July 20th, 2012
09:55 AM ET
11 years ago

Bloomberg demands gun action from Obama and Romney

(CNN) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an outspoken advocate of stricter gun-control laws, said in a radio interview Friday the two candidates for president needed to take a firmer line in addressing gun violence.

Bloomberg's comments came as police and the FBI were investigating a deadly shooting in Colorado that left at least 12 people dead.

"Soothing words are nice, but maybe it's time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country," Bloomberg said on WOR Radio's "The John Gambling Show."

Bloomberg continued, saying Friday's tragedy should spark greater focus on how guns reach killers.

"I mean, there are so many murders with guns every day, it's just got to stop," Bloomberg said. "And instead of the two people – President Obama and Governor Romney – talking in broad things about they want to make the world a better place, okay, tell us how."

"In the end, it is really the leadership at a national level, which is whoever is going to be president of the United States starting next January 1st – what are they going to do about guns?" Bloomberg asked.

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney met with Bloomberg in May, but an aide to the mayor said Bloomberg remained undecided about making an endorsement in the presidential race. Bloomberg won his last election as a political independent, but was previously a Democrat, then a Republican.

In his interview Friday, Bloomberg said guns getting into hands of criminals wasn't solely a problem in cities like New York.

"This is killing people every day, and it's growing and it's not just an inner-city, east coast, west coast, big city phenomenon. Aurora is not a big city," Bloomberg said, referring to the suburb of Denver where Friday's shooting took place.

Filed under: 2012 • Michael Bloomberg • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (407 Responses)
  1. brussell

    If this murderer was not able to get a gun he would have used something else. Where did he get the vest, the riot helmet, the explosives the tear gas canisters?? If you want to kill a lot of folks it does not take an imagination to do it. It can be done easily without a gun, so the gun control issue won't work. Murder is murder no matter how it is done. Hell he could have wiped out the entire theater with some bleach and muratic acid!

    July 20, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Johnny DC

    Drunk drivers kill people every single day. It's time to outlaw vehicles too.

    July 20, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. Dave

    Seriously people, there is no reason assault guns and other highly dangerous weapons should be sold in the free market. Legally, we've created an industrial complex that overproduces assault rifles, then sells them down south. 50000 mexican lives. 12 batman fans. the toll for America's lax gun laws is heavy, and I blame the National Rifle Association. There is nothing wrong with having a weapon for self defense, but a pistol is good for that. even a hunting rifle. a semiautomatic however, is really only good for offense, and that's what allows idiots like this to keep killing huge numbers of people.

    July 20, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. Taran

    ...." What if all the permit to carry concealed weapon holders would have started shooting too – how many more would be dead?"
    I would bet there would be fewer dead and wounded, however the shooter would be at least wounded, if not dead.

    July 20, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Doug

    Another inglorious day for the NRA. Of course the NRA would have loved to have everyone in the theatre armed so a "hero" could have stop the shooter. So, thirty "heros" would have started shooting at the gunman in a crowed theatre and the casualties would have really skyrocketed.

    July 20, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. Joshua

    and for all of those who talk about how people just do not value life anymore, life has never been valued, to the dark ages up to roman periods and beyond human sacrifice was normal. when did we value life? during the period when humans were involved in mortal combat for sport? or afterwards when hundreds of thousands went to thier deaths for the vanity of kings and the pope? or how bout the modern era in world war one? when we gassed people with horrible poisons, or world war 2? when tens of millions of people died? how about now? nope? and we never will....

    July 20, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. joe smith

    he should try to explain to the American people how it is an Israeli arms manufacturer secures a contract to sell ammunintion to the US military, then goes around barking for home grown jobs..he needs to get his 20 oz soda, and go sit under a tree..

    July 20, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. TomTellTruth

    "In the end, it is really the leadership at a national level, which is whoever is going to be president of the United States starting next January 1st – what are they going to do about guns?" Bloomberg asked.

    Huh?? Here in Chicago, we have had over 293 gun deaths since the first of the year. Gun control is in place.

    Many years ago by another great New Yorker, the late Sen. Patrick Moynihan, hit closer to the mark in his controversial 1994 essay, "Defining Deviancy Down".

    In it, Sen. Moynihan observes that the amount of deviant behavior in American society has increased beyond levels the community can afford to recognize. He asserts that a significant contributor is due to the redefining of deviancy in a way that exempts much conduct previously stigmatized. The "new normal" accepts behavior that was considered abnormal by earlier standards. It is this defining deviancy downward that he says is a major contributor to many of our societal problems.

    Moynihan's most controversial statement in this regard was his critique of the Democratic party for not stigmatizing single parenthood in the African American community, which in the 1960s was about 25%. Today, that number has risen to almost 75%.

    I wonder if Mayor Bloomberg, in retrospect, thinks that Sen. Patrick Moynihan was right about defining deviancy down. On the other hand, it's politically more expediant to be against guns, as Mayor of New York, in a political year. But is that what our country needs to hear from its political leadership on the day of a senseless, brutal massacre in Colorado?

