The world looks differently to you and me than it does to Michael Bloomberg and Shannon Watts.
Unless you live in an exclusive suburb with armed guards at the gate, I doubt your home looks like the array of homes below. It should be noted that I don't begrudge Mr. Bloomberg his money as he earned it by taking an idea for providing financial data and ran with it. That is the American Way and I applaud his entrepreneurship. Shannon Watts took the more old fashioned way and (re)married well to the former CEO of a Wellpoint subsidiary.That, too, is OK...I guess.
|Bloomberg's Upper East Side Townhouse|
|Bloomberg's Long Island Estate|
|Bloomberg's Bermuda vacation residence|
|Bloomberg's London apartment in Cadogan Square|
|Bloomberg's North Salem, NY Farm|
|Bloomberg's Vail, Co "Mountain Haus" condo|
|Aerial view of Bloomberg's Wellington, FL horse farm & estate|
|Watt's Indiana home - street view|
When you live in a million dollar plus home in a plush neighborhood, your view of the world is just different. You don't have crime at your doorstep and you really don't have to worry about home invasions. And if you are Mr. Bloomberg, you have your own private armed security detail made up of ex-NYPD cops. I don't know if Mr. Bloomberg provides armed security personnel to Mrs. Watts when she travels around the US on behalf of the Demanding Mommies but I wouldn't be surprised if he did.
However, the populist streak in me is offended about being told that I should support gun control for my own good by people who live in a well-protected environment. Moreover, my liberal arts education makes me cringe at the perversion of the word "safety" by those who really mean prohibition and control by it. If you are going to be for gun control, at least be honest about it, like it was when the Brady Campaign was called Handgun Control, Inc.
When it comes to real gun safety, it is the NRA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and other gun rights organizations AND their members who do the grunt work of promoting gun safety. We are the ones running the Eddie Eagle classes, we are the ones teaching kids how to handle a firearm safely at home and at camp, we are the ones who invest our hard-earned money into safes, locks, and other security devices, and we are the ones providing classes to abused spouses so that they can learn how to protect themselves. And we are doing it every day in everytown at the grassroots level.
So my advice for Mr. Bloomberg and Mrs. Watts is that they should stay in their palatial homes and worry more about the next gallery opening, the next society event, or the next cocktail party than how the rest of us in Everytown America provide for our own self-defense. In other words, they should mind their own damn business and leave us in the real grassroots the hell alone.
UPDATE: Little did I realize when I wrote that Bloomberg and Watts should worry about the "next gallery opening" that Shannon Watts and her husband John actually owned an art gallery. Thanks to "Dirk Diggler" for pointing it out. The gallery, Watts Fine Arts, was located in Zionsville, Indiana. They said their goal is to be a destination for art collectors around the Midwest. The Watts wanted to bring contemporary masters to the Midwest saying in the press release, "Watts Fine Art represents living American artists who create exceptional paintings, sculpture and photography previously only available on the East and West Coasts and in the American Southwest."
The funniest thing about all of this is not the pretentiousness of it but that I found the press release on bloomberg.com. Go figure.
UPDATE II: After I wrote about the Watts' gallery, I find that it closed its doors in October 2012.
John Watts, owner of Watts Fine Art, said despite several marketing efforts, the store will close in October because business has been slow and the shop isn’t getting enough foot traffic and sales.Obviously, their heathen neighbors in flyover country just didn't appreciate the efforts of the Watts to bring them culture.
“After over three years in business, it became clear to us that our strategy of bringing museum quality national artists to Indianapolis was not a fit for the local market and especially Zionsville,” he said. “We don’t see this changing for a variety of reasons and did not want to compromise on the type of art we sell or the artists we represent.