The National Rifle Association's chief lobbyist called former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg an “arrogant hypocrite” on Friday.
“Stay out of our homes, stay out of our gun cabinets ... because this freedom is not for sale,” proclaimed Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, the group's political and lobbying arm.
“Mr. Bloomberg, you are an arrogant hypocrite,” he said kicking off the organization's annual meeting on Friday in Indianapolis.
Last week, Bloomberg announced he would launch a $50 million operation to take on the NRA.
“You can’t buy the hearts and minds with a lot of advertising and press statements and egomaniacal statements like, ‘if there’s a God, I’m going straight into heaven,’ ” he said, according to the National Review.
Cox was referring to what Bloomberg told The New York Times, which first unveiled the former mayor’s new efforts.
“I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close,” Bloomberg said.
A spokesman for the NRA initially declined to react to Bloomberg’s campaign, and said the group would respond at its annual meeting this weekend.
Bloomberg said he’s forming a new group called “Everytown for Gun Safety” that will encourage gun control advocates to punish elected officials who don’t support stricter gun laws.
“They say, ‘We don’t care. We’re going to go after you,’” he said of the NRA in The New York Times. “‘If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop.’”
“We’ve got to make them afraid of us,” Bloomberg added.
The billionaire said he plans to spend at least $50 million this year to reduce gun violence, and will make sure those who prevent people from being protected will “lose elections.”
The group will house the two other gun violence prevention groups Bloomberg created: Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.