Spring will see a newly-reinvigorated clash over the Second Amendment, as lawmakers consider significant gun control legislation for the first time in years. Leading up to the face-off, pundits and political figures on both sides of the aisle are already waging rhetorical war against each other, with NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre most recently lashing out at political opinions held by New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
On NBC’s Meet The Press Sunday morning, LaPierre told host David Gregory that Bloomberg won’t be able to beat the NRA’s grassroots support.
“He’s going to find out this is a country of the people, by the people, and for the people. And he can’t spend enough of his $27 billion to try to impose his will on the American public. They don’t want him in their restaurants, they don’t want him in their homes, they don’t want him telling what food to eat, they sure don’t want him telling what self-defense firearms to own and he can’t buy America,” LaPierre said.
Bloomberg has emerged as one of the most direct and proactive supporters of stricter gun laws, having just this week launched a $12 million TV ad campaign aimed at pressuring middle-road senators into supporting new gun control legislation when they return from break.
“We have people all over, millions of people, sending us 5, 10, 15, 20 dollar checks telling us to stand up to this guy that says that we can only have three bullets, which is what he said. Stand up to this guy that says ridiculous things like, ‘The NRA wants firearms with nukes on them.’ I mean it’s insane the stuff he says,” LaPierre said of Bloomberg.
Gregory challenged LaPierre on background checks, to which he responded that he does support instant background checks currently in place. Proposed background check legislation is based on “a dishonest premise.”
“Criminals aren’t going to be checked. They’re not going to do this. The shooters in Tucson, Aurora, Newtown, they’re not going to be checked. They’re unrecognizable,” LaPierre argued. “It’s a speedbump for the law abiding. It slows down the law abiding and does nothing to anybody else,” he concluded.
Advocates of stricter gun control have already suffered major setbacks due to the NRA. The current proposed ban on assault weapons doesn’t seem to have the support it needs to pass the Senate, and lawmakers recently voted against joining the UN Arms Treaty, which may have violated Second Amendment rights of Americans here at home.
“I don’t think we should give up on the assault weapons ban,” Bloomberg said recently. “But clearly, it is a more difficult issue for a lot of people … It may be just that people have different views about assault weapons than they do about background checks.”