A letter sent to President Obama Wednesday was confirmed today by federal officials to have been laced with the deadly poison ricin, which is derived from castor bean waste. This letter comes after similar ricin-laced letters were sent last week to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mark Glaze, director of the gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, co-founded by Bloomberg.
The content in all three of the letters is directed against gun control efforts and cites the writer’s “constitutional God-given right” to bear arms. The letters also threatened “what’s in this letter is nothing compared to what I’ve got planned for you.” Thankfully, no one was injured by these letters.
Mayor Bloomberg and his gun control group have become one of the most potent gun-control advocates, countering the efforts of the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA). The gun control group co-founded by Bloomberg Mayors Against Illegal Guns now counts more than 700 mayors nationwide as members. The group actively lobbies federal and state lawmakers, as well as airs televisions ads, to expand background checks and pass other gun control measures such as renewing the assault weapons ban. The group launched this week a new campaign to pressure Senators to back a bill preventing people on terror watch lists from purchasing weapons. Bloomberg, as a billionaire, has also pledged to use his fortune to support pro-gun control candidates in the upcoming 2014 midterm election. These strong gun control lobbying efforts come after the disappointing defeat of the comprehensive gun control bill in the Senate that would have expanded background checks.
Though these acts of terrorism reflect poorly on the state of discourse in the United States, they will not damage the resolve of Obama or Bloomberg in trying to strengthen gun control. These acts are just the fringes of society acting up taking irrational violent action, like trying to poison someone with beans.