The late New York Mayor Ed Koch famously said “if you own a gun, you’re not a nice person.” Georgia State Senator Vincent Fort took it a step farther at a Mayors Against Illegal Guns rally in Atlanta, saying gun owners are ‘loud, mean and evil people.” Fellow speaker Ernestine Pittman, mayor of East Point, added that she was “Living the Christian Life unlike ‘The Right’.”
Well. Loud, mean, evil and un-Christian. That’s quite a laundry list for a little gathering that was, by all accounts, better attended by the pro-gun side and the press than the antis.
Current NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s MAIG bus tour has had a bumpy ride. At its very first rally, Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was shot by Boston police, was listed as a victim, along with a variety of other criminals killed by police and armed citizens. Then it came out that billionaire Bloomberg was using city resources, including web hosting and personnel, to support MAIG. Attendance at most rallies on the tour has been sparse, with MAIG supporters often outnumbered by pro-gun forces.
None of this is surprising in the slightest. I have been attending NRA Annual Meetings since 1977, and at none of them have demonstrators massed more than a couple dozen people. The Houston police department had mounted officers and paddy wagons at the ready at this year’s show, and the demonstrators were, as usual, outnumbered by the press.
I don’t doubt this is surprising and disconcerting to Bloomberg and his flunkies, and is yet another illustration of the Pauline Kael Effect.
Pauline Kael was a well-known cinema critic for the New York Times. She was flabbergasted by Richard Nixon’s landslide victory in the 1972 Presidential election. “How could Nixon have won,î she asked, plaintively, “no one I know voted for him!”
I suppose no one Mike Bloomberg knows owns guns, or admits to it at any rate.. But people outside New York City do, and they don’t cotton to some billionaire bully trying to take them. The MAIG bus tour is yet another failed attempt to prove the anti-gun movement has real grassroots. It doesn’t, and it never will.