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. Emmanuel

    What about our UNCONSTITUTIONAL govt one more way to take all your freedoms! Frankly the majority of Gun owners dont kill people ever. There will always be illegal guns floating around. What about the real cause of the problems, created by western govt and secret society; poverty, poor education, joblessness, disease all created for us! Wheres the love at? world. Namaste

    July 20, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. Charles

    By the logic of some of the posters here, police shouldn't wear bulletproof vests, because any logical steps taken to reduce the potential damage of a bad-guy with a gun are addressing the wrong problem, which is the shooter (because it's certainly not the gun he's holding!) Sure, American society, mental health system, etc. has its problems, and they SHOULD be addressed. But should we really not take basic steps (like equipping cops with vests, or banning assuult weapons and magazines) to reduce risk in the meantime??? You NRA folks are such strong believers in self-defense. An assault weapons ban IS self-defense – for society at large. You are telling Americans to forgo self-defense in favor of somehow solving society's ills – stopping "people from killing people" rather than guns. Can't you see how little sense that makes?

    July 20, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    The United States has more assault weapons per capita than all of Europe combined! But don't start to advocate gun controll here because the conservative right will start to call our President a communist and a socialist! Ever since these confederates nutjobs lost the civil war, they've become obsessed with enormous gun possession and unfortunately, they have a domestic terrorist activist organization called the NRA to back their insanity. Go get them Bloomberg!

    July 20, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. b

    the real world doesn't live in bloombergs protective bubble

    July 20, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. Myviewis

    According to research (Huffington Post had a good article on this) alcohol related deaths is higher than Aids, violence or TB. Approximately 100,000 death due to alcohol a year: suicides, drownings, automobile, homicides, accidental falls, disease of the circulatory system, etc.... more than gun related deaths.

    July 20, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. John P. Tarver

    This mass murderer already proved he could make a bomb. The casualties would have been much higher if he did not have a gun. Stop being fools and accept the fact that the Law can not stop criminals; only socia change can do that.

    July 20, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. Manny

    So, yet again, corrupt New York police are putting guns into the hands of criminals in the Empire State. Well, Mr. Bloomberg, looks like you still haven't cleaned up your own backyard. For someone so concerned with gun running, he hasn't done anything to stop the corruption. I'm not surprised at all. He's a politician who only cares about power.

    July 13, 2012 An NYPD officer has been arrested in connection with a months-long firearms trafficking investigation after he allegedly stole guns from his precinct to be sold on the street and arranged drug buys while on duty, authorities said. Nicholas Mina was arrested late Thursday and charged with conspiracy, grand larceny and sale of a firearm, among other crimes. Information on an attorney wasn't immediately available. He and four co-conspirators who were also arrested were scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

    July 20, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Darthlawsuit

    If everyone in the movie theatre had a gun that man would have been had 30 bullet holes in him and only one kill.

    July 20, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. asdf

    inb4: "The worst time to talk about gun control is when we are all actually thinking about how terrible our policies are!"

    July 20, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Skookumchuck


    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.

    Do you really think that an armed citizen uprising could overthrow the US government. The military would mow down any insugents in the name of freedom.

    How is it working out for the Syrians?

    July 20, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Patrick

    I live in Chicago, and only until recently, it was illegal for an ordinary citizen to own a firearm – at all.

    And it worked so very well. (that's sarcasm)

    July 20, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Frank


    There are more dangerous things then guns! THE HUMAN BRAIN! if they want to inflict pain they will!!! Think about it!

    July 20, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. GaryS

    Mr Mayor you're wrong. Today its suicide to wait for police to help. That is if there are enough on patrol not otherwise engaged in crime fighting. With the economy so down and cities cutting back on police I'm actually surprised more weren't killed. If there had been one legal permit holder there things might have been different. The biggest hole in today's gun control is the mental health aspect. There is virtually no communication between medical facilities and the BATF or local law enforcement. If there had idiots like the one that shot Senator Giffords would have been stopped before it had a chance to happen. We don't need more restrictive laws we need proper enforcement of current laws.
    Like example Ca's so called ban on driving and using a cell phone. What a freaking joke that law is. If I got $5.00 for every driver I saw violating the "hands free" law I' wouldn't have to work for a living.
    Of course right now we don't know how this killer got his guns, legal or not. So before you run off screaming with your panties in a bunch Mayor Bloomberg. Lets find out if this guy got the guns legally. Because if he got them illegally no amount of gun control would stop that. Remember only law abiding citizens are affected by gun control laws, criminal do what ever the heck they want.

