As it has broadened its attacks on lawmakers and Second Amendment groups like the National Rifle Association, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's aggressive “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” group has experienced a sharp 15-percent drop in mayor-members.
According to a new count, the group’s membership has gone from a high of 1,046 following the shootings at Newtown, Conn.’s Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 to a low today of 885.
That’s a fast drop of 161 members.
The shrinking membership has been noticed and charted by pro-gun groups and congressional supporters of the Second Amendment as evidence that the public and public officials are losing their appetite for greater gun control.
NRA President Jim Porter, for example, told Secrets during the ongoing Great American Outdoors Show in Harrisburg, Pa., that “there's very little political will to take on any of these gun issues.” He also noted that President Obama skimmed over the issue in his recent State of the Union address. “The public is not interested in any more gun laws,” he said
As they’ve left MAIG, many of the mayors have publicly assailed Bloomberg’s group, suggesting that it has gone from a group targeting “illegal” guns to one simply against guns.
The “original mission swayed,” said Rockford, Ill., Mayor Larry Morrissey as he exited. He even explained that he planned to get a concealed carry permit because his family has been threatened.
Just this week, Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik bailed. He wrote a letter about in the Poughkeepsie Journal. “I'm no longer a member of MAIG. Why? Just as Ronald Reagan said of the Democratic Party, it left me. And I'm not alone: Nearly 50 pro-Second Amendment mayors have left the organization. They left for the same reason I did. MAIG became a vehicle for Bloomberg to promote his personal gun-control agenda -- violating the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens and taking resources away from initiatives that could actually work to protect our neighborhoods and save precious lives. Gun control will actually make a bad situation worse.”
But MAIG Chairman John Feinblatt told Secrets, "We have the same principles in place, but apparently Mayor Tkazyik has changed his focus away from keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. It's particularly unfortunate because Poughkeepsie has a murder rate seven times the New York State average -- quite an odd time for Mayor Tkazyik to abandon the fight against illegal guns."
The group also said that it still has over 900 members and that the tail off is "just the natural course of events that mayors leave and join our coalition based on the electoral cycle."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.