On March 24, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre were guests on NBC’s Meet the Press. Early in the program, as David Gregory asked Bloomberg questions, it was clear that the hopes of the gun-grabbers are greatly diminished and the NRA is perhaps a bit more potent than Bloomberg gave it credit for just over three months ago.
For example, Gregory started the interview by playing a clip of Bloomberg from Dec. 16, 2012, recorded two days after Adam Lanza’s heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary. In the clip Bloomberg said: “The NRA’s power is so vastly overrated. The public, when you do the polls, they want to stop this carnage. And if 20 kids isn’t enough to convince them, I don’t know what would.”
After playing the clip, Bloomberg commented that he’s happy there is at least going to be a vote on various pieces of gun control. In response, Gregory observed:
You sound, frankly Mayor, much more resigned. I mean, after Newtown you said ‘the NRA is not as strong as it used to be.’ [But] the NRA is proving to be as strong as it used to be. And here…you seem to be celebrating the fact that there is at least a vote. But that’s a far cry from receiving the results you said.
To this, the best response Bloomberg could muster was, “[This] is a more difficult issue for a lot of people. And I don’t know that that reflects the NRA’s power.”
Bloomberg then went on to explain how he plans to run ads against politicians who don’t support gun control. In fact, he said he’s already “spent $12 million on running ads in ten states around the country” trying to inform the public of what Congress is and isn’t doing.
Enter Wayne LaPierre.
When LaPierre’s interview started, he took the bull by the horns:
You just heard Mayor Bloomberg, but 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 them what food to eat: and they sure don’t want him telling them what self-defense firearms to own.
Added LaPierre: “He can’t buy America.”
To this, Gregory asked if the NRA isn’t at least a little concerned with Bloomberg. After all, “he wants to be the counterweight to [the NRA].”
And this is where LaPierre shined:
[The NRA has] millions of people, sending us $5, $10, $15, $20 checks saying, “Stand up to this guy who says we can only have three bullets,” which is what he said. “Stand up to this guy who says ridiculous things like, ‘The NRA wants firearms with nukes on them.'” I mean, it’s insane the stuff he says.
Later in the interview, when Gregory tried to get a bit of traction for Bloomberg by pointing to the supposed “loopholes” in current backgronud checks, LaPierre hammered on the gun grabbers again:
Here’ the loophole: Society, the H.I.P.A.A. laws, the mental health laws, the medical records. The Adam Lanzas, the shooter in Aurora, the shooters in Newtown, they’re unrecognizable. They’re not going to be in the system. Who is going to be in the system? You and me, and our names are going to be in the system. There is going to be a list created; that list will be abused. Some newspaper will print it all. Somebody will hack it. There will be a registry. Obama’s own Justice Department says they want a registry.
The bottom line: advantage, LaPierre.