July 20th, 2012
09:55 AM ET
10 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. ST

    Tough measures have to be taken. You can't sell firearms the way kids toys are sold!

    July 20, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. stew

    Crazy people killing all these victims and wait for the police to get there to save you, that takes a long time. I have been victimized ,some times our law enforcement can't be johhny on the spot, I would rather have my own weapon to defend my family then watch them get gunned down by thugs. Bloomberg you can say what you want with ten or twenty bodyguards us normal Americans don't have body guards.

    July 20, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. human synergistics

    Reason cited by gun advocates is constitutional which is mostly right to hunt and protection. Compare USA to Europe with gun control laws. How is it that there isn't that many mass shooting in Europe yet people hunt there as well. Its impossible to stop criminals getting guns altogether but proliferation is not the answer either. Let congress outlaw guns, offer amnesty to all gun owners to turn their weapons in to law enforcement. Its wishful thinking but the current laws have failed for decades and will only get worse

    July 20, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    I think gun advocates need to come up with a solution or have one that you will not like imposed on you. You always rant about how the private sector doesn't need regulations, that the private sector can regulate itself. Prove it. Come up with a solution, because if you don't a solution will be gleefully shoved down your throats.

    July 20, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. B

    I sincerely hope that law makers apply logic to this problem

    don't make rash decisions that restrict constitutionally afforded rights of law abiding citizens

    more gun laws will not impact behavior of deranged or insane people that take the lives of other people
    making gun possession criminal or "more criminal" is no deterrent to someone that is capable of commiting the ultimate crime of taking a life

    more gun laws only impact the behavior of law abiding citizens and they're not the threat
    please don't engage in promoting laws that supercede or negate constitutionally afforded rights, please protect the rights of law abiding citizens to protect themselves.....law enforcement in the U.S. does a tremendous good job of keeping the peace and protecting citizens but they cannot be everywhere all the time and recent events clearly demonstrate why citizens need to be able to protect themselves as well.

    Unless there are no guns then there's no way to keep guns from those who disregard not only the law but the basic principles of human behavior.

    to the lawmakers, please use logic....don't throw out the constitution to take a position for a newsbyte at the expense of reason

    July 20, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Wakeup

    The right to bear arms yeah sure ! The Constitution said so but at the time the only firearms were muskets or muskets alike weapon. It was shoot then you'll need to reload and it took a while. Mass killings were impossible with those weapons or take a very long time do by a lone shooter. Today no problems you can have your own Ak-47 so making mass killings a reality. The problem is that second amendement is not up to date with today firearms. People shouldn't be able to purchase AK-47 or high magazine semi-automatic rifles or own large quantities of those kind of weapons.

    July 20, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Russian Federation

    Oh, but Mr. Mayor, take it from our nation's neo-Fascist Tea Party RADICALS !! They believe that "guns don't kill people, people kill people..." Isn't that right Tea Party RADICALS?? The USA and it's laws have always been the laughing stock of the world...It seems the criminals get more justice than the actual victims, especially when it comes to murder, pedophilia, rape, etc. In Russia, they send these type of animals to Siberia for hard labor until they are taking their last breath...That's how it should be for human animals & monsters.

    July 20, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Gary

    Les Canada....You haven't been paying much attention to Toronto lately have you?

    July 20, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Fred Smith

    Can we not show the least bit of respect. The scene is not even finished being processed and we have a politician seeking to make a political statement off a terrible tragedy. Sad that we have to ride the wave of tragedy with politics rather than compassion. No wonder we live in such an impersonal and shallow world when our leaders so dehumanize every situation with their idiotic posturing for a sound byte.

    July 20, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Bloomburg trying to use fear again as a way of controlling people and push taking away people's constitutional rights. Bloomberg is a leader in the charge for the New World Order and the stripping of rights of the people. Lets not forget his rediculous limit on the size of drinks you can purchase...I mean really......He is taking this opportunity to get people to have a knee-jerk reaction and push some type of legislation to interfere with the people's 2nd amendment rights. The sad thing is that he will end up having lots of support and he knows to strike while the iron is hot so-to-speak.

    July 20, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. Dennis1020

    Until the political establishment is willing to take on the NRA, the proliferation of guns and murders in this country will continue.

    July 20, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Jerome, Burlingame CA

    This is one of the things I am extremely against my left leaning friends.
    1) Stricter gun laws just make it harder for LAW ABIDING citizens to own guns not criminals.
    Stricter enforcement doesn't equate to less crime, it means people are less likely to be able to defend themselves.

    2)Our constitution is very explicit on our right to own guns.
    This is two part point. The first being the right to bear arms isn't just for hunting or protecting our property, it's to make sure that the people can not be so easily oppressed by it's government as we see now, more extremely, in other countries and here as well.

    3)Guns don't kill people.
    Pencils don't make spelling errors and spoons don't make you fat.

    Someone has brought up that "The founding fathers were thinking about bearing arms to ward off enemy's of the US, not to kill each other. They would be abhorred to know what we do to each other with guns today." Fact of the matter is people had gun duels for years in this country. ie Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.

    July 20, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. tkret

    For the next few days to two weeks, this is all we are going to hear. Politicians, ala Emperor Bloomberg and others, will call for new gun control, ban guns, whatever. Prior to the election, this will be forgotten by all (except those directly affected by the shootings) and life will go on.

    It would be nice if there was some way to control the use of guns, especially illegal guns, but I am the first person to say I do not know what the answer is.

    July 20, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. SuperD

    Do you know why we are allowed to own guns? Because the founding fathers realized that Govt. will be kept in check by armed citizens.

