Bloomberg blasts 'deafening silence' on guns from Obama and Romney
August 6th, 2012
02:50 PM ET
2 years ago

Bloomberg blasts 'deafening silence' on guns from Obama and Romney

(CNN) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg bemoaned Monday what he called a "deafening silence" on gun control from the two presidential candidates after a pair of high-profile shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin killed a combined 18 people.

Long an outspoken advocate for tighter restrictions on guns, Bloomberg originally called on President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney to lay out their respective plans on stemming gun violence after 12 people were shot at a movie theater outside Denver on July 20.

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His remarks Monday came one day after a gunman killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

"Just two weeks after the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, we've seen another mass shooting," Bloomberg, an independent, said on the steps of a Sikh community center in Queens. "One in which it appears there were some warning signs in the shooter. And still the two presidential candidates have not given the American public a plan to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. Every day 34 Americans are murdered with guns. The fact that criminals, terrorists and other mentally ill people have access to guns is a national crisis."

The question of tighter restrictions on owning guns has been largely ignored in this year's presidential campaign, even following the July 20 shooting . Democrats, who in the 1990s were vocal in pushing for tighter gun laws, rarely address the issue today.

Speaking aboard Air Force One on July 22 as the president flew to meet with families of those killed in the Colorado shooting, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama did not have plans to push for new laws in light of the massacre. Carney made similar remarks Monday at the White House press briefing.

Romney, in an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan on July 26, said he did not "support new gun laws in our country,"

The presumptive GOP nominee added later that "the effort to continue to look for some law to somehow make violence go away is missing the point."

Bloomberg similarly chastised both Obama and Romney for staying silent on guns following the Colorado shooting. Both candidates, Bloomberg said, had records on restricting access to assault weapons. He pointed to an assault weapon ban Romney signed as governor of Massachusetts and a 2008 campaign promise from Obama to reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons.

"The governor has, apparently, changed his views, and the president has spent the last three years trying to avoid the issue, or if he's facing it, I don't know anybody that's seen him face it. And it's time for both of them to be held accountable," Bloomberg said on CBS.

"Leadership is leading from the front, not doing a survey, finding out what the people want and then doing it. What do they stand for, and why aren't they standing up?" he asked.

On Monday, Bloomberg's remarks echoed that sentiment.

"Neither candidate has been willing to address the issue," he said.

The president's trip to meet with victims of the Colorado shooting, along with Romney's statement expressing condolences, were the right thing to do, but did not equal leadership on the issue of guns, Bloomberg said.

"Neither of those statements had anything to do with stopping the next massacre. Stopping the fact that we have more guns than people in this country. And that 34 people a day are killed," he said.

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Filed under: Gun rights • Michael Bloomberg • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. cali girl

    And another mass shooting with guns yesterday.

    August 6, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. sonny chapman

    America can not DISCUSS Sensible Gun Control, even the size of magazine capacity. The NRA will not allow it.

    August 6, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. DIANA

    I'm all for gun control but this time it isn't about that. It's about a nutcase who listened to Michelle Bachman and Fox News one time too many and thought anybody who didn't look like him was a terrorist. I bet none of them, especially Romney, will condemn the retoric and ask them to tone it down just a notch. No, this fires up the base – well this is what happens when you fire up the base.

    August 6, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Nutty NYC

    Bloomby...they already spoke about this...it wasn't the answer you wanted so give it a rest and take care of your own city and if you really wanted to do something tell your governor to do it, but he probably won't do anything either.

    August 6, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. ade

    Romney has been pushed to the far right on gun control while Obama can not bring it up because of democrats experience in the 1990s. More importantly this is an election year.

    August 6, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Forward, please.

    Bloomberg KNOWS MORE THAN ANYONE IN THE WORLD. He needs to control everyone's lives. People are too dumb to exist in the same world as him.

    Bloomberg can shut his mouth and work in the city that was dumb enough to elect him. He can take their drinks, bottles, guns. If they like it, they can vote him in again.

    August 6, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. RealityBites

    Meanwhile..., out here in Reality.
    Hollywood, Obama biggest supporters.., continue to rake in millions by portraying gun violence as "entertaining".

    August 6, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    I can't help but wonder what "interest" (People Magazine, nonstop news coverage, presidential and wanna-be presidential comments), the country would have if for instance, these shootings were in a place such as Oakland, CA. Would America still be this concerned? People are killed everyday in America and their loved ones are left to pick up the pieces. I find these pick and choose shootings (mass or not), disgusting.

    August 6, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. Jon

    Under Bloomberg’s theory .... we need to eliminate automobiles because 90 people a day are killed in auto accidents ... we need to eliminate hearts because 1259 people per day die from heart attacks ... we need to eliminate alcohol because 36 people a day die from DUI's ....

    We can not protect society from things that can kill us ... but we can look for ways to stop people from killing others.

    August 6, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Michael B.

    Mayor Bloomberg, stricter gun laws won't do CRAP for protecting people from the bad guys who get guns.

    Guess what? The recent Wisconsin one was stopped because he got shot.

    August 6, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Donkey Party

    The shooter was a right-wing extremist, armed with a legally purchased hand gun. Bloomberg should be attacking the guilty parties in this crime, the right-wing establishment (GOP / Fox News / Tea Party / Bachmann / Limbaugh) for their constant animosity and hatred toward minorities and Muslims.

