Bloomberg criticizes federal government for lax gun laws following Newtown shooting
Mayor Mike Bloomberg yesterday again called for federal gun-control legislation and tougher enforcement of existing laws, pressing President Barack Obama to lead the charge against lobbyists.
In the wake of Friday's deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the mayor appeared on "Meet the Press" to push the president and other national leaders to curb gun violence by restricting weapons access.
Bloomberg, who created a super PAC during the election season that supported anti-gun leaders, said Friday's shooting that left 20 kids dead is the sort of problem that's become common in America, and the president must take action.
"I think it's time for the president to stand up and lead and tell this country what we will do," he said.
Bloomberg said the president, who was slated to speak at a memorial service in Newtown last night, has always spoken about gun control after mass shootings, but has so far done nothing. He added that Obama could use executive orders and ban the sale of assault weapons, such as the one used by alleged shooter Adam Lanza.
"I don't think the Founding Fathers had the idea that every man, woman and child can carry an assault rifle," the mayor said.
Sen. Charles Schumer told CBS's "Face the Nation," that Congress needs to ban assault weapons, while his Senate colleague Dianne Feinstein of California, speaking on "Meet the Press," pledged to introduce a bill in Congress that would ban the sale, distribution and possession of assault weapons and large magazines.
Gun control opponents argued that the alleged shooter's access to his weapons was just a small factor in the tragedy. Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert told "Fox News Sunday" he wished the Sandy Hook Elementary principal had an assault weapon to defend herself.
Bloomberg dismissed the idea of allowing guns in schools and public places.
"Carrying guns on a college campus is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of in my life," he said. "We don't need guns every place. It's not what the Founding Fathers had in mind."
The mayor touted the city's tough gun laws and the NYPD's anti-gun programs as examples that the rest of the nation could follow.
He even alluded to the controversial "stop and frisk," tactic as one of the reasons that the city has seen a decrease in violent crimes.
"We focus our efforts where there is crime and we make sure the people who might commit those crimes know there is a high probability we will find them carrying weapons and they will go to jail," he said.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who disagrees with the mayor on "stop and frisk," nonetheless praised him for his stance on gun control.
"We need to aggressively enforce the laws already on the books, and start the work of adopting stronger measures at every level of government," the potential mayoral candidate said in a statement.