Bloomberg’s latest effort follows another recent six-figure ad buy in D.C. area publications to advocate for national background check legislation. That of course follows a six-figure publicity blitz this past spring in Oregon while the state background check legislation was still pending.
Oregon’s “universal” background check law became effective Aug. 9, and already expectations are tempered. The state’s Public Broadcasting network ran a story featuring a skeptical county sheriff who summarized the measure’s likely effects as follows: “[T]he bad people are going to get the guns regardless. So I truly think it’s a waste of time.” Meanwhile, the Register-Guard editorialized, “Oregon gun-sale background checks law gets off to a rough start.” The article goes on to report, “Several sheriffs in mostly rural counties … have said they simply won’t enforce the law at all.” Yet advocates of civilian disarmament know that they cannot succeed unless the state knows which Americans actually own firearms. That process starts with creating a record of every firearm transfer.
More and more Americans are becoming aware of how the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has repeatedly failed to stop the perpetrators of high-profile crimes from obtaining their crime guns (including, recently, in Charleston, S.C., and Lafayette, La.). Small wonder, then, that a number of Oregon law enforcement officials, faced with limited resources and the constant pressures of serious person and property crimes, have decided the new background check law is low on their list of priorities, if it even makes the list at all.
Yet advocates of civilian disarmament know that they cannot succeed unless the state knows which Americans actually own firearms. That process starts with creating a record of every firearm transfer. Thus, despite the consistent failure of the current background check system to make a difference when it matters most, gun prohibitionists want to make a NICS check mandatory each time a gun changes hands. That’s why Everytown for Gun Safety, the front group for Bloomberg’s gun control apparatus, continues to insist: “Requiring a criminal background check for all gun sales is the single most effective policy for keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people and saving lives.”
Thus, Bloomberg, whose fortune helps bankroll gun control efforts throughout the U.S., is now ponying up again to publicize the Oregon law. According to the Register-Guard story, “Everytown for Gun Safety has reserved six-figures worth of airtime” to run a television ad promoting Oregon’s new law in the Eugene and Portland markets. The ad was announced at a press conference on Monday by Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and will feature Portland’s former police chief Mike Reese extolling the supposed ease of complying with the new requirements. Thus, despite the consistent failure of the current background check system to make a difference when it matters most, gun prohibitionists want to make a NICS check mandatory each time a gun changes hands.