    July 20, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Tori

    Just throwing this out there, should Mayor Bloomburg happen to read this, but the newly elected president won't be sworn in until the end of January. The 1st of January? Really?

    July 20, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. brad

    Take away the guns, we'll kill each other with knives. Take away the knives, we'll kill each other with tire irons. Do you see what happens? We will no longer be able to cut delicious steak, or change our tires. Way to go, America.

    July 20, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. HenryB

    Mention gun control even once and the rats will come out in force. Never a serious discussion to curb gun violence. Just this incessant screeching about the Second Amendment. You so called "Conservatives" are quite something. I am beginning to believe that you all are as evil as the guy who did the terrible thing in CO. It is up to the sane people to put you back in the sewer where you belong.

    July 20, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. ron

    Be careful. The NRA is scoring this event! Everybody needs an AK/AR to go hunting...

    July 20, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. emily

    Guns don't kill people
    people kill people

    July 20, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |

    That will happen in November HenryB

    July 20, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. dwp19542004

    hes a complate idiot

    July 20, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. walter wood

    'I'm fine with citizens owning guns to protect themselves. But common sense would suggest that laws should exist to restrict the heavy stuff like an AR-15 and other such weapons to police and military use onlly. But sadly there is no surplus of that in the US.

    July 20, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Hall

    More reason than ever I am glad for have a conceal to carry license. These same people that want all guns gone will want life in prison for this mass murderer instead of the death sentence. There is a ever growing divide in this country where conservatives and liberals are becoming farther apart on every issue. Each side thinks the other is the one getting more idealogical but it is both sides. Being on the gun side I can tell you if you mention gun control citizens are going to fill their home safes up with guns and buy more so I can tell you that is not an effective control.

    July 20, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Patrick Portland

    I am so glad I left NYC & moved to Portland, OR. This guy is a moron of the huge kind. If it's not smoking, it's soda, & now guns. Obviously this mope doesn't have a clue that certain products are legal – guns, tobacco, & soda. & there's lille thing called the 2nd amendment.

    July 20, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Bob Brown

    In New York City (five boroughs) which has perhaps the strictest gun laws in the nation, there were 684 firearms homicides per 100,000 population in the period 2006-2007, the latest numbers I could find.
    I question your numbers. Seeing how there are 8.1 million people in NYC, your figures mean that there would have been 55,404 homicides for the year. That works out to 151 homicides by firearms per day. That is worse than the current violence in all of Syria. That figure is on par with the peak of the Vietnam War. Your figures are lies.

    July 20, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. IControlMyGun

    You folks who are saying there would be a higher body count if audience members had guns and started firing have no idea what you are talking about. You're considering your own experience with the use of a gun (and I'd bet in most cases that would be zero experience). They've taken the responsibility to carry a firearm. These people know their firearm and how to use them. They aren't just waving it around willy nilly. I point you to just this week the video of the gun owner who defended himself (and the other customers) in the internet cafe. That's your typical guy who carries a gun.

    July 20, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. snowdogg

    Romney can't afford to lose NRA support so he will propose nothing [as usual].

    July 20, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Edward Butler

    This is not about gun control. The issue boils down to which of us feel that they could have improved this situation or other dangerous situations if they had a proper weapon in their possession (could be a gun or otherwise). We are a nation of sheep for the most part. There are plenty of us that feel that oooh, guns are bad and hurt people–make them go away. But then there are plenty of us that are quite confident that I could and would be happy to lend aid if I were armed. If you were to have an after action poll of everyone that came out of that theater, and asked: if you were armed, would you have benefited the situation (would you have taken overt action to stop this nut)?. The answers yes or no, would easily identify the cowards from the bold. Guns or baseball bats-this wimpy citizenry needs more bold individuals and they need the tools to make the nuts think twice about causing trouble. It would help if we all had grown up with proper firearms training and respect for the weapons rather than fright and awe because we have not been exposed to their positive values. Bloomberg is most definitely a politically correct quiche-eating sheep.

    July 20, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. Ed

    Yeah gun free safe zones ? In NY where I live the criminals have wherever they want and law abiding citizens have to wait forever to get a pistol permit . Like I always say in a situations like this it's better to have a gun in your hand then a cop on the phone . Oh and Bloomberg walks around with armed escorts .

    July 20, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. citizenvetus

    Warner Bros. pulls ‘Gangster Squad’ trailer over theater shooting scene

    Retreating because of Guilt by association?

    Hollywood is where they get the horror ideas and act it out in reality

    Get tough on Hollywood

    July 20, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. ryan

    guns don't kill people. Nutty people kill people. with that said second amendment rights can still be followed and upheld if we are willing to be thorough in licensing of guns to only law abiding citizens and cracking down on the crime itself. the final step is working with gangs and intercity youth to create options beyond using violence as an out to problems and this shooting is unique in that it is high profile and will get a lot of air play but nothing will come of this in regard to solving the gun violence issue in the states.

    July 20, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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