Energized by the complete takeover of the Virginia Legislature Tuesday by Democrats, the gun prohibition lobby hit their email lists Wednesday with a message suggesting they believe the best is yet to come, which translates to bad news for gun owners.
Anti-gun Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was already on CNN Wednesday promising to reintroduce his gun control agenda, which includes a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and “high volume magazines,” but also safe storage, a resurrection of one-gun-a-month, and other restrictions.
“The results in Virginia just gave a huge momentum boost for gun safety in the 2020 elections,” said Everytown for Gun Safety’s John Feinblatt in a prepared message. “But only if we have the resources to keep winning. And with the NRA’s political action committee on pace to raise a record amount of money this year, we need your help to make sure we can keep beating the gun lobby and the candidates they have in their pocket.”
There’s not a word in the message about all the money spent in Virginia. According to CNBC, Everytown, which it says is “funded largely by billionaire Michael Bloomberg,” spent $2.5 million “to influence voters in Virginia” while the National Rifle Association, which is based in that state, spent about $300,000.
This confirms what rights activists have been saying since before the September Gun Rights Policy Conference in Phoenix: Bloomberg and other wealthy elitists have “weaponized their wealth.”
“Not only did we beat the NRA in their own home state,” Feinblatt’s message said, “but these victories will ensure that Gun Sense Candidates will now hold the power to pass legislation to protect families in the Commonwealth from gun violence.”
A defiant NRA issued the following statement Wednesday:
“As if Gov. Northam’s legacy of ineptitude wasn’t enough, Virginians are about to experience life under a distant tycoon’s thumb. Candidates who proudly accepted Bloomberg’s cash—and every voter they misled—will soon realize the cost of being beholden to a Manhattan billionaire who despises Virginians’ right to self-defense. Fortunately, many NRA-backed candidates in Virginia, New Jersey, Kentucky and Mississippi prevailed over their Bloomberg-funded opponents. As the battle continues, so does the NRA’s defense of the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.” –NRA
Just how far anti-gunners will go to sway voters may be seen in an email blast at the far end of the country. The Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility fired up its email list with a message about a report from the Joint Economic Committee in Congress that reportedly calculates the “state-by-state toll of the gun violence epidemic in America.”
“Right here in Washington State,” says the unsigned Alliance message, “717 people every year are killed by gun violence. That’s one precious life lost every 12 hours. And gun violence is costing Washingtonians $3.8 billion a year – that’s $544 a person.”
However, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, Washington state loses fewer than 150 people annually to homicide involving firearms. Last year, of the 232 people slain, 138 were killed with guns. In 2017, of the 228 murders reported, 134 involved firearms. In 2016, there were 195 homicides, but only 127 involved guns. Why is there such a disparity?
As reported by the Spokane Spokesman-Review in a March 2018 story, a newspaper analysis of state death records between 2010 and 2017 showed that 78 percent of gun-related deaths in Washington State were suicides, not crimes as might be suggested by the term “gun violence.”
Rights activists have long contended that combining suicide and homicide numbers, and even victims of accidents, is at best deceptive. Homicide, they say, is a crime of violence while suicide, by whatever means, is an act of emotional desperation. Combining the numbers produces a more sensational total, gun owners argue.
Is it deceptive to combine homicide, suicide and accidental death figures and call it “gun violence?”
The Alliance is using this message as a fund raiser, to raise money for its activities related to political activities in 2020. That may include fending off an initiative attempt to repeal gun control Initiative 1639, which is also being challenged in federal court.
The message included this assertion: “The racial divide persists, making a young black male 20 times more likely to be murdered by gun violence than a white peer.”
People are murdered by other people, rights advocates argue, not by inanimate objects or political catch phrases.
Earlier in the week, Dan Gross, former president of the Brady Campaign, told Liberty Park Press that many people in the gun control movement have “an ideological hatred of guns and people who own them.”