Gun owners might have some good news during the 2020 election cycle. Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety has spent well short of its $60 million goal.
According to the Federal Election Commission, the anti-gun organization has only spent $26 million. Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon explained that “Even with the cash on hand reported by the group in its latest filing, it will only be able to spend less than half of its goal without a massive cash injection before the election.”
The most recent filing for Everytown’s super PAC, which has been in charge of most of the group’s political spending in 2020, revealed that the group has $4.6 million left in its coffers on October 15, 2020. It raised over $1 million in September, with over 85 percent coming from big donors. However, even if the gun control PAC was able to repeat its best performance in 2020, when it received a $7 million donation from former Microsoft CEO and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer back in April, it would still fall tens of millions of dollars short of the pledge.
When the group purchased ads, it has avoided gun control issues. For ads directed to swing-state Republicans, the group concentrated on issues such as health care and energy production. The drop in spending combined with the change in messaging could be a sign that Democrat donors and strategists view gun control as somewhat of a losing issue in 2020. This makes sense when considering the record number of guns sold across the country and the new gun owners entering the mix.
“I’m not surprised,” Joyce Malcolm, a constitutional law and the Second Amendment professor at George Mason University, declared in correspondence with the Washington Free Beacon. “With calls to defund the police and a record-setting 11 million applications for purchase of guns in the first six months of this year (40 percent of which are first-time gun purchasers), Americans are more concerned with their safety and that of their families from violent riots and mayhem than gun control.”
The level of spending taking place in late October paints a bleaker picture of what originally started out as an optimistic campaign to spend $60 million. Back in January the gun control organization said it would double its spending from its activities in 2018 and even overtake the $50 million the National Rifle Association spent on electing Donald Trump and other Republicans in 2016.
“The gun-safety movement has never been stronger or larger—and we’re going to meet this moment with our most aggressive, well resourced, and grassroots-powered electoral program ever,” Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action — a group under Everytown’s umbrella, declared when she rolled out the program.
Perhaps gun control is not so popular this election cycle. Nevertheless, conservatives should not get so complacent. In moments like these, we should be going on offense and promoting tangible pro-gun reforms. When the opposition looks weak, that’s when we should pounce and pushing for constitutional carry and a break-up of the ATF.