File this under the early bird gets the worm.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced this week that he plans to spend $50 million of his vast wealth to create a “gun safety” group that he hopes will “outmuscle” the NRA, according to The New York Times.
But the new group, “Everytown for Gun Safety,” was a little too slow on the draw when it came to getting control of the group name on Facebook, with pro-gun activists acquiring the name first, BuzzFeed reported.
A Facebook page has been set up under the same name as Bloomberg’s new endeavor, and states: “This is a Pro-Gun page, We encourage Gun Safety and Responsibility.” The page currently has over 28,000 “likes.”
In a statement to BuzzFeed, the page administrator wrote:
“I took the Bloomberg name because I wanted this page to remain open to debate, unlike his group at Moms Demand Action that block anyone with alternative views. Gun owners are getting a bad rep nation wide from their anti gun propaganda. As to who I am, I am your average citizen that believes the second amendment ‘shall not be infringed.’”
The person chose not to provide their name, but did openly acknowledge their action on the page, as seen here:
A representative at Bloomberg’s group, an entity the Times said seeks to curb gun violence, offered to duel for the page name when made aware of the page, according to BuzzFeed.
“Maybe they’d like to duel for it,” said Mark Glaze, the executive director of Everytown for Gun Safety. “I hear every person on our staff of 85 is a better shot than Wayne LaPierre. Or maybe a bidding war!”
And Bloomberg can’t figure out why his previous efforts at gun control, to include the ill-fated Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has met with such limited success?
On a serious note, Glaze said they are in the process of acquiring trademark protection.
“Once that happens, we expect Facebook to shoo these cybersquattters politely off this name/page,” he said.
Not quite as exciting as a duel, huh?
Update – Since publishing this story, the Facebook page set up by the gun rights activist appears to have been taken down and a new page promoting the Bloomberg organization has been established.
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