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Published July 27 2013

Forum editorial: Bloomberg advances gun debate

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker will not participate in Monday’s gun control event at the city’s Island Park. He will not get entangled in the often irrational debate about gun violence or in the purposeful misreading of the Second Amendment by gun control foes. He won’t put himself in the NRA’s bull’s eye, where he certainly would be if he actively participated in Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which was established by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The Fargo mayor’s choice to avoid the flak is understandable. It does not, however, diminish the correctness of his position on gun control, which, simply put, is that the gun lobby has too much control over Congress. Anyone doubt that?

The popular mayor’s stance is reasonable, therefore the shoot-first gun lobby won’t hear of it. Whereas most Americans want sensible discussion, the NRA and its allies attack anyone who talks common sense. Rather than discuss reasonable controls that will not erode legal gun rights, the gun lobby demonizes anyone who dares consider such a thing.

Bloomberg is the focus of their wrath these days. The self-made multimillionaire has the stamina and resources to resist the nation’s most powerful lobby. It takes someone with a lot of money to challenge the NRA’s destructive orthodoxy because the NRA is among the wealthiest special interest organizations in the nation. If, as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, money equates with speech, then Bloomberg’s money is an appropriate and necessary resource to counter the gun lobby’s well-funded clout.

Here’s hoping for a good turnout of gun control supporters at Monday morning’s rally. It’s a good bet a few gun nuts (we know they don’t like that characterization, but if the shoe fits …) will show up. Their NRA masters might have put out the call to disrupt the event. Or maybe not.

But whatever develops, the Bloomberg group is mustering resources and summoning the backbone to participate fully in a debate the nation must have – no matter what the gun lobby and its sheep in Congress say.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.