AP Photo/ Cheryl Senter
Wednesday afternoon, Michael Bloomberg, still dealing with the fallout over his 2015 speech in which he talked about disarming young black men, “throwing them up against the wall” and frisking them for weapons as a way to cut down on violent crime, decided he’d try to earn the good graces of female Democrats by ingratiatingly tweeting about a woman’s right to choose.
A woman’s right to choose is a fundamental right.
The government should not get between a woman and her decisions about her health.
This is not an issue of politics, but one of basic human rights.https://t.co/IqnXyycVUt
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 12, 2020
Sadly, Bloomberg doesn’t think that a woman’s right to choose to own and carry a gun for her personal health and safety is a fundamental right. While Bloomberg says the government shouldn’t get in the way of a woman and her decisions about her health, he has no problems with policies that put insurmountable barriers between many women (particularly those with lower incomes) and their decision to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Bloomberg says reproductive rights are basic human rights, but apparently the human right of self-defense doesn’t exist in Bloomberg’s world, despite his personal phalanx of armed guards. Self defense is a privilege, not a right to Bloomberg, so why shouldn’t a billionaire avail themselves of the privilege of personal protection while the plebes go around disarmed for their protection.
If Bloomberg really believed in empowering women, why hasn’t he spent a dime of his fortune on actual gun safety programs for women; things like firearms training and instruction instead of coming up with new ways to dissuade women from owning guns in the first place. That’s the Bloombergian definition of gun safety, after all: don’t own a gun.
When Bloomberg ran New York City, he backed policies that have long prevented the average New Yorker from being able to carry a gun, and many New Yorkers from even keeping a gun for protection in their home. Bloomberg reduced the number of concealed carry licenses issued by the city even as police officers in the city’s licensing bureau were on the take and accepting bribes in exchange for allowing permits to go through. In a city of over 7-million people, how many women who wanted to own or carry a gun for personal protection couldn’t even afford to pay the hundreds of dollars in non-refundable application fees, while others were paying thousands of dollars under the table in order to ensure they could get their permit?
Bloomberg’s policies aren’t just bad in the abstract. They actively hurt people. They deprive them of their right to keep and bear arms. They take away their choice on how they choose to protect themselves and their loved ones.
My wife was once a single mom in the murder capitol of the United States; Camden, New Jersey. She lived under many of the same restrictions in place in Bloomberg’s New York, and while the gang members and drug dealers in her neighborhood had no problem illicitly obtaining a firearm, there was no way that my wife could have taken the time off of work to navigate public transportation back and forth to the police department to fill out her paperwork and obtain the permission slip necessary to purchase a firearm. That doesn’t bother Bloomberg one bit.
In fact, in audio released on Tuesday, Bloomberg seemed awfully excited about the idea that stop-and-frisk worked through fear.
Bloomberg explaining the theory of his Stop & Frisk policy: if you make young Black or Latino men fear they could be stopped by the police **whenever they walk outside** you may deter the few who are carrying:
— George Joseph (@georgejoseph94) February 11, 2020
That’s some creepy stuff, and I’m sure Bloomberg will be upping his online spending to try to down out any criticism he’ll rightfully receive over the comments.
I hope they force other Democrats to do some soul searching, however. The truth is, a lot of these Democrats support new gun laws, but they don’t support the enforcement of them. Frankly, I think they often simply don’t recognize the link between the two. Perhaps this can be an a-ha moment. “Of course we need new gun laws! Of course stop-and-frisk is bad! What do the two have to do with each oth- oh wait a second..”
Bloomberg has been rising in polling over the past couple of weeks, and this is the first real stumbling block his campaign has hit. We’re still several weeks away from Super Tuesday, when Bloomberg is hoping to make a splash in contests across the country, but the impact may be seen in national polls in coming days. With Biden’s campaign in freefall, you can’t help but wonder if any Bloomberg supporters shift to backing Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who seems to be the Democrat Establishment darling of the moment.
This is also an issue that Donald Trump could exploit in the general election if Bloomberg were to make it that far. Trump has backed several criminal justice reform measures, and that would be a marked contrast to Bloomberg, who set a mandatory 3 1/2 year prison sentence for carrying a gun without a license in New York City. Democrats may not be bothered at the moment by Bloomberg’s gun control policies, but they definitely don’t like how they were and continue to be enforced. That provides an opening, not just for the Trump campaign, but for gun owners to make our case to voters, including the women Bloomberg was targeting with his tweet above.