Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely – so said Lord Acton. We’ve also been told that money is power, and that money is the root of all sorts of evil. When you add all of those bits of wisdom together, it paints a picture of the current Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg is one of the wealthiest men in the world. He has used his billions to buy and hold his office as Mayor of NYC, where he has instituted policies and practices completely beyond the scope of lawful government and in direct opposition to the restrictions of the US Constitution. Not only has Bloomberg decreed that his subjects may not purchase large soda drinks and that his Pretorian Guard may “stop and frisk” anyone they choose – at any time, for any reason or for no particular reason – he has also used the power of his office and apparently the city’s taxpayers money to advance his own dream of restrictive firearm laws across the nation.
Did wealth and power turn Bloomberg into a megalomaniac? Or did megalomania drive him to wealth and power. It’s impossible to say for certain, but either way, there can be no doubt that the wealth and power has fueled the arrogance and self-righteousness to levels rarely seen in American history. Unfortunately, the man’s immense personal fortune, and willingness to apply it to his own idea of “nation-building” makes his god-complex particularly dangerous.
Bloomberg has decided that his destiny is to lead our nation out of the burden of individual liberty and personal responsibility, and into the peace of conformity, subjugation, and dependency. Through his disingenuously named organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, or MAIG, he has launched a personal crusade against America’s gun owners. In just the past few months, Bloomberg has spent several millions of his own money, along with millions of other people’s money, to advance his ill-conceived notion of civilian disarmament.
Like so many other politicians today, Bloomberg claims to support the Second Amendment, and dismisses suggestions that he wants to disarm Americans, but in the same breath calls for restrictions and bans that do just that. From criminalizing private firearm transfers and registering guns and gun owners, to rationing guns, banning the most popular firearms in the country, and restricting magazine capacity, Bloomberg has never met a gun control law that he doesn’t support. Only the political realities of the moment limit his calls for restrictions, and he is actively working to shift those realities in order to empower his restrictive ideas. His ability and willingness to pour money into campaigns for or against candidates who support or oppose his anti-rights agenda has some politicians groveling at his feet while others cower in corners and trying not to attract his attention.
Some will compare Bloomberg and his money to the NRA. They too spend millions supporting or opposing candidates, but there’s an important difference: Bloomberg is a wealthy individual trying to bring his personal vision to fruition. The NRA is a membership organization of millions of responsible gun owners. At its best, the NRA reflects the will of the members who elect directors and participate in the governance of their organization. The power of the NRA does not lie in its money, but in the individuals who supply that money and, more importantly, work to advance the organization’s goals. Bloomberg’s crusade is not driven by millions – or even thousands – of committed individuals, but rather the ambition of one man who literally pays people to actively support his agenda.
Thankfully, in recent weeks, the façade of Bloomberg’s activities has begun to droop. His organization was embarrassed when rights supporters pointed out that his “Astroturf” organization was referring to the Boston Marathon bomber killed by police as a “victim of gun violence.” That embarrassment grew when analysis showed that about one in every twelve names of “victims of gun violence” read in the Bloomberg-sponsored “No More Names” bus tour was actually a criminal.
Now the New York Post has reported that Bloomberg has been using taxpayer funds to host his MAIG web site and to pay for MAIG lobbying in support of restrictive gun laws in Nevada – and possibly elsewhere. In response to that, the Second Amendment Foundation and my friend Tom Gresham, host of the popular “Gun Talk” radio program, have filed a New York Freedom of Information Law request, demanding the release of all records in the city’s possession regarding MAIG and its subsidiaries and supporters. We suspect that the information – if it’s ever actually turned over – will show that Bloomberg has been using city funds for his pet project all along, and that New York City taxpayers have been funding the lobbying of numerous state legislatures on matters that have no direct bearing on the city. It may even reveal enough incriminating evidence to bring Emperor Bloomberg up on charges, and hopefully shut down his operations for good.