    July 20, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  14. Jerry

    Making hasty, rash decisions immediately after something bad happens is just problem, reaction, solution. Let's not repeat the epic mistakes that led to the Patriot Act.

    July 20, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. paul

    According to the NRA, if every person in the theatre was packing a piece, casualties could have been minimized. Let's hear it for the US gun lobby...or not! Where is Charleston Heston whwen you need him?

    July 20, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. Mal

    Thank you Mr President for postponing politics for today and respecting our fellow Americans who are victims of this horrific event. I understand that even some of our Military were also attending this movie and are also victims. A genuine display of concern and compassion.

    July 20, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. Bruce

    It’s not the guns.
    It is the decline of morals and values, and parents that are too lazy/ignorant to properly raise their kids.
    The down fall of man will not come thru excessive criticism, but by lack of self-criticism. GKC 1906

    July 20, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. columbus

    Gun laws do not stop criminals or terrorists, Bloomberg isn't going to be satisfied until he creates a completely utopian NYC at the expense of our basic liberties and the tenets of what the USA was built on. Funny how he wants government to do what's best for the citezenry, but his policy is laissez faire when it comes to Wall Street.

    July 20, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. Eagle Scout

    He can call for whatever he wants but he's missing the real issue- Mental health in this country. Ever since the Mental Health system was dismantled in the 60's this country has been headed toward this end. The current ideology that all should have rights and be free and not involuntarily commited is flawed and is at root of these problems. Wake up people! It isn't the fault of a mechanical device anymore than it is the cars fault some drunk killed someone on the road. People need to accept that there are mentally incompetent people who DO need to be incarcerated. Bloomberg needs to wake up and get off his personal vendetta against firearms.

    July 20, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Everyone wants to STOP all gun violence. That won't happen. BUT what if strict gun laws could REDUCE it dramatically. What if a strict gun law could prevent 25 young children from being killed each year. Would it be worth it ??

    July 20, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. StayinNY

    The people of New York City elected this guy to tell them what size soft drinks they can have etc. None of the rest of us voted for him. If he wants to have a say in national policies, then, he should run for national office, and there is only ONE of those (president).

    July 20, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. Thomas


    If everyone in the theater had a gun, there would be many more dead than the unlucky 12. Stop living in a fairytale where anything different would have happened in the chaos of the event. Can you point me to any article where a loan bystander saved the day?

    July 20, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Gaz

    Gun control made easy. If you are not army, navy, police, private security you cannot buy, wield or legally own combat shotguns, assualt rifles, machine guns and high powered pistols. Guns shows and shooting ranges would be the only place to get your hands on such weapons. The dealers would be highly regulated by the government and the sale of such weapons considered illegal. Guns for domestic ownership include small handguns used for self defense, hunting rifles and collector editions. The real regulation should go on the ammunition. Not the guns themselves. Make the ammo and gun barrel easier to trace. So if someone got shot, law enforcement can just say it was fired from gun x registered to person a. Banning of guns wont help. Prohibition never works.

    July 20, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  24. Patrick from Minnesota

    Yeah, I don't think Mitt's going to pick this guy...

    July 20, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. donnie

    the gun lobby will win out every piece of trailer trash has a gun . Arizona has over8 00 gun shops all along its boarder with mexico. Gee wonder where the guns are coming from??? ak47's and other assault riflels are ok according to the NRA. Like we use these to hunt with. I have seen a bunch of good ol boys get ready to hunt first they drink a mess of beer and then go blast some poor little dove that is to small to eat. Then sit around drink more beer and talk about what great hunters they are.they should be checking these clowns to see if they should be allowed to vote.

    July 20, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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