Central Texas Gun Works is in a nondescript strip mall in the southern part of Texas’ capital city. It’s a gun store and firearm training center that’s located, somewhat improbably, two doors down from an acupuncture center. Customers can buy handguns and long guns, as well as a miniature pink firearm with “My First Rifle” engraved on the stock. Posters from the National Rifle Association gild the waiting room. T-shirts saying “Buy a Gun. Annoy a Liberal” are also for sale.
It’s into this Texas microcosm that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has dropped a depth charger.
Using $50 million of his personal fortune, Bloomberg last month launched a coalition to champion issues like mandatory background checks for private firearm sales.
Called Everytown for Gun Safety, the alliance, which has rolled out in 15 states including Texas, intends to counter the cultural and political might of gun rights groups by introducing legislative reform in statehouses. It focuses not on the limitation of gun rights — a red flag to Second Amendment advocates — but on the reduction of the types of violence brought about by lax gun-safety laws.
Everytown will concentrate on the lack of background checks in private sales, gun ownership’s role in domestic violence, fatalities among children who accidentally fire a weapon, and the everyday gun violence experienced by inner city communities.