Published On: Fri, Apr 18th, 2014

Michael Bloomberg to Fight for Gun Control

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced plans to spend $50 million to promote gun control laws in the U.S.

michael-bloomberg / Getty

Bloomberg, 72, who has an estimated net worth of more than $31 billion, served for three terms as Mayor of America’s largest city and the financial capital of the world from January 2002 – January 2014.

This is a direct response to the political lobbying carried out by America’s National Rifle Association, which has long opposed any restrictions on the purchase of firearms. Bloomberg will form a new voter network to promote stricter laws which would require background checks on anyone buying a gun.

Michael Bloomberg has had previous attempts a working for gun control that were not successful. He once spent $12 million lobbying the U.S. Senate. This time Bloomberg is forming a new organization called Everytown for Gun Safety which will bring together already existing gun control groups such as, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Everytown intends to copy the NRA’s methods. Its fund will be used to get pro gun control voters to the polls on Election Day. It will emphasize background checks and not try to promote gun bans as such efforts have proven fruitless in the U.S. Congress.

Everytown will also lobby state and local lawmakers as well as corporate boards. It will concentrate on fifteen states, such as Washington and Colorado, where it feels that its activities will be the most effective.

In a statement on Bloomberg.com, Everytown said that it, “asks Americans to join the fight to end gun violence that kills 86 Americans every day. Events across the country today will launch the Gun Sense Voter campaign to turn out one million gun safety voters in November and beyond.”

Bloomberg told NBC’s Today Show that, “thirty one thousand Americans either get murdered or commit suicide with illegal guns. That’s a heavy Lift.” He also said that, “This is not a battle of dollars. This is a battle for the hearts and minds of America so that we can protect our children, protect innocent people.”

On the NRA’s activities Bloomberg told the New York Times that, “They say we [the NRA] don’t care. We’re going after you. If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. We’ve got to make them afraid of us.”

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Control Sense in America, gave a statement to Reuters. “I think the NRA should be very afraid, ” she said. “The gun lobby has done a good job over the last 30 years of making a local minority afraid that people would take their guns away.”

Forbes estimates Bloomberg’s personal fortune at $31.2 billion and lists him as the 29th wealthiest person in the world. He is said to be the eleventh wealthiest American. The New York Times described Bloomberg as referring to the $50 million he is putting up for the project “as if he were describing the tip he left on a restaurant check.”

The NRA is estimated to spend only $20 million a year on its own campaigns. It has 5 million members.

Michael Bloomberg is known for supporting liberal causes. As mayor of New York he placed harsh restrictions on the sale of cigarettes including higher taxes and he also attempted to ban super sized sodas. Bloomberg has also donated to environmental causes.

Michael Bloomberg spent more than $100 million of his own fortune on his three campaigns for mayor of New York. He was rumored to have been considering an independent run for President of the United States in both 2008 and 2012. He is still considered a possible contender in 2016.

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