Bloomberg’s Folks Just Can’t Make Up Their Mind

Michael Bloomberg’s appearance in Greensboro tomorrow was originally slated to be at his campaign headquarters at 300 S. Elm St.

Then it got changed to the Community Theatre of Greensboro at 520 S. Elm St.

As of this afternoon, the location for Bloomberg to bestow his oratory upon the citizens of the Gate City has been changed – again. It is now the Cadillac Service Garage at 304 East Market Street.

From the Cadillac Service Garage website

I know the Cadillac Service Garage is a wedding and event venue. However, for the 9th richest person in America to hold a campaign event at something that has “Cadillac” in its name, shows a degree of tone deafness that is hard to comprehend. I know Cadillac has lost a bit of its allure but it is still fairly synonymous with wealthy.

As to why the venue keeps changing, perhaps they have become aware that a warm North Carolina welcome is planned for Mini Mike by Grass Roots North Carolina and they are trying to confuse those planning to attend the protest.

As if!

So if you plan to “welcome” Mini Mike to the Gate City, remember it is at 304 East Market Street.

Also, his 7:30am Winston-Salem location has been changed from Campus Gas to Footnote Coffee & Cocktails at 634 W. 4th St, Ste 120 for those who can’t make the Greensboro “welcome”.

#2A Selfies

Among the many things President Trump is known for include his use of social media and his use of his three oldest children as advisors. A number of weeks back I remember Mr. Trump telling 60 Minutes that he had 28 million followers of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

This got me to thinking about how we in the gun culture at the grassroots could use this to advance our Second Amendment rights. Mr. Trump owes us in the gun culture for our support throughout the general election campaign in return for his promises of supporting the Second Amendment. I’d wager, though I haven’t seen any hard statistics, that Mr. Trump’s pro-gun stance helped him eke out wins in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

My idea is to use social media and in particular Twitter and Instagram to communicate our grassroots message to Mr. Trump and his kids. For it to be effective, it has to go viral.

Simplicity is the key. While I have a whole list of things I want, picking 2-3 is more effective. It is also more readable in a picture which I have found out by experimentation. See the difference below. The first is my laundry list and the second is the top things I want.

Large List
Highlighted List

Shadows or not, I think the second picture is more effective as it shows that a person is standing behind it and has a limited list.

All you need to participate is a phone with a camera, a Twitter account, and/or an Instagram account. I would urge you to do both. The photo doesn’t need to look professional and indeed I think it is better if it didn’t. Post the picture with this hashtag –  #2ASelfie.

Your post needs to include your selfie, the hashtag, and the following addresses:

For Twitter:

  • @potus
  • @whitehouse
  • @realdonaldtrump
  • @donaldjtrumpjr
  • @erictrump
  • @ivankatrump
  • @(fill in your Representative’s Twitter handle)
For Instagram:
  • @whitehouse
  • @realdonaldtrump
  • @donaldjtrumpjr
  • @erictrump
  • @ivankatrump
  • @(fill in your Representative’s Instagram name)
Remember that Twitter has an 140 character limit. Instagram, to the best of my knowledge, doesn’t have a character limit.

Forward this post to your friends and family who support the Second Amendment. Unlike the stuff that comes out of Bloomberg’s Everytown or the Brady Campaign, this really is a grassroots effort. Again, we need this to go viral. If it goes viral, it will have more of an impact than any Change.org petition.

Behind The Times

Virtually everyone knows by now that the renamed combo of the Illegal Mayors and Demanding Mommies didn’t secure the Everytown for Gun Safety Facebook page before their big announcement. Rather, it went to a pro-gun rights grassroots activist who was quicker on the uptake than they were. This happened despite their supposed expertise in social media as evidenced by their presentation called “Disrupting the Gun Lobby with Digital Organizing” at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival. The SXSW presenters included both Shannon Watts and Mark Glaze.

So when did EGS get their act together and establish their Facebook presence? On April 17th, two days after their big announcement.

And how are they doing in terms of likes? They have 9 likes versus 26,183 likes for the pro-gun Everytown for Gun Safety Facebook page.

