Friday, July 21, 2017
Back when Mark Glaze was executive director of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and later Everytown for Gun Safety, he went to great lengths to portray his master’s anti-gun positions as moderate. Glaze used the typical gun control advocate refrain that his groups were merely seeking “commonsense” gun laws. The anti-gun campaigner used every opportunity to remind his audience that he was from Colorado and the son of a licensed firearms dealer. When discussing Colorado’s magazine ban and private transfer restrictions in 2014, Glaze assured that the laws improved safety, but that the “Second Amendment is going to be protected.”
Earlier this month, Glaze finally dropped all pretense of moderation and acknowledged his and his associates’ radical anti-gun goals. Writing on behalf of a new gun control group called Guns Down, Glaze endorsed mandatory firearm owner licensing, alluded to a “government buy-back” for commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, and called for restrictions that would prevent even the law-abiding from accessing guns.
In a departure from Everytown’s messaging, Glaze downplayed the importance of background checks, claiming that they “alone aren’t the answer.” According to Glaze, “To truly tackle the gun violence epidemic, lawmakers must go further – after the guns themselves.”
Glaze’s central thesis, and Guns Down’s organizing principle, is that there are too many guns in private hands the U.S.; regardless of whether those guns are lawfully or unlawfully possessed. This oversimplified view of gun ownership harkens back to the handgun prohibitionist messaging of the 1970s and 80s.
In those days, handgun banners would cite the number of privately–owned handguns in the U.S., then the number of newly-manufactured and imported handguns each year or their prediction for what the total number of would be at a future date, and make alarmist predictions about what the increase would mean for violent crime. Of course, as NRA-ILA pointed out in a June Grassroots Alert item on The U.S. Conference of Mayors, such predictions have proven embarrassingly wrong, as the violent crime and murder rates have fallen to near recorded lows as Americans own a record number of firearms.