Everytown John Feinblatt
John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety (Photo by: Demis Maryannakis/STAR MAX/IPx via AP)

By Larry Keane

Gun control groups are spending not just big, but “bigly.”

Open Secrets’ Krystal Hur reported that “Spending on gun control lobbying surged about 21 percent from January through March, compared with the same period in 2020, to $630,000. Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit largely funded and co-launched by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, topped the list of industry lobbyist spenders for the 10th year in a row with $380,000.

Shannon Watts

“Gun control group Giffords came in second with $150,000.”

That’s on top of the nearly $25 million Open Secrets reported gun control groups spent to get their favorite politicians elected in 2020. Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety topped that list with $17 million.

Paid Actors

The coincidental spending by gun control groups and the insistence on restrictive laws by gun control politicians is only too obvious. The U.S. House of Representatives passed two gun control bills within days of Congress convening – one to require so-called “universal background checks” (a necessary pre-cursor to national gun registration) and the other to endlessly delay background check determinations.

Brady Kris Brown
Brady President Kris Brown (YouTube screen grab)

They were passed on near-party lines and with no committee debate. Both bills went straight to the House floor and were rubber-stamped and sent to the U.S. Senate.

President Joe Biden recently took to the White House Rose Garden to demand Congress pass gun control measures. He spewed half-truths and complete fabrications about the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) and background checks for gun sales at gun shows.

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Merrick Garland
President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

At the same event President Biden announced he would propose rules to change the definition of what is a firearm, to allow government control of nearly every aspect of selling firearm parts and another proposal to reclassify AR pistols as short-barrel rifles and regulate them under the 1934 National Firearms Act.

Then there is the litany of gun control bills that have been introduced. They cover the spectrum, from national gun registration to outright bans on commonly owned firearms.

Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler

The political spending in the first quarter, however, raises serious questions as to what the gun control groups are trying to buy. If those groups already have the White House and Congress in their pockets, what more do they want?

Fire Sale

They’re looking to buy a directorship. They need their guy at the helm of the bureau that regulates the gun industry. That guy is President Biden’s nominee David Chipman. He’s literally a paid gun control lobbyist who is still collecting a check from Giffords gun control group and serving on an advisory board to Everytown. He’s been nominated to be the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

David Chipman
Biden’s nominee as Director of ATF, David Chipman (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Follow the money, as the saying goes. Gun control made large campaign contributions to elect candidates to Congress and to put their guy in the White House. They grabbed both chambers of Congress, but not by the margins they need to enact their gun control agenda.

President Biden ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to rework the definition of a firearm, giving the ATF, the regulatory bureau for firearms and ammunition, greater latitude in deciding what can and can’t be sold.

That’s what an extra $630,000 gets you. It’s an insurance policy on the $25 million “investment” already made to make sure it pays off.

It’s costing them pennies on the dollar, but it may cost Americans their constitutional rights.

 

Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

 

45 COMMENTS

  1. What does the gun Control industry buy? Sheets, pointed hats, crosses, matches, whips, chains, rope, propaganda, etc.

  2. Everytown only got $380K? Didn’t one third of that go to Shannon Watts? Seems like no money is really being targeted to Everytown or MDA.

  3. It’s not really Joe Biden”s fault. He is a bumbling Senile idiot that that parrots what his handlers tell him to say. Joe probably doesn’t even comprehend what he is attempting to read off his teleprompter.

    • I agree with the second part, but he was an evil bastard before he lost his faculties. He would agree to this if his synapses would cooperate.

      • Correct. He has always been an evil bastard; Now, he is an aged, semi-senile evil old bastard fully aware of his own limitations, and also fully dedicated to the belief that his evil bastardy must go forward. Therefore, he is happy to sublet his evil bastardy to more vigorous, younger evil bastards so that they may continue his brand of evil bastardy in perpetuity.

        I mean that in the kindest, most bipartisan manner possible, of course.

    • I think his speeches would go better if the teleprompter was turned around so viewers can read it for themselves.

      Listening to Creepy Joe try to read the teleprompter is cringeworthy.

