It’s pretty clear by now that billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not a fan of the Second Amendment. In fact, he has already dropped millions of dollars in Maine just to dictate how, when and where Mainers can shoot, lend or purchase a firearm.
While many Mainers fail to understand why a New Yorker would care at all about how law-abiding Mainers exercise their rights, on their own property, in the second-safest state in the nation, Question 3 is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Bloomberg’s pet projects.
Bloomberg, also referred to as “Nanny Bloomberg,” believes that sometimes government knows best and that “ There are certain times we [the government] should infringe on your freedom.”
Bloomberg made the headlines regularly during his tenure as mayor for all sorts of far-reaching “health initiatives” that were designed to limit choices and control the behavior of New Yorkers.
So just to give you an idea of who is funneling money into Maine’s “universal” background check initiative, here’s a list of some other nanny-state initiatives Bloomberg has supported in the past:
Alcohol — Bloomberg attempted to limit the number of establishments serving alcohol, reduce exposure to alcohol products and reduce the advertisement and promotion of alcohol in an effort to target “moderate” alcohol drinkers.
Calories — Bloomberg required restaurant chains with 15 outlets or more to display calorie counts on menus, resulting in customers actually consuming more calories than before.
Cellphones — “You can’t use cellphones in schools, you can’t use iPods. Why can’t you get the message? They’re just not appropriate.”
Coal — In partnership with the Sierra Club, Bloomberg invested $80 million to shut down U.S. coal plants, saying “We need energy, nobody disputes that. The question is: Do we have to kill ourselves while we’re getting it? I don’t think we have to do it, and nor do you.”
Food waste — Bloomberg required restaurants that generate more than a ton of food waste a week to compost their food garbage, affecting about 1,200 establishments.
Noise — Bloomberg established 45 pages of legislation detailing noise control in NYC, going as far as describing how long dogs are permitted to bark. According to Bloomberg, “Noise disturbs our sleep, prevents people from enjoying their time off … and too often leads to altercations.” His solution? Impose fines for noise and ticket citizens.
Personal music players — “With public and private support, a public-education campaign is being developed to raise awareness about safe use of personal music players … and risks of loud and long listening,” said Nancy Clark, then the assistant commissioner of environmental disease prevention for the NYC health department. That campaign cost New Yorkers $250,000.
Poor people — According to Bloomberg, tenants of city public housing should all be fingerprinted. Bloomberg said, “What we really should have is fingerprinting to get in.”
Salt — Bloomberg passed an initiative to reduce salt intake, saying “We have been able to accomplish something many said was impossible; setting concrete, achievable goals for salt reduction.”
Smoking — In addition to donating hundreds of millions of his own dollars to curb tobacco use, Bloomberg banned smoking in almost all restaurants and bars, increased cigarette taxes by 58 percent, making it the highest cigarette tax in the country and raised the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.
Soda — In his war against sugary drinks, Bloomberg eliminated the big gulp by limiting the size of containers in which the beverages may be sold to 16 ounces.
Styrofoam — Bloomberg backed a law to ban foam containers for food and drinks. This law was later reversed by the New York Supreme Court.
Tanning booths — Bloomberg launched a public education campaign against tanning salons to warn New Yorkers of the dangers of ultraviolet radiation, requiring warning signs within 3 feet of a tanning device. He also required UV equipment operators to undergo training and provide patrons with eye protection and increased the frequency of tanning salon inspections.
Taxicabs — A longtime foe of the yellow taxicab, Bloomberg set out to “f—-ing destroy” the industry and put forward a plan to replace existing cabs with a hybrid fleet in his “Taxi of Tomorrow” initiative, resulting in a lawsuit.
It’s safe to say that as long as Bloomberg has cash on hand, he will do everything he can to restrict personal freedoms from atop his ivory tower.
But his nanny-state policies do not belong in our neck of the woods.
Krysta West is director of communications at the Maine Heritage Policy Center. An Arundel native, she is a former legislative assistant for the National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action.