New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to take advantage of a commencement speech he was delivering at Kenyon College in Ohio to push his gun-control agenda. Bloomberg told the students:
I believe we will win, sooner or later, because I believe that all of you, your generation more than any other at least since the 1960s, is reshaping society in fundamental ways by making your values known and your voices heard.
He borrowed liberally from Barack Obama’s playbook for youths to appeal to those in the crowd gullible enough to fall for the same platitudes, offering this: “We’d not be fighting for change, I’d not be fighting for change and you would not be fighting for change if we didn’t believe we could win.” He asserted that gun control is “something you really should think about.”
Of course, Bloomberg and Obama don’t want young people to think.
Bloomberg co-chairs Mayors Against Illegal Guns and spent roughly $14 million from his inexhaustible bank account to aid legislation demanding universal background checks, but the bill died in the Senate last month.
The diminutive Napoleon said that the death of the gun control bill was “Washington at its worst — the worst thing that it’s ever done.” He implied members of Congress lacked courage, but the students he was addressing were better candidates, saying loftily, “Have the courage to think for yourself and to believe in your ideas. That kind of courage lies at the heart of human invention and progress, and the lack of it lies at the heart of our political problems today.”
Then he started his real demagoguery. He listed different mass shootings, and then said:
And after each one, those in Washington just shrugged. Then Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut — 20 children, six faculty members, all gunned down. As a parent I can tell you it is just unthinkable if it happened to one of your children. After Newtown, President Obama and some congressional leaders finally, finally stood up and said something has to be done. I did everything I could to support them and to push Congress to act, but our efforts so far have not been enough to pass a piece of legislation requiring background checks for all gun purchases, that 90 percent of Americans agree with, including more than 80 percent of gun owners.
Returning to his bald-faced appeal to the students’ vanity by reiterating the pusillanimous behavior of Congress, Bloomberg said:
Why? Why do I tell you this? Number one, this is one of the great tragedies happening in America and two, because I believe it comes down to one word, and that word is courage. Too many members of Congress did not have the courage to stand up to the increasing extremist views of the NRA’s Washington lobbyists, Many of them feared that voting for a common sense policy that would lead to someone challenging them in a primary, or hurt their chances to win a party’s nomination to higher office is too big a price to pay for saving 30-odd thousand lives a year.
Bloomberg quoted a statistic that in the four years since the graduates had started college, more than 40,000 American people had been killed with guns, then added, “That’s nearly as many Americans we lost in combat in the entire Vietnam War.”
Of course, Bloomberg didn’t tell the students that when he traveled to Bermuda he sought gun-carry exemptions for his own security guards.
That might get them to thinking.