  4. I’m actually glad that the Left is being so bold and playing their cards like this. It helps fence sitters to more easily see the Dems and anti-liberty groups for what they are. No more wondering if these politicians over there are hiding daggers under their coats with which to stab you in the back. Now they’re openly holding swords and coming your way.

    And yes…I wrote that analogy this way on purpose, to highlight the irony of using the threat of weapons against us to…well…take our weapons.

    • The best thing we can do now is pretend to play along with their *massive* spending bills as long as possible, and then run out the clock before the mid-term elections and their control of the lower house evaporates into thin air.

      Even better if we then control the upper house and simply put an end to their ability to seat federal justices, including SCOTUS pics if there’s an unexpected opening…

    • Your periodic reminder that this fool likes to hassle Subway managers and Wal-Mart front line workers about insignificant bs. Oh, and he’s a coward who skipped out on 1/6 Freedom Day.

      • Oh, Hail, the very fact that you’ve been keeping detailed notes on comments I made a full year ago just warms my heart.

        I have my very own TTAG groupie. 🙂

        • “I have my very own TTAG groupie. 🙂”

          Enjoy the adulation as much as I do!

          Remember when he was convinced you and I were the same person? 😉

  5. A lot of people sure bought a lot of gunms in the last two years.
    I think Bloomberg missed the boat on gunm control.
    theBiden should be impeached and if not that at least excommunicated from the Catholic Church. What a dick weed two faced lier. How can you be a “real” catholic or anyone for that matter proclaiming religion, that holds the bible in one hand and a sword for the babies in the other.
    He prays to God to get a wish to bring down gunm companies, not world peace, hunger or strife, but to infringe a constitutional right.
    Evil,
    if I had the capacity to hate I would wish him ill.

    • “Evil,
      if I had the capacity to hate I would wish him ill.”

      No worries, I’ll be happy to carry your hate as well as mine… 😉

  6. To get the ad hominem out of the way- that “Everytown” president needs to invest in some teeth whitening. Looks like he’s British.

    Love the picture of Shannon that makes her appear ‘tarded.

    And Kris Brown pic just screams “moon-bat!”

    Chipman has the most punchable face I’ve seen in a while. Total D-bag that deserves the Vicki Weaver treatment.

  7. It would be interesting to know how much cheddar Watts and others are taking home for their association with Bloomberg. She was well-heeled even before she signed on with him, but I suspect she’s now a millionaire several times over by now.

  8. I don’t believe their money is being spent wisely. They should cut off all that nonsense until the main questions have been properly researched. For example, if they would just send me, say, a half-million bucks, I could amass a team and produce polls which demonstrate beyond any question … well … whatever you wish demonstrated. And you could have the results in less than a week after I get my money. THAT is what they spend their money on, when they cannot arrange for the taxpayer to pay them to do it. Which is normal.

  9. Yep they are buying politicians and hoping they stay bought long enough to get that Chipman Jackass into the ATF Director post.

  10. “They’re looking to buy a directorship.” It is an interesting thesis. Yet, it MIGHT NOT be the MOST persuasive.

    I’ll concede that Mike Bloomberg really might wonder, from time to time, “Ahhh, but if I were king!” Yet, I doubt that this is really a goal he pursues consistently. More likely, he thinks: “Ahhh, but if Progressives dictated all public policy!” Yet, I think, there is an alternative analysis which I believe has more explanatory value.

    Fundamentally, there might be two alternative objectives to spending money toward political control: Economic; and, “Religious”.

    Anyone with an economic or “industrial” interest will pay politicians for a monopoly or some concession of comparable value. Here, the pay-off is clear-cut; it’s intrinsically rational. By “investing” in what he perceives to be “good government” he gets a pay-off which he can measure quantitatively. Or, he fails to get it. This process is purely rational. The pay-back period must be short enough (1 year, 5 or 10 years) to make it possible to know that the money spent on Congress-critter X is well invested. This is NOT like investing in a dynasty where “If I could be king!” has the pay-off that my son will inherit the throne and after him my grandson, and so forth.

