Bloomberg Supports Guns Supporters
On August 15, Mayor Bloomberg will host a fundraiser for Republican US Senator Brown of Massachusetts. But, Senator Brown has opposed a ban on assault weapons (a ban that was in place in the US from 1994 to 2004), and Senator Brown earns very high ratings from the NRA, our country's loudest and strongest voice in favor of gun availability.
Here is New York State, Mayor Bloomberg has supported former Staten Island Republican Rep. Vito Fossella, one of the gun lobby's most loyal public officials. He is also the biggest donor to the Republicans in the New York State Senate, though those Republicans have successfully opposed Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to bring bullet microstamping to our state. We have supported the Mayor's microstamping push, but the Mayor is the largest donor to the group that is blocking the Mayor's efforts. He is truly his own worst enemy, and people in NYC are being killed because of the successful opposition to gun control by elected officials who remain in office because of the Mayor's financial support.
Bloomberg Right to Oppose Guns
Bloomberg seems virtually alone in calling for reduced availability of guns in our country. His rhetoric is correct. Let's hope he starts to put his money where his mouth is. Let's look at his recent statements criticizing Obama and Romney.
Less than a week after Aurora, the two candidates are back to politics as usual, attacking each other on gaffes and trivialities. If not now, when is the time for them to outline their solutions to gun violence?If Bloomberg would back up these statements with a small portion of his billions of dollars of wealth, he might make a difference and save lives.
After the massing shooting in Tucson last year, we heard: “Now is not the time.” We heard the same refrain after shooting sprees at Virginia Tech and Columbine. It’s as if as a country, we cannot mourn the dead and protect the living at the same time.
I refuse to accept that — and as a country, we have never accepted that when our safety has been at risk. When our country was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, we did not wait to respond. We took immediate steps to prevent another attack. Here in New York City, we gave our police officers the tools they need to do their jobs — and protect innocent lives.
But when 34 people are murdered with guns every day, Washington just looks the other way — even when massacres occur in a single place. It has been 18 months since the Tucson shooting, and still Washington has not taken the steps necessary to ensure that all people with mental health and drug histories, including the Tucson shooter, are precluded from buying guns.
The reason for the inaction is that — according to conventional wisdom — talking about gun regulations is unpopular with voters. But when you ask the American people — including gun owners — if they favor smarter, tougher measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, they overwhelmingly say they do.