Guerrilla tactics do work, and work well, when used against a larger, wealthier opponent who has no real idea what action at the grassroots level really means. Just like in Colorado where four pissed off guys successfully took on both Bloomberg and the Democratic Establishment to recall Sen. President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron, Everytown for Gun Safety and its over 100 local Facebook pages will cause Bloomberg to have to devote resources in order to get them taken down from Facebook. That is money that won’t be spent on ad campaigns or donated to gun prohibitionist candidates. We may lose the battle but we will win the war.

The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight

When you are a billionaire rolling out a new so-called grassroots organization funded with $50 million of your own money, you expect your underlings to have taken care of all the details.

Splashy story in the New York Times? Check.

Fancy new website? Check.

New YouTube video to get the message out? Check.

Facebook page for the new organization? Uhh….

It seems that if you go to Facebook and look for Everytown for Gun Safety you will go to a page actually devoted to gun safety and not gun control. The page lists the Four Rules in its header and it includes links to the real grassroots gun safety organization: the National Rifle Association and its Gun Safety 101 page.

Buzzfeed even did an article on this move. And how did Mark Glaze, former Executive Director of Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors and current Executive Director of Everytown for Gun Safety react? With the predictable violent rhetoric of the gun prohibitionists:

When alerted to the presence of the page, a representative at Everytown for Gun Safety said that it wouldn’t be long before it disappeared from Facebook.

“Maybe they’d like to duel for it,” said Mark Glaze, the executive director of Everytown for Gun Safety. “I hear every person on our staff of 85 is a better shot than Wayne LaPierre. Or maybe a bidding war!”

We’re going through the proper process for transitioning our Demand Action page to ‘Everytown,’ which takes a few weeks, and acquiring trademark protection for both Everytown and Everytown for Gun Safety. Once that happens, we expect Facebook to shoo these cybersquattters politely off this name/page.”

Staff of 85? Shoo these (peon) cybersquatters? So much for their image of being a grassroots organization even though the mainstream media will try to push it for them.

So how do you fight a billionaire who wants to be king and impose his rules? If you are part of a grassroots movement that is willing to fight for its rights you use guerrilla tactics just like these guys did.  Kudos to them on their preemptive strike against the Bloomberg Death Star.

UPDATE: Sebastian has more on this here. There are now many state specific sites dealing with real gun safety.

In addition, let me point you to two new blogs. The first is by Rob Morse and is called Everytown for Gun Safety. The second is by yours truly and is named Everytown for (Real) Gun Safety. They were there for the taking. As that famous Tammany Hall politician George Washington Plunkett said, “He seen his opportunities and he took ’em.” It works for me.

One Of The Pro-Gun Extremists Behind The Recall? Not Quite

Given that the gun prohibitionists don’t know astroturf from the real grassroots, it is not surprising that the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is proclaiming Dudley Brown as “one of the pro-gun extremists behind the recall of CO State Senate President John Morse.” The Dudley Brown in question is the head of the National Association for Gun Rights and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

One of the men behind the recall of Morse and Giron? Not quite.

From the Denver Post in April when talk of a recall first surfaced:

Dudley Brown, director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, thinks the time and money would be better spent taking out Democrats in swing districts in the 2014 election.

From the Colorado politics website, Colorado Peak Politics, which posted this yesterday:

Neither the NRA nor Rocky Mountain Gun Owners did diddly squat to get the recalls on the ballot. These recalls, and most especially the Giron effort, were grassroots at their most raw.

 From the Denver Post’s The Spot blog which said this of Brown yesterday:

In April, as two recall efforts were already underway and there was talk of recalling Gov. John Hickenlooper and other Democrats, Brown said he wasn’t so sure recalling the politicians was the best strategy. He told The Denver Post then he thought the money would be better spent taking out Democrats in swing districts in the 2014 election.

From The Gazette of Colorado Springs in a feature on the grassroots organizers behind the recalls:

The four men behind the Colorado State Senate recalls on Friday laughed sardonically at the suggestion that outside interests – namely the GOP and NRA – are driving their campaigns to unseat four Democratic lawmakers.

“I think some people clamored for some help at the beginning,” said Victor Head, who led the successful campaign to force a recall election of Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo. “They said ‘where’s the heavy hitters, where is the big interest in this, this has national implications’ and they never showed up.”

 Have Dudley Brown and NAGR finally stepped up for the recall fight? Yes, they have as of late yesterday when they began running a 30 second spot seen here in the Colorado Springs TV market.