    Another may be interested in making, say, Climate Change the Established Church of America. It’s nothing more than an idea with no necessary economic pay-off. Certainly not one within the investment horizon of any living “investor”. I believe, therefore I invest in Congress-critter X. Here, the pay-off is nebulous; it’s intrinsically irrational.

    Bloomberg’s financial interests are in information services to the financial industry. I can’t imagine that he sees any direct pay-off of investing in gun-control so as to protect his investment in Bloomberg LP. This explanation just doesn’t tie-out as economic.

    For whatever reason, Michael Bloomberg must BELIEVE that the world would be a better place if only guns could be kept out of the hands “of those who shouldn’t have them.” Moreover, he further believes that such a goal COULD really be accomplished through the means he seems to be pursuing.

    How do we understand this hypothesis? It seems irrational. That’s because it IS irrational. Why should we be surprised? The history of mankind is chronicled by “religious” beliefs: paganism; Judaism; polytheism; Christianity; Islam and so forth. Each splintered into sub-sects as familiar to Christendom. If the human mind can adhere “religiously” to various spiritual beliefs why not to a belief in either gun-control or gun-rights?

    Arms-control has a long and successful history throughout the world; much of it to the considerable success of kings and emperors. Why would anyone resist the appeal of such a popular idea? Popular to the serfs who traded their means to self-defense for the (empty) promise of protection against domestic and foreign threats. Popular to the rulers who maintained a monopoly on the means of force; and “marketed” that monopoly to a captive market.

    America’s experiment in “the right of the People to keep and bear arms” is still relatively short-lived. Moreover, it hasn’t worked-out perfectly. It didn’t prevent the Civil War. It operated to the disadvantage of native Americans and then Blacks. It doesn’t work perfectly today when clearly Blacks suffer the greatest burden from homicide and attempted homicide. (Here, we have to ignore that whites do more suicide by guns than Blacks.) If it’s NOT Utopia, there must be some better way; look over there and there and there where they don’t have America’s problems such as gun-suicide or gun-homicide. (Never mind suicide or homicide by other means; we’re analyzing guns here.)

    So, once you adhere to a particular belief it is clearly possible to maintain this belief while ignoring evidence that ought to make you skeptical; critical about some aspects of your belief.

    The foregoing discuses the view from the contributor class. Where is the homo economicus (industrialist) who has a rational interest in contributing to a politician’s gun-control plank? I hold he is NOT to be found in the gun-control debate.

    There IS, on the other hand, the TRUE BELIEVER eager to contribute to any gun-control program. The “religious” fanatic. He simply needs to find the best politician money can buy.

    And these are readily found in the marketplace for politicians. They will gladly sell their votes. To them, contributions are free money; provided one don’t lose more gun-rights voters than he maintains by adhering in solidarity with his main base.

    A politician is in the business of selling his votes to the highest bidder. He is, almost certainly, agnostic about any issue he votes on. He is selling his vote to the contributor willing to pay the highest price but not at the expense of losing an election. Who pays more? Bloomberg? Or, NRA-ILA?

    The question for the contributor SHOULD always be: Will my politician be a faithLESS agent for the change I desire? So long as the party in control of the process is able to juggle the vote-counting (whipping), that party can manage to just LOSE a bill’s passage without doing enough damage to any of its members’ likelihood of continuing to milk his contributor base for more money.

    The party in control can manage a bill in such a way to keep the ball rolling. E.g., the NICS Instant Background Check provision in exchange for eliminating the 10-day waiting period. They “won” background checks even though they had to compromise on the waiting period. The AWB. They “won” on scary-looking guns in exchange for a 10-year sunset.

    Suppose, as purely a hypothetical, they managed to pass a bill that would substantially satisfy the gun-controllers. Let’s assume SCOTUS wouldn’t strike-it-down. In this purely hypothetical case, the party in control would certainly NOT want to pass such a bill. It would END the basis to solicit contributions from major donors on that particular issue! It would be antithetical to their interests.

