I’m pretty sure that Everytown for Gun Safety was doing just fine thanks to the financial largess of their billionaire founder Michael Bloomberg, but the gun control organization now has a second anti-gun sugar daddy to thank after Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer cut the group a $7-million check this week.
According to Sportsnauts‘s Vincent Frank, the donation to Everytown is Ballmer’s largest political contribution ever, and comes as the league is embracing “social justice” causes ahead of the resumption of its season later this month.
The 2019-20 NBA campaign is slated to resume on July 30 at Walt Disney World in Orlando. The backdrop will be widespread protests following the murder of George Floyd back on May 25.
In reality, the Association has been more active on the political front than other professional sports leagues. That has included big-time figures calling for an end to gun violence in the United States.
Ballmer’s latest donation is yet another representation of this.
Ballmer’s wife, Connie, donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign against current President Donald Trump back in 2016.
As it turns out, this isn’t Ballmer’s first foray into the gun control movement. Back in 2014, Ballmer and his wife spent more than $500,000 backing a ballot initiative in Washington State that imposed universal background checks on all firearms transfers in the state. The former Microsoft CEO was joined by a host of other wealthy tech executives, and the measure passed fairly handily.
Since then, however, the law has rarely been used to arrest or prosecute individuals who purchased a firearm in a private sale without going through a background check. The last mention of any prosecution that I can find is from 2017, when a resident stole a .22 rifle from a Cabela’s and then sold it to a drug dealer. According to KNKX, that prosecution was only the second time that the background check law had been invoked to charge someone, though the law had been in effect for more than two years at that point.
Not only has the law rarely been enforced, but crime rates in Washington State have gone the wrong way since the background check mandate took effect. In 2014, Washington State’s homicide rate was 2.5 per 100,000, but by 2018 it had climbed to 3.1 per 100,000. Violent crime overall has also increased in the state since 2014, jumping from 286 violent crimes per 100,000 people to 311 crimes per 100,000 in 2018.
If Ballmer cared about results, he probably wouldn’t be pouring his money into efforts to impose unconstitutional, ineffective, and unenforceable gun control measures on the general public. When you’ve got $72-billion to your name, however, you can afford to throw away a few million on restricting the rights of your fellow Americans in the name of public safety.