I’m glad to see Dudley Brown finally step up to the plate. However, to call him one of the people behind the recall is to totally diminish the hard work done on the ground by the actual grassroots activists like Victor Head of Pueblo, Tim Knight of Durango, Anthony Garcia of Brighton and Grand Junction attorney Erik Groves who organized the Basic Freedom Defense Fund.

Times Editorial Is Laughably Inaccurate

The editorial board of the New York Times wouldn’t know the difference between actual grass roots efforts and astroturfing if it bit them on their privileged asses. They show their ignorance in an unsigned editorial about the Colorado recall elections titled, “The Gun Lobby Takes Vengeful Aim.”

The ink was barely dry, however, before the National Rifle Association was vindictively pressing for recall votes against two supporters of the stronger law, the State Senate president, John Morse, of Colorado Springs, and State Senator Angela Giron of Pueblo.

The recall vote, set for Sept. 10, could hardly be more important as a barometer of whether the public, which repeatedly registers support for tougher gun controls in surveys, will show up at the ballot to defend politicians who bucked the gun lobby.

If by gun lobby the New York Times means gun owning constituents, then they might be correct. However, this is not what they mean and we all know it. Unlike the gun controls measures which were written and lobbied for by Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the threat of money to primary opponents of any Democrat who didn’t support them, the recall efforts have been actual grassroots efforts led by Coloradans.

The Basic Freedom Defense Fund was set up in February of this year to fight the gun control measures being financed by Bloomberg. After those measures were rammed through by Democrats, the Fund decided to start recall efforts against four Democrats. While the Times only mentions Morse and Giron, the recall effort also targeted State Sen. Mike McLachlan (D-Durango) and State Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Westminister). They were unsuccessful in getting enough signatures in the time allotted to force the recall of McLachlan and Hudak.

These politicians were targeted for two basic reasons. First, they were considered vulnerable due to close past elections. Second, they had ignored their constituents. Chris Wiggins of Shooter Ready Radio who lives in Pueblo told me over 1,000 constituents had turned up for a townhall meeting regarding gun control with State Sen. Angela Giron. Of these, less than two dozen spoke in support of gun control while the rest were adamantly opposed to the proposed measures which Giron ultimately supported.

Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) you may remember famously told his Democrat colleagues in the State Senate to ignore all the phone calls, emails, and letters from constituents and to vote for the gun control measures. This is the same Morse that the Times editorial calls “a respected Second Amendment proponent” and who states “Recalls are for unethical behavior, and not disagreements.” I would agree with Morse but would go on to say that his behavior has been unethical and that a recall for him is right and proper.

The Times editorial concludes by saying this is an opportunity to rebuff the NRA and the gun industry.

For all the message of risk for politicians embodied in the vengeful recall attempt, there is a parallel opportunity for the public to rebuff the gun industry. But enough voters must show up in defense of two lawmakers who conscientiously stood for public safety.

The gun lobby’s defeat in Colorado would send a stirring message to statehouses across the nation that the public must not be denied in demanding better gun safety.

What they really mean is that the gun owning peons in Colorado should sit down, shut up, and kow-tow to their “betters” who know whats best for them. I hate to tell the Times editorial board this but we fought a revolution over 200 years ago over similar attitudes. The rabble won against the world’s greatest army then and the rabble (aka the grassroots) will win again against Mayor Bloomberg and his bought and paid for minions in Colorado.

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

In a move that can only be considered imitating the National Rifle Association, Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors plan to “grade” legislators on how they vote on gun control as well as their public statements.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the nonprofit group financed by Bloomberg (I), will unveil a scoring system Tuesday to award lawmakers grades of A through F, much like the National Rifle Association, which has derived much of its power by deploying letter rankings against politicians at election time. The group’s strategists briefed The Washington Post on the plans ahead of Tuesday’s announcement.

“For decades, the NRA has done an admirable job of tracking to minute detail how members of Congress stand on gun bills. We’ve simply decided to do the same,” said Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is chaired by Bloomberg and is made up of more than 900 mayors from across the country.

 Glaze says they are trying to provide “guidance” to well-heeled donors who back gun control. The Washington Post notes that they are aiming this squarely at senators on the bubble in states like North Carolina and Montana. While their constituents do not back gun control, these senators depends on donations from states like New York and California to get elected or re-elected. This is the same threat that was used successively in Colorado against wavering Democrats.

