Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge was quite the feather in the cap of Bloomberg’s new anti-second amendment group, Everytown for Gun Safety. Being not only a Republican, but a Bush appointed Republican, the presence of Ridge on the board lent an air of sweet bipartisanship to the group’s marketing efforts. Sadly for the billionaire willing to save us all from ourselves, that train didn’t stay on the tracks very long after leaving the station.
Former Republican Gov. Tom Ridge is stepping down from his position with Michael Bloomberg’s new anti-gun organization, The Daily Caller has learned.
“When I signed on as an advisor to Everytown, I looked forward to a thoughtful and provocative discussion about the toll gun violence takes on Americans,” Ridge told The Daily Caller in a statement, through a spokesman.
“After consultation with Everytown, I have decided that I am uncomfortable with their expected electoral work,” Ridge said. “Therefore, we have decided that we will pursue this issue in our separate spheres.”
To be clear here, Ridge has gone soft on guns and there’s no point in mincing words on that. But he still serves as a powerful talisman to the anti-gun rights crowd simply on the strength of his resume. Once he got a good look at Bloomberg’s full agenda, though, it was still too much even for him. There is no reasonable or moderate position coming out of anything that Bloomberg is involved in, given that he’s on an all out crusade.
But Ridge has, in the past, at least offered a few areas where a discussion could take place, and had Bloomberg been in the least bit serious about a rationale discussion he could have kept Ridge on board. Ridge is correct in saying that there is not only room for, but a need for an open, serious discussion on gun violence, particularly in urban settings. There should be more communication about the frightening toll being taken in so called “gun free zones” and the number of criminals who freely traffic in arms because of a lack of enforcement of existing laws. Had he found a serious forum for such discussion and been interested, Ridge might have been a productive voice in such a debate.
Unfortunately for Bloomberg, even Ridge was able to quickly see where that particular trail was heading. There is no open discussion with these groups… just a running, well funded propaganda campaign to ban guns. But I’m sure Ridge will be replaced by either a willing Democrat or another Republican with weak knees. $50M can buy a lot of “bipartisan” interest.