The former director of New York ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun organization admits the group’s proposals would do nothing to stop mass shootings and blames President Obama for foiling efforts on more gun control.
Mark Glaze, who until last week served as the executive director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns — now rebranded as Everytown for Gun Safety — told The Wall Street Journal in a wide-ranging interview that fear of government overreach scuttled legislation for tighter background checks and other firearms restrictions.
“When you take on the gun issue, you’re forced to take on by proxy a much bigger issue in this country, which is a deeply ingrained distrust of government that gets worse every time the government can’t get a healthcare website off the ground or can’t get it’s act together to pass a farm bill,” said Mark Glaze, the former Executive Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
“Is it a messaging problem when a mass shooting happens and nothing that we have to offer would have stopped that mass shooting?” Glaze wondered. “Sure it’s a challenge in this issue.”
Glaze went on to explain that the failure of the Obamacare rollout and the Edward Snowden leaks concerning phone record mining by the National Security Agency lead to an overall mistrust of government that made voters think new gun restrictions would go too far.
“There’s an almost perfect overlap, I think, between the people who are the most active and radicalized gun voters and people who just don’t like and trust the government very much,” Glaze told The Journal. “The fact that people have learned that the government has taken for itself the right to listen in on our most private conversations has done nothing to inspire faith in government restraint.”
Many gun rights advocates believe that while the Second Amendment ensures a citizen’s right to self-defense with a firearm, it also guarantees that all other rights are protected. During the post-Sandy Hook debate over new gun laws, gun owners worried the new background checks would lead to government lists of firearms that could later be confiscated.
“It’s that lack of faith in government restraint that makes it difficult to do things like ask everybody to take a background check,” Glaze said.
But he added he’s still pushing for more gun control and he believes the “political gravity” is in the anti-gun groups’ favor.
“The federal picture will change when legislators come to understand that we are here to stay,” Glaze told The Journal. “I think it will take an election cycle or two to understand that there are new players in town and they are free to do what they know in their hearts are the right thing and what 80 to 90 percent of their constituents want.”