New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a co-chairman of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said Sunday that “expressing sympathy is nice,” but President Obama and Mitt Romney need to convey something more concrete in terms of gun control.
“And this requires — and particularly in a presidential year — the candidates for president of the United States to stand up and once and for all say, yes, they feel terrible,” Bloomberg said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “Yes, it’s a tragedy. Yes, we have great sympathy for the families, but it’s time for this country to do something. And that’s the job of the president of the United States.”
Bloomberg quickly called for more stringent gun-control laws the day of the Aurora mass shooting in the movie theater that left 12 dead.
“You know, Governor Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts actually passed a ban on assault weapons. And President Obama, when he came into office in 2008, said he would reinstitute the ban, the federal ban on assault weapons,” the mayor said. “And 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 called– held accountable.”
“You know, we spend all our time talking about tax returns and gaffes and things like that. This is one of those issues, along with a hand full of others, that really matter to the American public,” he added.
Bloomberg then said that he “shouldn’t be putting words in their mouths.”
“I don’t know what their motives are,” he added.
Bloomberg blamed the NRA for putting intense pressure on lawmakers over gun rights. “The NRA has opposed anything,” he said. “And if you do a survey — it’s interesting — 80 percent of the NRA members say, for example, the federal laws on guns should be enforced and that we should stop all this closing our eyes and letting people go and buy guns. You know, there are guns that are advertised on the internet, 50-caliber rifle, and it says, ‘able to bring down a commercial jetliner at a mile and a half.’ Or ‘armor-piercing bullets.'”
“The last time I saw a deer wearing a bulletproof vest was a long time ago,” Bloomberg said.