The Corner

Tom Ridge Quits Bloomberg’s Anti-Gun Group After Only a Few Days

Bloomberg just can’t keep ‘em. Per the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Tom Ridge, the Homeland Security secretary under President George W. Bush, has unexpectedly resigned from the board of Michael R. Bloomberg’s new gun control effort, citing his discomfort with some of the political work the group has been planning.

Mr. Ridge’s affiliation with the group, which Mr. Bloomberg has pledged to give at least $50 million this year alone, was considered a coup for Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, because of Mr. Ridge’s Republican credentials.

But Mr. Ridge has notified Mr. Bloomberg’s group,Everytown for Gun Safety, that he could not keep his commitment.

Ridge gave a somewhat weak reason for his departure:

“When I signed on as an adviser to Everytown, I looked forward to a thoughtful and provocative discussion about the toll gun violence takes on Americans,” Mr. Ridge said through a spokesman. “After consultation with Everytown, I have decided that I am uncomfortable with their expected electoral work.”

The group has started to aggressively take on the N.R.A., which is holding its annual meeting this weekend in Indianapolis. Everytown says it will send more than 100 mothers to picket the event. And it released an emotionally charged commercial in which victims of gun violence bear their wounds and denounce gun-rights proponents.

Translation: “I’ve seen the plan; I’ve seen the commercials; I’ve seen the tone — and I don’t like them.”

Sadly for Bloomberg, the story is a familiar one. Last year, a host of members of his “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” quit in public, uncomfortable with the group’s post-Newtown plans:

The mayor of Rockford, Ill., Lawrence Morrissey, who was for a brief time on board with Bloomberg’s stated agenda, put his disillusionment well. “The reason that I joined the group in the first place,” he explained contritely at a town-hall meeting on June 22 this year, “is because I took the name for what it said — against ‘illegal’ guns.” But “as the original mission swayed,” Morrissey continued, he decided that “it was no longer in line with my beliefs.” His audience applauded this revelation.

Morrissey is one of 50 or so mayors who have left Bloomberg’s group since February this year. “I was never an active member,” Sioux City mayor Bob Scott nervously made clear while justifying his decision to pull out. “They’re not just against illegal guns, they’re against all guns.” In July, the mayor of Nashua, N.H., Donnalee Lozeau, struck a similar note, revealing in an interview with the Manchester Union Leader that she had scolded Bloomberg for going after Senator Kelly Ayotte: “You’re Mayors Against Illegal Guns; you’re not Mayors for Gun Control!”

That, of course, is exactly what they were. 


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