Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 10:37 a.m.
As the trial nears for the Trayvon Martin case, a firestorm of debate has spread across the nation surrounding the centerpiece "Stand Your Ground" law -- the legislation George Zimmerman has used as his defense. And now, the Hozziner is beginning to feel the flames from the nation's go-to gun-toters: the ragin' cagin' National Rifle Association.
At its national conference in St. Louis, where guns, ammunition and bullet necklaces sell like hot cakes, the NRA made Mayor Bloomberg its target
. One supporter from Reno called him "an arrogant bastard" and "the epitome of the nanny state." Why the hate? Let's just say that the Mayor, over the past few days, has gotten on the group's bad side, simply for speaking up.
The Mayor unleashed the fury of the Second Amendment lovers on Wednesday, when he announced the "Second Chance on Shoot First
" campaign in Washington D.C. In partnership with the African-American community, Bloomberg has made it a priority
to end the existing "Stand Your Ground" state gun laws in the 25 states that have enacted them since 2005 (that's about... half the country). The title "Shoot First" has been used by opponents of "Stand Your Ground" to describe the true nature of the law: shoot first, ask questions later.
Continuing his move against firearms, Bloomberg penned an op-ed in the Daily Beast
on Friday morning that called for common sense from the largest gun lobby in the country. In it, he stated that the leaders of the group were creating a "nightmare nation" where Americans would continue to be "hopelessly divided by guns." He might have a small point: in a memo from CPAC (the conservative Woodstock) this year, the NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre wrote
that the right to bear arms is "the essence of what being American is all about."
Along with his extensive campaign
against illegal guns ending up in the hands of the City's criminals, Bloomberg has been placed at the top of the group's hit list. And the NRA is no stranger to New York politics.
The NRA has poured over $200,000
into the New York state government over the past 10 years -- more so then any other state in the nation. Although New York does not have a "Stand Your Ground" law, one might be on the way: Sen. George Maziarz, a Republican from Niagara County, has sponsored a bill
that will legalize "deadly physical force" as a means of self-defense. Not the best idea to propose after Trayvon Martin's death.
The piece of legislation will be now hounded over by the NRA gun lobby and the newly formed Bloomberg anti-gun lobby. With fighting words like this already being exchanged, the legislative showdown will be quite the spectacle. Let the gun games begin.