- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Republican of Springfield (Mass.), April 17, 2014

There’s a special place in heaven for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

At least that’s how Bloomberg sees it.

Citing his efforts to curb obesity, his work to stamp out smoking, and his newest endeavor, a group looking to stem gun violence, Bloomberg told The New York Times: “I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

Ultimately, of course, this will be a decision for a higher authority, though there’s little doubt that the 72-year-old billionaire is doing his best with his time here on earth.

The new group, on which Bloomberg plans to spend some $50 million, will focus on electing candidates who support reasonable efforts to curb gun violence. One example: appropriate background checks meant to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.

When the talk turns to guns, reason is frequently the first to leave the room. Or at least to duck for cover. Most folks have positions that leave no wiggle room: It’s either-or.

Building a group to rival the NRA will not be an easy task.

It shouldn’t have to be this way. One ought reasonably to be able to support a constitutional right to gun ownership, and at the same time back reasoned limits.

“The test of a first-rate intelligence,” F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote, “is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

If only.

Bloomberg isn’t looking to create a group that would ban guns. But that’s what you will soon enough be hearing from a certain wild-eyed faction, folks who apparently have the ability to hold onto but one single notion.

For these people, the only acceptable limits are no limits at all.

Bloomberg has his work cut out for him. But he is tenacious. And he’s got money. Who knows - maybe he’s even got a prayer.

Foster’s Daily Democrat of Dover (N.H.), April 15, 2014

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