New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a bit of a problem for our old friends over at the NRA. Number one he doesn't like that just about anyone can march into a sporting goods store then, within a few hours or days, leave with a semi automatic weapon that has no real purpose beyond running up a large body count. Number two he really doesn't like it that any paranoid schizophrenic can stroll into a traveling gun show, or go on the internet and buy a weapon of the same type without any sort of criminal, or medical background check. Number three he is a billionaire and he is willing to spend large amounts of money to fight for his beliefs.
The National Rifle Association despises Bloomberg because of reasons one and two. They fear him because of reason three. If they know anything it is that money talks. Wayne LaPierre and the boys have whipped their people up into a real frenzy over this gun control stuff. When faced with a bill that would simply require background checks at gun shows and for internet weapons sales the NRA responded by telling their membership and anyone else who'd listen that the big bad government was going to create a national registry of gun owners. They hammered home that the legislation was the first step toward gun ownership restrictions and ultimately the confiscation of their weapons.
It was all utter bullshit, but then if you're going to lie, go big. There is no such thing as overkill to the NRA. Predictably a certain percentage of the membership panicked at the notion they might not be able to pretend they are Rambo any more.
Unfortunately someone down south decided to act on their fear.This week Bloomberg, the head of his organization, "Mayors Against Illegal Guns," Mark Glaze, and Barak Obama all received basically the same letter threatening their lives. The letter to Bloomberg and Glaze both contained the poison ricin. The letter to Obama is still being tested at this time.
The text of the message to Bloomberg, at least in part, read, "You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone who wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional God given right and I will exercise that right till (sic) the day I die. What's in this letter is nothing compared to what I've got planned for you."
All three letters bore Shreveport, LA postmarks, but the postal center there handles mail from not only Louisiana, but Texas and Arkansas as well.
I'm not exactly sure where in the bible it says that God gives us the right to bear arms, but obviously one man's background check is another's "infringement." I'm also not sure I'd want to be the writer's spouse, or child. He, or she is pretty darn quick to offer them up as casualties in a fire fight. It certainly appears that the author is a tad anti-social. After all, there is the promise to shoot anyone who comes to his or her house. One can only hope the local paper boy keeps low and on the move when the morning news is delivered to that porch.
ABC News is reporting that unnamed law enforcement officials are saying that because of the low level of toxicity found in the letters they were the work of a rank amateur. However there is little doubt all of the correspondence was the effort of one person. New York Police Commissioner, Raymond Kelly was quoted as saying all three were apparently composed on the same machine, or computer.
The NRA will no doubt deny it is in any way responsible for the actions of what is clearly a demented human being. They won't, however, be able to deny that their policies and actions enabled Mark Tarto to buy a weapon. On the 29th of May The Mail Online reported that Tarto was found dead in his south Louisiana home. He died of an apparent self inflicted gun shot. Before his suicide authorities determined he had shot his 16 year old son to death. Tarto then sat there contemplating the kid's body for a few days before deciding to take his own life.
And they won't be able to deny that laws supported by them allowed Angelo Lista to obtain a conceal and carry permit down in Florida. Mr. Lista went to Disney World the other day. You know, the amusement park that the owners call the happiest place on earth. He said he wasn't aware the Disney people didn't allow guns in the park. He thought the security checkpoint outside of the entrance was there only to look for explosives in hand bags. Later in the day a woman and her grandson found Lista's loaded .380 Cobra semi automatic hand gun laying on a seat of the dinosaur ride. Authorities tracked Lista down--he was still in the park--and he explained to them he had noticed the gun was missing a few minutes after he exited the ride. He said it must have fallen out of his pocket because the dino adventure was, "extremely bumpy."
Yes, things are extremely bumpy now days in more ways than one.
The latest news releases say that a "person of interest" is now being questioned about the letters sent to Obama, Bloomberg, and Glaze.
Slate and @GunDeaths reports that as of May 30th at least 4,537 Americans have been killed by guns since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. That nightmare was only six months ago. In comparison, 4,409 American troops were killed during the entire Iraq war.