John Sugg (see his great reason article about phony muckrakers) reports from Georgia on local resistance to Michael Bloomberg's national anti-gun campaign. Two gun stores sued by Bloomberg are battling back with countersuits, and the lawyer for Adventure Outdoors is former Republican Rep. Bob Barr.
"The origin of 90 percent of the guns used in New York crime is out of state," says John Feinblatt, Bloomberg's deputy in charge of gunning for gun dealers. "The truth is that Congress has tied the hands of the ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] in enforcing the laws. We had no choice but to raise our voices about dealers who make illegal gun sales resulting in guns reaching the streets of New York City."
Barr counters that his client, Adventure Outdoors, has a long record of cooperating with the ATF—even turning in suspect gun buyers—and he derides Bloomberg's assault as "political grandstanding."
"This is primarily a matter of fundamental fairness," Barr says. "What right do New York officials have to come here and dictate how my client does his business?"
Bloomberg's switch from the GOP to political independence stoked a surge of interest in a third-party presidential run, but a lot of it was shallow. Yes, the man could spend $1 billion funding his own campaign. But he's been a workmanlike, unremarkable mayor and he holds positions like this one that are anethema to the kind of voters who are angry enough to leave the two parties.
In other mixed Bloomberg '08 news, the Associated Press resurrects the salacious sexual harrassment suits that dented Bloomberg in his 2001 mayoral race:
—Bloomberg asked the woman who sued if she was giving her boyfriend "good" oral sex.
– He said "I'd like to do that" and "That's a great piece of ass" to describe women in the office.
—When he found out the woman was pregnant, he told her "Kill it!" and said "Great! Number 16!"—an apparent reference to the number of women in the company who were pregnant or had maternity-related status.
Or maybe he was just quoting Bob Marley?