Way back in the olden thymes, I worked in the Imperial Capital. I was just a kid and that allowed me access to a lot of scuttlebutt. That may seem odd, but no one has anything to fear from a kid running errands and doing office tasks. Consequently, the young people, mostly interns and pages, used to hear and see more dirt than just about anyone else. In the age of cell phones, that’s probably no longer true, but in the olden thymes, cell phones did not exist.
The thing about people in power is they don’t have a high regard for rich people. We like to think that the rich run the pols, but it is not really that way. The powerful of DC live pretty well by normal standards. The currency of DC is power and influence. Knowing how the system works counts for a lot more than money. Knowing who to call will always trump the ability to stroke a check. Lots of people have money. Few people know the right number to dial.
As a result, there’s a degree of contempt for the rich, in general, amongst the ruling class. The Rodney Dangerfield rich guys who barges in thinking they can buy their way into the right parties are particularly loathed by the Ted Baxter set. Even so, the sophisticated classes that run things in Washington are very good at handling wealthy rubes from the provinces. They want their money, of course. They just don’t want to put up with the bullshit that rich people bring with them.
So, they direct them into harmless endeavors. I once had the task of giving some rich guy and his old lady the tour of a UNICEF office. I knew nothing about UNICEF, but the congressman I worked for was on their board, I think. Maybe it was his wife. I was young and earnest looking so I guess I filled a role in the hustle. It was a long time ago and all I remember is how flattered the rich people looked. A Congressman’s wife and her people doting on the rich people made for a good show.
Later in life I figured out that the game was to guide the rich dumbasses into funding projects that employed friends of the political class. It was a form of patronage. It was also a way to keep the rich people from doing something stupid. Think about all of the Hollywood assholes who get involved in a cause. Most of them can’t count their balls twice and come up with the same number, but they are loaded and they have free time. That’s a dangerous combo if they want to “make a difference.”
That’s what you see with Bill Gates and his gun grabbing efforts. The nitwit who wrote the article is generally clueless, but that’s part of the game. The Left needs to keep tools like Cliff Schecter toiling in the fields.
Somewhere in a large glass tower in Northern Virginia, there’s a guy who runs guns with a French name having a bad day. With good reason.
It was reported Monday that Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and incredibly wealthy guy, and with his wife, Melinda, have given $1 million to Initiative 594 in Washington state. The ballot initiative, if passed by voters on November 4 (and it currently enjoys overwhelming support), will require universal background checks for all firearm purchases in the state.
Gates is only the latest Washington billionaire to give to the effort, with original Amazon investor Nick Hanauer providing crucial early funding, and more recently upping his overall donation to $1.4 million. Additionally, Gates’s Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, has provided $500,000 for the cause.
The ballot issue in question, #594 is largely a nothing initiative. It requires a background check for private transfers of firearms. This is a favorite hobbyhorse issue for the crackpots because they think it will lead to registration and then confiscation.
You see, there’s no way to enforce regulation of private sales without registration. Registration is the precursor to confiscation. The trouble is it will never survive court challenge. Imagine needing a permit to post comments on the Internet. That’s how the courts will treat this measure.
The bigger problem for the gun-grabbers is that another initiative on the ballot would forbid background checks and it has broad support as well. But, some low-level flunkies get a paycheck for a while courtesy of rich suckers like Bill Gates. That’s what counts.