The one thing that Bloomberg can’t imitate is the grassroots supporters of the NRA.

“The reason NRA scorecards are effective is that they have the weight of
approximately 5 million dues-paying members and tens of millions of
other supporters behind them,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said. In
a dig at Bloomberg, he added, “We’ll take that over the purse of one
billionaire any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”

 When I start seeing Friends of MAIG banquets and fundraisers, then and only then will I believe that there is significant grassroots support for gun control. Until then, I will keep pushing my legislators to earn their “F” from MAIG.

Another Example Of A Letter To Send

One of the administrators at The AK Forum, KrinkFreak,  has been posting a series of letters to send to Congress. The letter below is the sixth in the series. I look it as a comprehensive, everything and the kitchen sink, sort of letter. This is the sort of letter you might send if you want to hit all the bills. However, you could cut it apart and make it multiple letters by only referring to a couple of letters at a time.

Dear Elected Official,

I am writing to express my concerns with
the recent onslaught of Gun Control legislation introduced in the House
and Senate chambers. The legislation introduced by some lawmakers
seriously infringes on my rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment
of the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, I would like to address:

H.R.
21, NRA Members’ Gun Safety Act of 2013, Sponsor: Rep. James Moran,
D-VA. This would require background checks for every gun purchase,
require background checks on gun shop employees, bar those on the
terrorist watch list from buying firearms, require gun owners to report
to police when their guns are lost or stolen, and establish minimum
standards for concealed carry permits.
* This is nothing more than a
legislation “blitz” effort by the anti-gun legislators to sway public
opinion against law-abiding gunowners and to infringe upon the Second
Amendment. These requirements are already addressed in existing laws.
Enforce the existing laws, don’t waste time creating new ones.

H.R.
65, Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act of 2013, Sponsor:
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas. This would raise the age of Handgun
Eligibility to 21 and prohibit youth from possessing semi-automatic
weapons.
* Handgun Eligibility is already 21 years of age. Also,
youths already cannot legally own/purchase semi-automatic weapons, etc.
when under the age of 18. Enforce the existing laws, don’t waste time
creating new ones.

H.R. 133, Citizens Protection Act, Sponsor:
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. This would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones
Act of 1990, which makes illegal the possession of a gun on school
grounds or within 1,000 feet of a school.
* This legislation is one
of the few coming out Congress that makes sense. Repealing this law
would allow school teachers and administrators the ability to legally
carry firearms to protect students from criminal and mentally ill
persons that want to harm our children.

H.R. 321, Firearm Safety
and Public Health Research Act of 2013, Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney,
D-N.Y. This would amend the continuing resolution to add money for
research into gun violence.
* Will this taxpayer money be used to
research why video games depicting gun violence, blood, gore, etc. are
specifically targeted towards are children? Will this taxpayer money be
used to research why Hollywood glorifies gun violence, blood, gore,
etc. in the movies specifically targeted towards the American people?

H.R.
141, The Gun Show Loophole Closing Act, Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn McCarthy,
D-N.Y. This would require criminal background checks on all firearm
transactions at gun shows.
* Is the Federal Government going to
fund/provide free FBI NICS Background Checks for law-abiding citizens to
utilize when legally selling their firearm to another individual? Or
is this another example of the Federal Government forcing the America
people to purchase something as in the case of the Affordable Care Act?

H.R. 137, Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013, Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn
McCarthy, D-N.Y. This would require background checks for every gun
sale, make sure that those barred from buying firearms are listed in the
National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
* FBI NICS checks
are already required for the legal purchase of firearms at gun stores
that have Federal Firearms Licenses. Are you going to finally address
the issue of requiring the Mental Health Care agencies and law
enforcement agencies to identify persons with mental disorders, as well
as persons that are the subject of Protection Orders and convictions of
Domestic Violence to be identified in the NICS database? If so, I
applaud the effort.

S. 22, A Bill to Establish Background Checks
Procedures for Gun Shows, Sponsor: Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. This
would ensure that those who buy guns at gun shows undergo background
checks.
* Is the Federal Government going to fund/provide free FBI
NICS Background Checks for law-abiding citizens to utilize when legally
selling their firearm to another individual? Or is this another example
of the Federal Government forcing the America people to purchase
something as in the case of the Affordable Care Act?