    By pursuing an incrementalist strategy, mostly unsuccessfully, yet sometimes with some success, they keep the contributions flowing. As such, perhaps the most interesting question is: Is the Democrat Party and some RINOs taking Bloomberg and other controllers “for a ride”?

    • MarkPA,

      I think you are looking far too deeply into the situation.

      I present two simple objectives which align swimmingly with civilian disarmament:

      1) Weakening the Working Class so that the Ruling Class can increase their exploitation of the Working Class–which increases the Ruling Class’ power.

      2) Helping society to burn (both figuratively and literally)–simply for the sadistic pleasure of creating and admiring chaos and suffering.

      Most people categorically reject that second point without actually pondering it or considering any evidence. When you look with fresh eyes, it truly does explain a huge amount of policy, law, and political correctness that various entities push on society.

  11. They’re buying more custom suits for Wayne LaPierre, next question.

    Oh, and they are also having one of the NRA guys meeting for photo ops with Shannon Watts from Ho’s Demand Action.

    Yes, I did call them ho’s, but they would have ATF agents kicking down my door and ransacking my house to confiscate all of my guns. They deserve whatever I call them.

  12. Do not forget that the NRA is also a gun control organization. They just hide it better than “Ho’s Demand Action” and “Every town that feels better if murder victims are stabbed or beaten to death instead of being shot.”

    Do not forget that the NFA (1934), the GCA of 1968 (which was copied almost verbatim from the gun control acts in Nazi Germany), the machine gun ban of 1986, the GFSZA in 1990, and the AWB of 1994 ALL passed with the tacit approval of the NRA.

    Luckily, the NRA are showing their true colors, and gun owners are FINALLY beginning to notice. It is only a matter of time before Bloomberg starts donating to them.

    • would appear the NRA is feeling the heat from competing organizations that actually get things done….

  13. What’s the difference between the current antigun nominee, Chipman, who is opposed by the NSSF, and the prior antigun nominee’ Canterbury’ who they supported? Both publically advocated “assault weapons bans” and magazine limits. Was it just Canterbury’s support of their gun lock program that got him their stamp of approval? Did Chipman miss out because he didn’t testify at Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings that she would be a great 2A supporter?

    • Anymouse,

      You would be wise to remember that the National Shooting Sports Foundations is a firearms industry trade association whose only goal is maximizing firearm/ammunition sales.

      And you would be wise to realize that maximizing sales means capitulating and “supporting” infringements on our inalienable right to effective self-defense when government is hostile to firearm sales. (The strategy being to placate government and ensure some sales rather than risk a complete ban on firearm sales for failing to “play ball”.)

      The lesson: the National Shooting Sports Foundation is NOT an advocacy group for our inalienable right to effective self-defense.

    • why would anyone in the ATF want to have their name associated with Waco?…not exactly their finest hour….

  14. “spending bigly, but what are they buying?”

    Elections. Foreign intervention. Cyber warfare. Censorship. Biological attacks (cough, covid), surveillance (alexa, is that you?).

    What the fuck do you think they are buying, lawyers? lol… what a waste of money.

    Oh, wait, that’s just shit ALL American politicians invest in to further their careers… not just anti-gun elites…

  15. Really?

    “That’s on top of the nearly $25 million Open Secrets reported gun control groups spent to get their favorite politicians elected in 2020. Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety topped that list with $17 million.”

    Oh my gosh, $25 million in an election year, that’s outrageous!

    Why, the NRA only spent double that amount in 2016…

    “Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that the PAC and nonprofit arms of the NRA spent a combined $54.4 million in the 2016 elections. Most of that spending, $35.2 million, was channeled through the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), the powerful lobbying arm of the NRA.”

    Swallow an elephant, choke on a gnat.

    So only the NRA can spend millions in lobbying?

    What a bunch of whiny right wing snowflakes. I thought the conservatives were happy with the Supreme Court citizens United decision, authorizing virtually unlimited dark money contributions to America’s elections.

  16. I know what they aren’t buying and that’s honor, self respect, dignity, morality, freedom or truth.

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