Bloomberg Targets NRA With $50M Gun Control Supergroup

'We've got to make them afraid of us': former mayor

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 16, 2014 7:31 AM CDT | Updated Apr 16, 2014 7:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – Michael Bloomberg is making his first move on gun control since leaving office, and it's less than subtle: The former mayor is dropping $50 million to create a rival to the NRA, he tells the New York Times. Everytown for Gun Safety will use NRA-style tactics to promote gun control—meaning it will go after politicians of both stripes, Bloomberg says, regardless of their views on other issues. "We’ve got to make them afraid of us," he says, noting the NRA mentality of " 'If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop."

"He’s got the money to waste," scoffs one gun rights advocate. "So I guess he’s free to do so. But frankly, I think he’s going to find out why his side keeps losing." But the Times puts that $50 million in perspective: the NRA usually spends about $20 million per year on its agenda, while the Koch brothers have spent some $30 million in the past six months to push for a GOP Senate takeover. Bloomberg's group, which will act as an umbrella organization for other gun-control organizations, will have a politically diverse leadership ranging from Warren Buffett to Tom Ridge, the former homeland security secretary under George W. Bush. Everytown for Gun Safety will concentrate its efforts on women and mothers, the Times notes. It aims to gain a million additional supporters this year in 15 states.

In this Dec. 18, 2013 file photo, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks in New York.
In this Dec. 18, 2013 file photo, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
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