    August 6, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Jon

    Under the liberals theory that guns are responsible for all the gun murders ... why aren't the claiming that it is the fingers that are responsible ... after all, most people are killed from guns because someone pulls the trigger. So if we cut off everyone's fingers, gun violance would drop.

    August 6, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Sorensen

    Bloomberg is right. They are both total cowards on the subject of guns. And the sick people in the NRA are laughing
    their ugly heads off. Welcome to banana republic USA.

    August 6, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. demwit

    Pop quiz. Rank the following in order of the number of American lives they claim in a typical year: guns, flu and cars.

    Ready?
    117 Americans a day, or nearly 43,000 a year are killed by cars \
    Next comes the flu, which kills 36,000 people.
    Third is guns: 26,000 deaths

    August 6, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. bb

    Oblunder wont be able to turn his back on this ,, like he just had wimpy carney due to ried. You know Oblameo had reid talk MR NEXT PRESIDENT taxes on the floor of congress. These people will lie cheat or steal to get ahead, OBLAMEO LEAKS TOP SECRET INFO and denies it. What a sham these BOZOS have been. OBLUNDER needs to man up Quote "I wont run again if unemp is over 6%, transparent gov, ill cut te deficet in half, WELL OBLUNDER IM CALLIN YOUR HAND ARE U A MAN OF YOUR WORD??? OR JUST ANOTHER LIAR??? Clint says your a Liar just quit to help the country

    August 6, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Jon

    Sounds to me like Bloomberg is trying to find a platform so that he can run for President as an Independent. Watch out Obama, he will take more votes from you than he will from Romney.

    August 6, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    A few weeks ago, following the Colorado violence, someone had posted that gun laws don't do any good towards curbing gun violence. They pointed to Chicago's strict handgun laws and the ever increasing number of gun deaths over the past two years. I wonder if that person realized that a judge overturned Chicago's handgun ban, which just coincidently marked the beginning of the dramatic rise in gun violence in the city.

    August 6, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. demwit

    Every day hundreds of Americans are murdered in their cars.
    And the fact that they have access to cars is a national crisis.

    August 6, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. bb

    Oblunder wont be able to turn his back on this ,, like he just had wimpy carney due to ried. You know Oblameo had reid talk MR NEXT PRESIDENT taxes on the floor of congress. These people will lie cheat or steal to get ahead, OBLAMEO LEAKS TOP SECRET INFO and denies it. What a sham these BOZOS have been. OBLUNDER needs to man up Quote "I wont run again if unemp is over 6%, transparent gov, ill cut te deficet in half, WELL OBLUNDER IM CALLIN YOUR HAND ARE U A MAN OF YOUR WORD??? OR JUST ANOTHER LIAR??? Clint says your a Liar just quit to help the country

    August 6, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    it is very noble for the mayor to want both of the candidates to do or say more on gun control.......he must also know that to do so is a possible death sentence for either campaign. First of all Romney is a Republican, still trying to win the favor of the far right that have yet to really fall in love with him so he basically CAN'T say anything. Then Obama being a Democrat has already been accused by some right wing nuts of planning to take all the guns away if he wins a second term and used "Fast and Furious" as a sham to take away all the AK-47s. So the mayor really needs to go after the NRA, you know the group that lines the GOP and blue dog Democrats wallets as longs as they say no to gun control.

    August 6, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Darryl

    Why are all the Presidents not standing up to the NRA and putting a STOP of just the Manufacturing of just the ASSULT Rifiles and their Magazine 100 round clips if nothing else. The NRA can stuff it up their butt if they do not like it. Too Bad !

    August 6, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  22. Mon

    Personally, I'm for full control. But I realize we live in a bipartisan society and realistically I would be willing to compromise on allowing handguns and rifles for sport hunting. I wish the NRA would also be willing to meet in the middle when legislators propose tighter regulations on exteme weapons (i.e. – semi-automatic guns). We regulate alcohol, we regulate cigarettes. I don't think it's infringing on 2nd ammendment rights to have tighter regulations on lethal weapons.

    August 6, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. Connie

    Stephen Colbert beautifully framed this issue when in his person as vacuous right-wing talking points shill, he posited to Dan Gross, “Isn’t it more appropriate to have a moment of silence about guns and just continue that moment of silence until there’s another tragedy like this and then we have another moment of silence after that?” ad infinitum, supposedly.

    August 6, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. 1crusader

    Romney's position should surprise no one.He is now opportunistically playing the role of a conservative, and has changed every position that he has held on just about everything just for politics.His position is also defeatist.Why have any laws if the argument will be criminals or offenders will just find a way around it.The president got skewered when he spoke out last campaign; and the NRA, which controls the GOP with Norquist, made up a ludicrous conspiracy theory against him and Eric Holder on Fast and Furious regarding gunwalking, so , for now, he's in an impossible position.This has to be a nationaldebate moved, and even driven by, public outrage.People's hearts and minds have to be changed.

    August 6, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. God Bless

    Gun control will not make a big difference unless all weapons are confiscated!
    Sad!!

    RIP for all these victims

    August 6, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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