Bloomberg blasts 'deafening silence' on guns from Obama and Romney
August 6th, 2012
02:50 PM ET
6 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. anthony76

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

    No.. thats why speed laws, seatbelt laws, and driving laws are in place.
    Hence we need more gun laws.. and regulations.
    Who needs 100 round clips? seriously? Who needs assault weapons to hunt or defend yourself? Cant get it done with a handgun or single fire rifle?

    So wheres your Harvard Diploma?
    Matter of fact, I don't see people rushing out to vote for you for ANYTHING.
    So show some respect to the highest office in the land or get the h3ll out of this country.

    August 6, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Canuck

    The American people seem to be quite OK with their existing gun laws, so why should their politicians be concerned? One more reason for me to NOT want to visit your country.

    August 6, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. Dee

    If Romney would "Release his damn Tax Returns, maybe we Americans can dig more for gun control! Blame the Gop for stalling anything that makes "Sense" DAH! The NRA and Gop/Tea are in bed with each other, come on??????

    August 6, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Canuck

    Sir, you come across as another ignorant redneck, oh, and there's NO NEED TO SHOUT.....

    August 6, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. Daveinil

    Isn't more important that they focus on limiting access to large drinks and baby formula?

    August 6, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. Larry L

    The N.R.A. will once again come out with sound bites and the right-wing will repeat them like Muslim prayers. Another mass murder was committed by another white, right-winger with a gun. This time it's an attack on the most peaceful group of people in America. Maybe "guns don't kill people"... maybe "white, right-wing men with guns kill people"... you know... like the N.R.A.

    August 6, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. rs

    Bloomberg is right. Kooks should not have access to firearms despite whatever crazy ol' Wayne LaPierre has to say.

    August 6, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. Larry L

    N.R.A. = Domestic Terrorist Organization

    August 6, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. rs


    Your stats are incorrect- by more than 2 to 1, more people are killed by guns than cars (there are more than 100,000 gun deaths in America compared to around 45,000 for cars.

    August 6, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Donkey Party

    RealityBites @ 3:04pm – You must have missed the news this week when one of Hollywood's biggest gun-toting, violent movie veterans (Clint Eastwood) endorsed Willard Romney. Obviously there's no reality in your delusional world.

    August 6, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    RealityBites wrote:

    Meanwhile..., out here in Reality.
    Hollywood, Obama biggest supporters.., continue to rake in millions by portraying gun violence as "entertaining".
    Meanwhile, back in the factual real world Mitt Romney just picked up an endorsement from one of Hollywoods most famous gun slingers, Clint Eastwood.

    August 6, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Aiden

    I'm sure none of Bloombergs personal security guys carry guns – please. The man is rife with hipocrisy in about everything he says these days. With Bloomberg leading our country we would quickly be a facist state. I would like to see the rules he lays down at his house for his wife and children.

    August 6, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Donkey Party

    @ bb – I'm "callin your hand". With so many grammatical errors and childish name calling, it's obvious you're not far removed from childhood yourself. What are you, 13, 14?

    August 6, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. mgc Milwaukee

    This from the guy that now wants to regulate baby formula??? whats next bloomberg.

    August 6, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Beyond the laws that are on the books now needing to be enforce (that means more agents needing to be out there), closing the loopholes for the not needing background checks for any and every type of firearm. Greater restrictions for those that have, had or currently need mental help should be enforced. The NRA believes everyone should have a gun, but they don't seem to be aware of the problem of everyone having a weapon.

    August 6, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. Silence DoGood

    @JON " Watch out Obama, he will take more votes from you than he will from Romney."

    If Obama fails to act on an obvious liberal item as gun control, he deserves to lose votes. Mr. President keep your liberal promises or you WILL lose votes.

    Obama and Romney are both do-nothings: But Obama sounds like he cares while doing nothing.

    August 6, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. Donkey Party

    For you insanely ignorant right-wing knuckle-draggers, everyone that has a car NEEDS a car, it's a necessity of their daily lives. Do you want to try and swap out the words "car" and "gun" and see how idiotic your comments about car fatalities look?

    August 6, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Jon wrote:

    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.
    You offer no plan or concrete solution of your own on how to deal with random gun violence. I say the responsibility for this lies with those who do not want to see restritive gun laws. It is time for them to come up with solutions or have one forced fed down their throats.

    August 6, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. yup

    Can someone please muzzle this lunatic!!

    August 6, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. Sniffit

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

    And scientists continue to find no causal relationship between it and gun violence like these things. Nutjobs do nutty things like the Batman shooter. Raging racist bigot pseudo-militia weekend warriors who think they're part of the movement to free 'Murka...they do racist, bigotted, violent things when goaded into it by the racial demagoguery of the moment. The point is keeping the guns out of their hands to the extent possible.

    And Demwit, grow up. Your straw men are burning. The point is what is preventable. Assuming your numbers are even accurate, given the fact that 43,000 automobile accident deaths occur each year amidst the millions and millions of trips involved, it's pretty obvious we do far more and far better at preventing those deaths than we do with guns, which result in 26,000 deaths per year out of far FAR fewer uses of guns. The incidence rate of violence and/or injury or death with guns s far higher than it is with automobiles, as is the amount by which we could be reducing that incidence rate. The point is not "should we have the conversation or not?" The point is having the conversation in the first place so we can come up with workable solutions. You and the rest of the fanatics want to shut down the conversation before it has even begun. NOTHING could be more unAmerican. What's next? You gonna threaten us with your guns to stop us from trying to have the conversation?

    August 6, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |

    I appreciate your concerns Mr. Bloomberg, but this republican Congress will not be passing any gun legislation. No matter what it is. They are required to heed and obey the NRA's every call. There's nothing the President can do about it. He's spoken in favor of tighter gun laws after the Tuscon shooting and the Colorado shooting. I haven't heard anything from Willard regarding tougher gun laws.

    August 6, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. Chris

    There does NOT need to be any new laws on guns. Passing laws will NOT stop mass killings...China has gun control where no one can own a gun and yet someone just killed 6 people with a knife and injured many more. He didnt need a gun. You can drive a car through a crowd of people and kill people. The 2nd amendment is not to protect our hunting rights or just self defense. Its there to help protect us against our government. Syria has gun control and they are killing there own people same goes for Egypt and Libya. All the while our wonderful president and his administration was giving guns to the mexican cartels to help push for more gun control. No new restrictions on firearms, magazines, ammo or anything.

    August 6, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |

    Romney: Obama mandated contraception so he might take your guns too

    Romney says Obama will erode the rights of gun owners in speech to NRA

    We need a president who will enforce current laws, not create new ones that only serve to burden lawful gun owners," Romney told thousands of NRA members in St. Louis for their annual convention. "President Obama has not. I will."

    Running for the Senate in 1994, Romney said: "I don't line up with the NRA." A decade later he became a lifetime NRA member

    August 6, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. 93 Days until Obama is RE-ELECTED

    @RealityBites – Meanwhile..., out here in Reality. Hollywood, Obama biggest supporters.., continue to rake in millions by portraying gun violence as "entertaining".
    Meanwhile..., out here in Reality. The NRA, one of the looney right's biggest supporters.., continue to maintain that "guns don't kill people", and refuses to support any form of gun control as violating the 2AM. I guess it's OK to have some right wing brainwashed loon violate MY right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" ???

    August 6, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. stars

    Bloomberg is a jew that dont give a damn about this country. Just like eric cantor you ppl that listen to this dude has to be crazy.

    August 6, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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