Bloomberg Wants to Reframe the Gun Control Debate

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Photo: NBC

After the mass shooting in Aurora, Mayor Bloomberg has gone on the offensive as an advocate for gun control, but he's also well aware of the political realities, going so far as to avoid the actual term. Capital New York points out today that the mayor is careful to refer to "crime control" instead of the loaded "gun control," with a focus on background checks and legal loopholes, and even named his anti-gun organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns, instead of something that sounds more aggressive toward the Second Amendment. To beat the NRA, Bloomberg knows, he has to first help change the conversation.

Speaking to the Huffington Post today, the mayor reprised the comparison between his gun efforts and Grover Norquist's anti-tax movement. "It is probably true that you could create a liberal equivalent of the NRA or Grover Norquist," Bloomberg said. "But nobody's done it yet, and when they've tried to do it, it hasn't really worked." (A poll found the Colorado massacre had no effect on Americans' feelings about gun laws.)

Although he's more than willing to show up on every political talk show, Bloomberg knows he can't do it alone. He needs a paradigm-shifting mastermind: "Now, why does Fox News work and MSNBC doesn't? I don't know. I've asked people," Bloomberg said. "I think somebody that really understands television like [Fox News'] Roger Ailes would say that one side is more committed than the other. I don't know if that's true. But I've always thought to myself, if you could hire Roger Ailes, pay him $100 billion, and say, 'Hey, go create left wing television.' Could he do it? And I think yes, he would."

If only someone had a media company, piles of money, and was going to be out of a job soon ...