“Gun control-related ballot measures in four states are expected to pass on Tuesday, opinion polls show,” reuters.com reports. And whom do we blame if all these gun control initiatives pass, further degrading Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms? The voters, of course! And an education system that failed to educate them about the Second Amendment (and the history of civilian disarmament). And the media, for propagating anti-gun rights propaganda. And somebody else . . .
Michael Bloomberg. The anti-ballistic billionaire bully boy and former mayor of New York City has poured millions into anti-gun rights ballot initiatives and candidates. Helpfully enough, Bloomberg’s personal anti-gun rights media outlet, The Trace, has traced the boss’s spending on civilian disarmament. And the bucks levied by Bloomberg’s well-heeled supporters, Mark Kelley’s Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS) and the NRA. Here’s the balance sheet:
California Proposition 63 would prohibit the possession of large capacity magazines and require background checks for ammunition purchases, among other proposed reforms. The California Democratic Party spent $1.1 million on its behalf; Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom chipped in $727,564 from his war chest. Many wealthy individuals also contributed six-figure sums, including Napster founder Sean Parker ($400,000). The NRA spent only $95,000 in opposition to Prop 63, with three state gun groups adding a total of $133,000 against it.
Maine Question 3 would require background checks for all gun sales and transfers (with exceptions for family members, hunting, or emergency self-defense). The funders on the gun violence prevention side include Everytown, which has spent $5.6 million (including money from its Maine affiliate), and ARS, which has spent $454,459. The NRA has dominated spending on the opposing side, with $949,359.
Nevada Question 1 would require all gun sales to go through a licensed gun dealer who would conduct a background check. Everytown has spent $13.7 in support of the proposal; one of its founders, Michael Bloomberg, donated another $3.5 million. Businessmen Sean Parker, Nick Hanauer, and Josh Bekenstein have each spent at least $250,000 in support of the measure. The NRA spent $6.5 million against it.
Washington’s Initiative 1491 authorizes courts to issue extreme risk protection orders to temporarily remove guns from individuals who threaten to harm themselves or others. Spending in support of the initiative has come largely from three individuals: Hanauer ($790,000), Steve Ballmer ($500,000), and Paul Allen ($250,000). Everytown spent $550,0000; ARS spent $250,000. There is of yet no record of NRA spending in opposition.
Can gun control be bought? Watch this space.