Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety is pouring another $4.4-million into several state legislative races around the country as part of the group’s efforts to reshape the gun control debate in traditionally 2A-friendly states like Texas and Arizona.
The new flood of campaign cash is in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars that Bloomberg is spending to boost the election efforts of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and according to Politico, will be used to try to tie together the issues of gun control and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Texas, Everytown is targeting two open, competitive House seats, dropping $2 million on negative TV ads. In Texas’ 22nd District, the group attacks Republican Troy Nehls, who is running against Democrat Sri Kulkarni, for his National Rifle Association endorsement. In Texas’ 24th District, the ad hits Republican Beth Van Duyne, who is running against Democrat Candace Valenzuela, for accepting money from the NRA.
Everytown is also spending $1.3 million in TV and digital ads aimed at flipping state legislative chambers to Democrats in Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas. One digital ad tells voters in North Carolina that “Covid-19 is not the only public health crisis facing North Carolina families,” the ad’s narrator says. “Deaths from Covid-19 and gun violence are on the rise, but Republicans in the North Carolina state legislature have failed to take the action required to keep us safe.”
Everytown’s strategy is simple; target key legislative races with a flood of cash that allows their chosen candidates to flood the airwaves with vague messaging about “safety” in the closing days of the campaign. Who doesn’t want to be safe, after all?
Of course, in order to make its case, Everytown has to ignore the fact that violent crime is rising primarily in cities that are run by Democrats and have plenty of local gun laws on the books. In New York City, for example, shootings are double what they were in 2019, Chicago’s homicide rate is on pace for a 20-year high. Voters in Arizona, Texas, or North Carolina may not realize that, however, and gun control activists are hoping that their message of “gun safety” will enable them to install anti-gun majorities in state legislatures, as the group did in Virginia in 2019.
We know that money isn’t everything in politics; if it were, it would be Bloomberg himself squaring off against Donald Trump in the general election. The anti-gun billionaire spent more than a billion dollars on his own short-lived presidential campaign but failed to win even a single state’s primary before dropping out of the race after four months (Bloomberg did win the primary in American Samoa, picking up a single delegate).
Gun owners can counter the influx of campaign cash, but in order to do so, they need to be reaching out to the undecided voters that they know and encourage them to cast their ballot on Election Day. We can defeat Bloomberg’s anti-Second Amendment agenda, but we’re going to have to put in some time and effort to do so. With just a couple of weeks left until Election Day, the time for sitting our hands is over. We need to be involved and engaged every day in order to ensure that our rights will remain protected and respected after the votes are tallied.