Monday, March 2, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Bloomberg injects money, influence into firearms debate

thommason column sig

By
July 15, 2014 |

It may be a longer, hotter summer for the gun freaks than they have had in some time, mainly the National Rifle Association, which approaches every election with a strategy to oppose everything and dole out money only to candidates who pledge allegiance to the industry’s policy of no firearms restrictions, period.

Michael Bloomberg is planning to give the NRA and its minions a dose of their own medicine at the same time a movement is gaining momentum among some states to take guns away from those identified as potentially dangerous because of mental problems.

Halleluiah!

Bloomberg’s well-heeled anti-gun organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, has begun asking all candidates for federal office in the midterm election about where they stand on gun issues. The right answers will win them support from a $50 million pot the billionaire former New York mayor personally has committed to bringing some sanity into the gun issue.

The gun lobby (principally the NRA) without much competition has been pumping millions of dollars into U.S. House and Senate elections to keep members in line. Bloomberg’s efforts are expected to provide an alternative, according to the Washington Post. And apparently it isn’t a onetime effort, the Post said, but will continue into the future. Well, let’s hope so.

Meanwhile, states searching with how to prevent the kind of mass killings that have become far too common are looking at a law that would permit judges to issue warrants removing guns from those police believe are threats to society. Connecticut and Indiana already have such a law, and California and New Jersey are considering similar statutes following the killing of six people last May near the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The Connecticut gun-seizure law was adopted in 1999 after the slaying of four managers at the state’s lottery headquarters by an employee known to have mental problems. The law, according to state officials, might have prevented the massacre of 20 elementary school students and six teachers at Newtown, Conn., two years ago if the police had been made aware of the shooters mental problems. The guns were bought legally by Adam Lanza’s mother whom he murdered before heading to the Sandy Hook school. In Indiana, the law was passed after the 2005 slaying of a police officer by a mentally ill man.

One can only speculate whether the adoption of a law expanding background checks to all firearms buyers might have headed off some of the gun violence by identifying potentially dangerous owners. The law proposed by President Barack Obama, backed by Bloomberg and supported by an estimated 90 percent of Americans, lost in the Senate when four Democrats voted against it, embarrassing not only Obama but revealing a serious weakness in the chief executive’s ability to keep his party’s members in line.

In Connecticut, judges can order firearms seized temporarily if police present evidence showing that their owners are a threat either to themselves or others. A hearing is required in 14 day to determine whether the guns should be returned or continue to be held up to a year. While less than perfect, I believe it is a major step in the right direction.

In any number of events where guns were used for mass slayings, there have been ample warning signs of mental disturbance. The horrendous shootings by a student as Virginia Tech were followed by revelations that the shooter had been treated for mental illness yet was able to legally buy the guns he used. Gun advocates, of course, say the law is ripe for police abuse, a common complaint they make in every attempt to bring down gun violence by reasonable policies.

What are the chances Bloomberg’s new initiative will succeed after failing to win the compromise background check expansion? The NRA’s 5 million members provide a significant amount of clout after all. Unlike the first attempt, Bloomberg has merged several groups, including Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, into the Everytown group. The enlarged operation also is targeting state legislatures.

Nothing is easy about this but it is at least taking on the NRA where it lives by making lawmakers pay. Doubling the amount of campaign money now being spent by the NRA to sway a Congress always for sale might not be enough, but it is a start.

Dan Thomasson is an op-ed columnist for McClatchy-Tribune and a former vice president of Scripps Howard Newspapers. Readers may send him email at: [email protected]

Dan K. Thomasson

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • DanielJuly 15, 2014 - 6:47 am

    Just what we need more feel-good unenforced gun laws joining the other 1,000 unenforced gun and immigration laws. Liberals are proficient at using issues but making sure that they're never solved to keep using them for the ignorant and dependents to keep parroting.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Russ KinzJuly 15, 2014 - 9:37 am

    Gun freaks ?? minions ?? Guess I'm both. Background checks SHOULD uncover mental problems. Even then people could snap. I'm 78 yrs old and have had guns since I was a pre-teen; haven't shot anyone yet. Have had a bunch of set backs during all those years but, never reached for a gun to take it out on anyone. 2nd Amendment anyone. All you do gooders always want to change our great Constitution .

