A mere 10 days after former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his new anti-gun coalition Everytown for Gun Safety in the New York Times, former Pennsylvania Gov. and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, one of the most prominent members of its advisory board, has resigned from the group.
No one should be surprised.
“When I signed on as an adviser to Everytown,” Ridge said, “I looked forward to a thoughtful and provocative discussion about the toll gun violence takes on Americans. After consultation with Everytown, I have decided that I am uncomfortable with their expected electoral work.”
It’s an early embarrassment for Bloomberg’s latest effort to buy the Second Amendment back from the Constitution, but one that is sure to be repeated over the coming months — if Everytown even lasts that long.
The new group is in fact a rebranding and consolidation of two previous attempts at gun control, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action — both of which failed demonstrably to achieve any notable legislative victories.
But more to the point, they went about their business by fighting partisan rather than practical battles.
Everytown for Gun Safety continues the pattern. While the name implies that the group intends to put its money and resources behind gun safety measures, Bloomberg’s actual mission is to “outmuscle the NRA” (which incidentally represents law-abiding gun owners and not criminals) and target legislators and candidates who do not submit to his particular prescriptions for increased gun control.
In one of Everytown’s first social media campaigns, the group in fact targeted yours truly, mobilizing their members to take to Twitter with the hashtag #EmptyCupp.
I’m not sure if attacking a law-abiding gun owner — who practices and could teach lessons in gun safety — is the best way to promote gun safety. (I’m also skeptical that #CuteHashtags will lower #GunCrime, but #WhoKnows?)
If Bloomberg has revealed anything over the past few years, it’s that, despite lots of rhetoric about keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals, law-abiding gun owners are the true intended targets of his campaigns.