    All progressives like Obama and Bloomberg want the populace not to have guns, because if they don't, then Govt. can do whatever it wishes. And that is part of the big Leftist conspiracy in America.

    Honestly, if everyone carried a gun, none of this would ever happen.

    Don't ever mess with the 2nd Amendment, it's as valuable as free speech.

    July 20, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Mike from Calgary

    Bloomberg just eliminated himself from the short list of VP Running Mates for Romney. Probably a good move for Bloomberg ....WHY WOULD BLOOMBERG WANT TO TAINT HIS REPUTATION BY ASSOCIATING WITH THE MAN WITH THE CAYMAN ISLAND TAN!

    July 20, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. Frank

    It is disturbing when a class of people feel it is their right to try and control another by taking something away that is a foundational freedom. We in this country defend our freedoms with blood sweat and tears every day and for the Mayor of New York or any other leader or persons to infer that taking away a right is for the better of the people is just going after his own vain and prideful desires. The fact is that we are all given the freedom to choose right and wrong. If not a gun it could have been a bomb, not a bomb then something else to inflict pain on others. We will never be able to stop someone if they want to harm others. Bad, very bad, things happen to the best of all people, but the person that initiates and follows through with their evil desires seals their fate and their rights and freedom will eventually be taken from them. More importantly, they have sealed their fate with our Maker. I do not believe he will let off the ones that kill in premeditated, cold blood. We all have the freedom to choose, the choices that we make will enable us to continue to be free or will enslave us forever.

    July 20, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Al

    Wow, didn't even make it to noon before the gun control crowd starts rattling the sabers. How predictable.

    July 20, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. Phil Thomas

    Stricter gun controls will do nothing to prevent tragedies like this from happening. Right that down.
    --------------------------------------------------The U.S. has a high gun murder rate, whereas a country like England with strict gun controls has a much lower murder rate. You can point to the Swiss who have many homes with guns and low murder rates, lets get serious as long as we have the NRA in this country and they are more concerned about pressuring the GOP not to give up an inch and do their bidding there won't be any progress. I'm pragmatic and i'm all for people being able to own Guns were not in Iraq and I'm not sure why people need to own Military grade weapon especially now that this idiot in Colorado gave terrorism a blue print on how to attack us. I hope as the best country in the world we learn from this and progress because were lucky events like this happen sporadically

    July 20, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  19. Garrett

    I say leave it up to the state to handle its issue with gun control. Why does our government feel it has to step forward everytime something like this happens? It happened there not here in my state where more people carry guns. Leave it up to the state to fix the issue before jumping in.

    July 20, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. Chuk

    Mayor, thanks for your concern but as long as Republicans keep using their ideological, not common sense, defense of gun laws, guns are never going to be a "problem". One hand cannot wash itself. The NRA backed republicans (in fairness, some Democrats too), will never buy into any reasonable curbs on guns because of their paranoia that all their guns would be taken away and some foreign invaders will take over. As long as the gun lobby keeps control of Congress, you're just wasting your time.
    Those who support this silly law just have to answer the question: if these crazy killers cannot get their hands on these guns how, else could they kill so many innocent people in an instant? And, what good is the precious second amendment to a bunch of innocent people who pay the altimate price because no one has the backbone to stand up to the NRA?

    July 20, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  21. RJ

    I love listening to clueless people talk about "assault style" weapons being an issue.
    A real assault weapon is a fully automatic weapon.... those types of weapons require an expensive NFA permit (6 month process with full background check, not the quickie one) and the blessing of your local sheriff before you can even purchase one.
    The assault weapons ban was a joke as it banned guns that "looked like" an assault weapon, but did not function like one. (not fully automatic).
    A semi automatic weapon is only as fast as a person can pull the trigger. By that description, a double action revolver is a semi-automatic weapon. Large capacity magazines simply mean you have reload less. A person with a revolver, a few speed loaders and a little practice can be just as efficient as person shooting 9mm with a 15 round magazine.
    But the person with the speed loaders can hide the weapon a lot easier than a person with a 10" long magazine sticking out of the grip of a gun. You can see them coming at you pretty easy.

    Those trying to ban everything but single action pistols under the pretense that would meet the 2nd amendment requirements are uneducated and fail to understand WHY the 2nd amendment exists.
    It is exists to protect the people from an oppressive government. You can't stop an oppressive government with a six shooter.

    The real problem is society and the lack of proportional punishment. Minimum of a life sentence should be mandatory for anyone using a firearm during the commission of a crime. Things like armed robbery become an automatic life sentence.

    July 20, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. Tree

    Yes we need gun control.......NRA is lining their pockets while people are getting kill. We know guns don;t kill poeple people do. But come on people, how would you feel if this was your child, mother, brother, father and etc.

    July 20, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. S

    Bloomberg is salivating at the chance to tell people what they can and cannot do once again (remember beverage limitation). He knows that now is the time to get people to have a knee-jerk reaction to this incident. Fear has historically been a way to get people to agree to give up pieces of their rights and freedom to "feel" more secure.

    July 20, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Bob


    It is disturbing when a class of people feel it is their right to try and control another by taking something away that is a foundational freedom.

    Kind of like anti-choice terrorists. How many more people have to die before you get off your high horse to some simple common sense gun laws?

    How much more blood has to be spilled before you come to your senses?

    July 20, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. b

    it doesn't matter how many gun laws there are, there will still be criminals with guns
    maybe if some one was carrying in the theater then not as many people would have been killed

    July 20, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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