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

World War II spy shares tales of work behind enemy lines

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Whiteside ready to take Travis school board seat

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

I love to ‘read’ audiobooks

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Council to hear budget scenarios

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield High School celebrates black history

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Photos: Warm winter afternoon at Lagoon Valley Park

By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A3, 4 Comments | Gallery

Free medical series targets senior health issues

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Pena Adobe hosts natural dye-making presentation

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
PublicStuff, an online app, set for Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Beginning gardening series starts in March

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Literacy celebration returns this month

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Photos: Vacaville 4-alarm house fire

By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A4, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
IHOP takes part in National Pancake Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

Local governments schedule meetings this week

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Corner Store Gallery schedules open house

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Weather for Monday, March 2, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

 
Kerry tries to dampen fuss over Israeli PM’s speech

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Hundreds of bills introduced by California lawmakers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
California GOP recognizes gay faction of party

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
Storm brings rain, thunder, hail to Southern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Spacewalking astronauts finish extensive, tricky cable job

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Newspaper: Nurse who survived Ebola says hospital failed her

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Myanmar captures rare white elephant in western jungles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Crowd kills girl suspected to be suicide bomber in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
New plane tracking to be tested after Malaysia jet mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Activists say Islamic State releases 19 Syrian Christians

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Sierra Leone’s vice president in quarantine for Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
30,000 marchers in Moscow mourn slain Putin foe

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

.

Opinion

Your right to work for less

By Mike Kirchubel | From Page: A8, 57 Comments

 
Right fight in DC, but wrong reason

By Colbert I. King | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: March 2, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
A night with a King

By Delon Jackson | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Today in History: March 2, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 2, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 3, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Why timeouts only prolong the problem

By The Washington Post | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

Horoscopes: March 2, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
It’s never a good idea to point out how big a pregnant woman is

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

 
Will Smith’s ‘Focus’ tops box office with $19.1 million

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Lady Gaga, Vince Vaughn take charity polar plunge in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

TVGrid March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Sports

Lillard, Aldridge lead Blazers past Kings for 3rd in a row

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Curry scores 37, leads Warriors from 26 down to beat Celtics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Jimmie Johnson pulls away for another Atlanta Sprint Cup win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Giants reliever Strickland insists he’s tranquil on mound

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Indians open season with 12-4 win over Falcons

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Oregon beats Stanford 73-70, clinches bye in Pac-12 tourney

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Process gets underway to carve up $60 million Sandusky fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cal’s big run lifts Bears past Oregon State 73-56

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former Washington basketball star Christian Welp dies at 51

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sharks trade Sheppard to Rangers for draft pick

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
4,000 attend Jerry Tarkanian tribute in Las Vegas arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for fans for next T-wolves game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Poulter, Casey share lead at rain-delayed Honda Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Blatter concerned by Russian soccer racism before World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Broadcasters propose FIFA election debate to Blatter, rivals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Major league baseball’s 1st black Latino star Minoso dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Seller’s market for NHL teams as trade deadline nears

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Andy Sullivan wins Joburg Open for 2nd title this year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
South Korea’s Amy Yang wins Honda LPGA Thailand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hannah hurls Bulldogs to 2-0 win over Campolindo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Oregon women upset No. 19 Stanford 62-55

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for March 2, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez nearing 1st spring game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Fast and furious: Rousey looks to future after 14-second win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

.

Business

Mimi’s adds breakfast items to menu

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Samsung ditches plastic design, adds mobile pay in new phone

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

In Apple’s latest update, emojis get diverse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

Jacqueline Mendes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baby Blues March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sudoku March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Word Sleuth March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Crossword March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7