/posts


10 posted on 05/03/2014 10:40:13 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Meanwhile, this asshole Bloomberg has a horde surrounding him WITH guns. FUQ YOU BLOOMBERG.


11 posted on 05/03/2014 10:40:44 PM PDT by Ghost of SVR4 (So many are so hopelessly dependent on the government that they will fight to protect it.)
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To: Ghost of SVR4
Bermuda is very strict when it comes to guns, except when Bloomberg feels he's so special he needs armed protection:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/26/nycs-michael-bloomberg-accused-hypocrisy-arming-se/

12 posted on 05/03/2014 11:17:55 PM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: Stormdog

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.


13 posted on 05/03/2014 11:20:52 PM PDT by AlmaKing
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Bloomberg personally boasted that the NYPD has the capacity to shoot down passenger planes.

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.

14 posted on 05/04/2014 12:34:12 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Frank_2001

Does the Logan Act apply?


15 posted on 05/04/2014 12:35:10 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Dogbert41

+1


16 posted on 05/04/2014 12:43:50 AM PDT by Southack (The one thing preppers need from the 1st World? http://tinyurl.com/ktfwljc .)
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To: wastoute
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17 posted on 05/04/2014 1:32:45 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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He was once an ordinary douche bag.


18 posted on 05/04/2014 1:38:11 AM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: Dogbert41
Interesting article. Sad that Al Jazeera has better reporting than American media.

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.

19 posted on 05/04/2014 3:51:12 AM PDT by Mogger (Independence, better fuel economy and performance with American made synthetic oil.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“If somebody pointed a gun at you and you had a gun in your pocket, what would you do?

Hit the perp?


20 posted on 05/04/2014 4:51:26 AM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Often we ‘joke’ here about liberals not seeing cause and effect. We’d say something like this when imitating a liberal: “Despite the crime rate being way down, more people than ever are locked up in jail.”

Then we’d giggle, knowing they can’t be that stupid.

Then you read this from the piece:

“While gun violence has markedly declined following heightened crime in the ’90s, incarceration rates haven’t returned to earth, nearly quintupling since the early ’70s, making Americans the most imprisoned people in the world.”


21 posted on 05/04/2014 4:54:28 AM PDT by BobL
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To: B4Ranch

“It’s time to play Cowboys and Communists.”

YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeHahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......

IMHO


22 posted on 05/04/2014 5:09:30 AM PDT by ripley
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
...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.”

Barry, the "Magnificent" on July 2, 2008 in Colorado Springs:

"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a Civilian National Security Force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

23 posted on 05/04/2014 5:14:37 AM PDT by Perseverando (Obamanation: It's ALL about PEOPLE CONTROL!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Li’l Mikey needs to get roughed up on the street one day soon. Not hurt. Just roughed up.


24 posted on 05/04/2014 5:32:40 AM PDT by Oratam
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To: B4Ranch

Thank you thank you thank you!
I am downloading these to study with my son. - and daughter.


25 posted on 05/04/2014 5:51:45 AM PDT by bill1952 (taxes don't hurt the rich, they keep YOU from becoming rich.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The fallacy ‘s his assumption that he will be alive to spend the money


26 posted on 05/04/2014 6:01:12 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Wow! Very well written. Bookmarking for future propagation.


27 posted on 05/04/2014 7:17:18 AM PDT by Toadman (To anger a Conservative, tell a lie. To anger a liberal, tell the truth.)
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To: sickoflibs; NFHale; GOPsterinMA

Ping


28 posted on 05/04/2014 9:12:08 PM PDT by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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