Now, there’s a very good reason why coastal elites’ arguments for gun control fall on deaf ears in most of Middle America. Those who value the Second Amendment suspect that people like Dionne and Bloomberg advocate “reasonable” gun restrictions as a camel’s nose to a total or near-total ban on private ownership of firearms and their use for self-defense.
This suspicion is entirely justified. At his press conference, for instance, Bloomberg professed to believe that “there’s nothing wrong with you having a gun. . . . If you comply with the law you will have responsible people who know the danger that a weapon or the responsibility that somebody who has a weapon in their hands has.”
Well, this columnist lives in Bloomberg’s New York, and we would like to own a pistol. But our understanding is that the procedures for acquiring a permit are so onerous that it isn’t worth our while to apply. In more than a decade as mayor, Bloomberg has never sought to relax the city’s gun restrictions, which are among the nation’s most oppressive. He has always pushed in the other direction, demanding loudly if ineffectually that the rest of the country make its laws more like New York’s. His actions give every reason to think his claims to respect gun rights are in bad faith.