Minutes before the Empire State Building shooting on Friday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg discussed the need for stricter and reinforced gun control laws across the nation.
On John Gambling’s radio show, Bloomberg recounted the recent killings across the nation and in his own city that he believes could have been prevented by stricter gun control laws.
“We are the only developed country in the world with this problem,” he said.
The shooting outside the Empire State Building left two dead, including the shooter, and nine wounded by stray police bullets.
“New York City, as you know, is the safest big city in the country, and we are on pace to have a record low number of murders this year, but we are not immune to the national problem of gun violence,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a press conference.
According to The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, New York has the fourth-strictest gun laws among U.S. states.
Although shooter, Jeffrey Johnson, purchased the weapon legally in 21 years ago in Florida, he did not have a permit to carry the gun in New York City.
It is that type of dismissal of the law that Bloomberg wants to crack down on.
After the Colorado shooting in July, Mayor Bloomberg, an independent, urged that both Romney and Obama get specific about their plans for gun control laws.
“No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them concretely, not just in generalities,” he said his weekly radio appearance.
Obama called for reinstating the expired federal ban on assault weapons during his 2008 campaign, but he has not done so since assuming office.
Mitt Romney on the other hand, backed certain gun control measures in Massachusetts but now presents himself as a strong Second Amendment supporter.
Bloomberg believes that it is the undecided and independent voters that will be the ones demanding answers from either side.
David Kopel of the CATO Institute believes that tightening gun laws as Bloomberg promotes would just create a backlash from owners. He suggests that tracking large ammunition purchases would subject innocent people to profiling.
According to Kopel, an average recreational target shooter can easily go through 4,000 or 5,000 rounds a month.
“There is nothing suspicious about buying a thousand rounds at a time. If you want to create a government list of people exercising their rights, you can do that, but if the police are supposed to investigate everyone who buys ammunition in bulk, they will have time to do nothing else,” Kopel said.
A 2011 Gallup poll shows that people are nearly gridlocked over Congress passing stricter gun control laws. (“Strongly oppose” was only one percentage point ahead of “strongly support”.)
Karen Finney, MSNBC Political Analyst, is tired of the politics surrounding the issue.
“The NRA fought so viciously against any kind of national database or tracking system out of the ‘protection of second amendment rights,’” she said. “We have to balance those second amendment rights with the safety and security of our people.”
Bloomberg promotes a nonpartisan stance on the issue in his coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. He depicts it as an issue that is not conservative or liberal, but one of law and order, and life or death.