Speed Reads

Playing politics

Michael Bloomberg pledges $50 million to curb gun violence, take on the N.R.A.


Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pledging to spend $50 million this year to combat gun violence in America. He's forming a group called Everytown for Gun Safety to counter the influence of the National Rife Association, reports The New York Times. It will serve as a "grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence."

Everytown will consist of Bloomberg's two other anti-gun violence groups: Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Starting today, the "Gun Sense Voter" campaign hopes to mobilize at least one million voters to put pressure on lawmakers to support laws that boost gun safety.

Bloomberg's influence on the group will go beyond his checkbook. He said he will help advocates adopt the N.R.A.'s own bulldog tactics by punishing politicians who say they believe in gun control but don't do anything about it. "They say, 'We don't care. We're going to go after you,'" he said of the N.R.A. "'If you don't vote with us we're going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we're never going to stop.'"

"We've got to make them afraid of us," he said.