S.150,
Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, Sponsor: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA. This bill
would stop the sale, manufacture and importation of 158 specifically
named military-style firearms and ammunition magazines that hold more
than 10 rounds. It would also ban an additional group of assault weapons
that accept detachable ammunition magazines and have at least one
military characteristic.
* This is nothing more than an assault on
law-abiding American citizen’s right to own guns under the Second
Amendment. Senator Feinstein’s measure would exempt weapons used by
government officials, law enforcement and retired law enforcement
personnel. Is this a precursor to effectively disarming the American
people and paving the way for wholesale government tyranny?

In
summary, as a law-abiding American citizen I am deeply concerned and
fearful of what our elected officials are trying to legislate in
Congress. I recommend that all elected officials read and refresh their
memory on the content of the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Bill
of Rights. I encourage you to focus your legislative efforts on
addressing the problems plaguing the mental health system, not the
Second Amendment.

As my elected official, as a law-abiding
citizen, I expect your support in protecting my Second Amendment rights.
If you cannot support me, I cannot support you in future elections.

Respectfully,

YOUR NAME

Here are a couple of the links where you can find the names and addresses of your state’s US Senators. First, by state, from the US Senate’s webpage.
Click on the senator’s name to be linked to their home page. From there
you can find their fax numbers. Second, the NRA-ILA has a “write your
reps” address locator. It can be found here. Either way, write them, call them, AND fax them.

As I said, I will be posting more letters. I have a handful that have been sent to me by readers and I need to get those up. If you have a letter that you like, please send it to me at jpr9954 AT gmail DOT com.

Sample Letter Opposing Senate Gun Control Bills

One of the problems in keeping up the pressure weekly on Senators and Representatives is coming up with new ways to say “no more gun control”. Below is a letter that I sent today to both of my senators. I took the approach that magazine restrictions and bans on AR-15s are anti-woman and anti-family which it is. How many Senators want to be seen as being anti-woman and anti-family?

Both the Complementary Spouse and I have North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permits. I used that in the intro to illustrate that we were the “good guys”. If you have a CCW, say so. If not, leave that part out.

I sent my letters by fax to both their Washington office and one of their in-state offices. I used fax rather than the mail or email for a couple of reasons. First, due to the anthrax scare after 9-11, it takes regular mail a week at least to be delivered to an office. Second, a fax is instantaneous. Finally, I think a signed fax, since it takes a little more effort, gets more attention than an email.

The letter below can be cut and pasted into your own word processing program. I have put parantheses around the areas which can be filled in or left out. If you are a woman, I’d make sure to say so.

Senator (fill in blank)
US Senate
By fax

Dear Senator (fill in blank),

I am a responsible gun owner. (I have a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit which means that I’ve received training, been fingerprinted, and have had a complete background check. I’m one of the good folks out there.

This week Sen. Frank Lautenberg has introduced his bill to ban magazines with greater than 10 round capacity and Sen. Dianne Feinstein has or will introduce her bill to effectively outlaw semi-automatic firearms with ugly features.>

I vehemently oppose both of these bills.

Home invasions with multiple invaders have been rising nationwide. Placing a limitation on magazine size puts my family at risk. While someone using a firearm for offensive purposes has plenty of time to change magazines, that is not true of self-defense situations especially in the case of multiple invaders.

The AR-15 is an ideal firearm for home defense. (As a woman,) I find it is lightweight, easy to operate, and has low recoil. The .223/5.56×45 round that most use has been shown in numerous studies to be the least likely bullet to pass through a house wall and injure someone outside of it. The round falls apart when it hits the dry wall or gypsum.

I view both of these bills as anti-family and anti-woman. Passage of either or both will put more families, more women, and more children at risk from criminals, thugs, and rapists.

I urge you to oppose both of these bills. As President Obama recently said, “If it saves the live of only one child, it is worth it.” He’s right but he just had the wrong context in mind.

Sincerely,

(Your name and address)

Here are a couple of links where you can find the names and addresses of your state’s US Senators. First, by state, from the US Senate’s webpage. Click on the senator’s name to be linked to their home page. From there you can find their fax numbers. Second, the NRA-ILA has a “write your reps” address locator. It can be found here. Either way, write them, call them, AND fax them. Moreover, do it like voting in Chicago – early and often.