Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York is running out of ammunition in his campaign for gun control. The public has moved on. The shootings at Newtown, Conn., tragic as they were, happened six months ago, and they’re not as easy to exploit as they used to be. Support for Hizzoner’s crusade, like a Popsicle dropped on a summer sidewalk, is dissolving.
Only this week, Mayor Donnalee Lozeau of Nashua, N.H., bolted from the Bloomberg-backed Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group that claims to have 950 mayors as members. Ms. Lozeau was angered by the Bloomberg advertising hit on Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, a fellow Republican: “I simply cannot be part of an organization that chooses this course of action, instead of cooperatively working with those who have proven over a lifetime of work their true intentions,” she told the Nashua Telegraph.
Three days earlier, Mayor Larry Morrissey of Rockford, Ill., an independent, withdrew his membership when he discovered that Mr. Bloomberg’s mayors were obsessed not just with illegal guns, but with rifles and normal-capacity magazines as well. “The reason why I joined the group in the first place was because I took the name for what it said, against illegal guns,” Mr. Morrissey told the Rockford Register-Star. He said he will apply for a concealed-carry gun permit because he has lately received death threats. The Second Amendment is important, after all.
Two dozen other mayors have deferred to propriety and withdrew from the group after they were variously convicted of bribery, extortion, fraud, assault and child molesting. The Second Amendment Foundation keeps a growing tally of the naughty mayors against guns. These include Sheila Dixon, the former mayor of Baltimore, who has appeared in Mayor Bloomberg’s television commercials against guns. She was convicted of “misappropriating” money intended for needy families and putting it into her own pocket.
Mr. Bloomberg is no crook, but no stranger to hypocrisy. He travels with his own bodyguards, sometimes with New York City’s finest, all of whom are thought to keep real bullets in their real guns. He just doesn’t want the rest of us to have the protection he can afford to buy. With more time on his hands as his last term dribbles away, he has been barnstorming to keep himself and his own guns in the spotlight. That’s not working particularly well, either.
Hizzoner’s “No More Names” tour made a stop in Blacksburg, Va., the other day to exploit the memories of the Virginia Tech massacre by a deranged student. He drew a “crowd” barely larger than the number of Second Amendment proponents on hand. “Bloomberg, he’s trying to drum up support, and there isn’t a lot,” Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League told The Washington Times. “It’s not a groundswell of support. It’s the mayor trying to puff things up.”
Unlike photographs of other “No More Names” rallies posted on the Bloomberg group’s website, the pictures from the Blacksburg rally are tightly framed so that none of the “Guns Save Lives” signs from Mr. Van Cleave’s group are visible. No wide-angle photography allowed. The defections and no crowds are telling Mr. Bloomberg that it’s time to take his millions and move on. There’s nothing to see here.
The Washington Times