Bloomberg blasts 'deafening silence' on guns from Obama and Romney
August 6th, 2012
02:50 PM ET
10 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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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.

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

Filed under: Gun rights • Michael Bloomberg • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Workers Unite !

    Another fraking control freak!

    August 6, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. CoJo

    President Obama has already stated that we do not need more gun laws or regulations. What is needed is for the current laws to be enforced better (at the state level). You might want to get your facts correct. Bloomberg ought to hound his buddy Romney before he talks to anyone else. If his republican buddy won't do anything, why should anyone else talk to him?

    August 6, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Name

    The number one reason for the second admendment is to protect our selfs from government oppression we need 1000 round magazine and 50 cal. New york has the most brutal cops in the country because they can get away with any thing because of gun laws.

    August 6, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. CoJo

    I thought GOP & Romney wanted to get rid of government waste. Well they just spent $52,000,000 voting on something (ACA) that they knew was going to fail. Just think how many police that could fund, or firemen or teachers or gone towards cancer research... Way to go GOP!!! The $52M figure came from Scott Pelley

    August 6, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. stars

    I blame Michelle Bachmon and Newt and the other gop that sided with her about Ms Huma Clinton Staff. Why is the big mouth bimbo quiet now.

    August 6, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. where your nightmares end WILLARD begins

    when the president made the brief statement that only soilders and law enforcement officers should carry AK-47 rifles there were some on the right that attacked that statement think if he had gone beyond that and asked for stricter gun laws. They chose to overlook the part where he siaid that he is in favor of the 2nd amendment and went directly to the part of what he didn't agree with.

    August 6, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. bobthegunslinger

    bloomberg is an idiot with delusions of an utopian society that will never exist as long as there are evil,greedy, and crazy people.why are gun crimes more prevalent in gun banned areas?because gun control doesn`t work,as it has been proven over and over by countless gun laws now repealed because they simply didn`t work.i carry everyday and everyone stays safe(oh my god!,how is that you ask!).well,simply use common sense and obey moral standards!a law has never made anyone safe,but has given them a false perception of safety!police are there to file the reports and chalk the lines and are in no way obligated to protect you!personal protection is up to you!have can one protect themselves if there are law that prohibit you from doing so?you can`t!you are left to take your chances and the system and the bad guy have the upper hand!the second amendment says"shall not be infringed",so what don`t people understand?it was put in place to protect you from government!if you don`t get it,then eventually you will either live in fear hiding or dead from these senseless gun advocates!

    August 6, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Jan

    I don't know what to make of Bloomberg. He seems to be posturing for something, but I don't know what. I agree with him that low volume (or silence according to him) SURELY NEEDS TO CHANGE, but I find him A BIT HYPOCRITICAL. At the same time he's expressing all of this outrage he's contributing to the problem. He's selling NY's "spent bullet casings" to amunition companies to be refilled and find their way back to the streets. WHAT?!!!! SOMEBODY HELP ME UNDERSTAND!!! You know...I think it just hit me what he might be order to deflect from his hypocracy, and redirection of those casings from scrap metal companies, he's redirecting his share of the blame for todays problems.

    August 6, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    He's just trying to stir up trouble. Nothing more.

    August 6, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. NonPartisan American First

    Please my fellow Americans tone it down a bit. Stop the name calling and hate you are using when you disagree with others. I have been around guns my entire life. I was taught how to hunt with a rifle and shotgun and how to use a handgun. I was also taught the value of human life and that deadly force should be used as a last resort. The mass murderers the last couple weeks are not a representation of the majority of gun owners or our citizens. How do we regulate insanity, hate and people that have nothing to lose. We will never be able to solve that problem will we.

    August 6, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
1 2 3