You’ve probably heard of Michael Bloomberg, the extremely rich and probably snooty mayor of New York City, who was just elected to his third term even though New York City law limits its mayors to two terms. He managed this by coercing the city council into making an exception for him. Which tells you, among other things, that he doesn’t think the rules should apply to him.
What you may not know is that Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t think you should have so darn many rights, chief among them the right to keep and bear arms. He started a coalition a few years ago called Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and claims to have over 500 American mayors as members.
Now, right off the top, let me point out that such a group, if legitimate, is entirely superfluous. If the guns the mayors are against are already illegal, it’s not necessary to create a group of any kind to lobby against them. But then, Bloomberg is a liar. He’s not only opposed to illegal guns. He’s opposed to all guns.
MAIG’s stated goal is to push legislation to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Everyone wants that, but anyone with the intelligence of gun powder knows it’s not possible. But then, we’re talking about getting votes, not making America safer.
As of this writing there is only one mayor in Texas who belongs to MAIG. I called Mayor Richard Ward, of Hurst, Texas, and talked to him at length about the group and its agenda. My take is that Ward is a good guy who has been hoodwinked by Bloomberg and his lies.
For example, I asked Ward how MAIG intends to cut down on illegal guns (we’re talking both about guns that are unlawful for citizens to own, and legal guns in the hands of people who don’t have the right to own them) He said the group hopes to encourage lawmakers to pass laws against them. As if there already weren’t plenty. I asked Ward what law would help, since no law has ever prevented a crime. He didn’t know.
I pointed out to Ward that the only way a lawmaker could protect me from a criminal with a gun would be to stand in front of me while I’m being shot at. He didn’t have anything to say about that, either.
What Ward did say was that he thought stiffer penalties for gun crime might help. I asked him if he was opposed to capital punishment. He said he wasn’t, but that he really didn’t think it would deter crime. Figure that one out and you win the cement bicycle.
One of MAIG’s main goals is to close the gun show loophole. The claim is that criminals and people on terrorist watch lists can buy guns at gun shows, even though they can’t buy them from gun shops. This is absolutely not true. Any gun sale that is illegal at any time is also illegal at a gun show. There is no such thing as a ‘gun show loophole.’ But Ward didn’t seem to understand that.
Another problem with MAIG is that it opposes a national right to carry law. Such a law would require any state that issues concealed handgun licenses to recognize and honor such licenses from any other state that issues them. Which means that if Ohio and Texas both issue CHLs, then Texas residents with permits could legally carry concealed guns in Ohio, and vice versa.
Ward told me the reason MAIG is against this is because some states have very lenient requirements for CHLs. He sent me some MAIG information that said some states issue CHLs to residents with criminal records, or who cannot meet mandated safety requirements. I asked Ward which states did that, and he couldn’t come up with any. Because it’s not true.
I also pointed out that citizens with CHLs statistically are not the ones who commit most of the violent gun crimes. According to the Texas DPS website, for example, there were 1,811 people convicted of murder in Texas from 1 Jan 1996 through 31 Dec 2007. Exactly seven of those were CHL holders. When you consider that every time someone shoots and kills someone else with a gun it is, technically murder, whether justified or not, that’s not too bad.
MAIG has had other problems, such as hiring private detectives to go into states that border New York to illegally make straw purchases at gun shops, in order to entrap gun dealers. They got their hands slapped on that. Plus they’re against reform of the BATFE, which needs reform worse than the Liberty Bell needs caulk.
And it’s difficult to tell exactly how many mayors belong to MAIG, what with their creative head counts. Some mayors on their official list have turned out not to have ever joined, or had not been mayors for some time. Some of them had never been mayors. I found the mayor of Austin on the list several months after someone else was elected.
If you live in Hurst, give Mayor Ward a call, and let him know what you think of MAIG. And if you don’t already have a CHL, you might want to think about getting one, and carrying a pistol. Because, for sure, the bad guys have them . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who believes Bloomberg is wrong about your rights. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or firstname.lastname@example.org