Democratic Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe recently met with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an effort to get support from the billionaire politician, two sources familiar with the meeting told POLITICO.McAuliffe looking for an endorsement? I doubt it. Money? Maybe. The meeting was much more likely a way for the two to pow wow over how Bloomberg can influence a gun control push in Virginia should McAuliffe get elected. POLITICO pointed out in its piece representatives and spokesman from the McAuliffe campaign and for Bloomberg refused to comment on the meeting, which they obviously wanted to keep hushed and behind closed doors considering gun control is not a topic that will win over Virginia voters.
The pair met in New York a week-and-a-half ago, according to the sources. Aides to McAuliffe declined comment, and a Bloomberg spokesman did not respond to an email asking about the meeting.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether McAuliffe was seeking an endorsement from Bloomberg — who has billed himself as an independent and whose backing has been helpful to candidates in some places in the Northeast, like Rhode Island — or whether he hoped for financial support.
Bloomberg uses Virginia as a regular punching bag when he's up on his gun control soap box despite a drop in violent crime thanks to looser concealed carry laws and more gun sales in the state.
Firearms sales rose 16 percent to a record 490,119 guns purchased from licensed gun dealers in 2012, according to sales estimates obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.Virginia is one of the best states when it comes to prosecuting criminals who commit crimes with firearms and those who purchase firearms illegally. McAuliffe's Republican opponent Ken Kucinnelli is a long time advocate for the 2nd Amendment and has vowed to continue tough prosecutions should he be elected governor.
During the same period, major crimes committed with firearms dropped 5 percent to 4,378.
"This appears to be additional evidence that more guns don't necessarily lead to more crime," said Thomas R. Baker, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University's L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs who specializes in research methods and criminology theory.
"It's a quite interesting trend given the current rhetoric about strengthening gun laws and the presumed effect it would have on violent crimes," Baker told the newspaper. "While you can't conclude from this that tougher laws wouldn't reduce crime even more, it really makes you question if making it harder for law-abiding people to buy a gun would have any effect on crime."