New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney must be “held accountable” for their weak stances on gun control in the wake of the Aurora shooting.
In an interview with Bob Schieffer on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Bloomberg said that while “expressing sympathy is nice,” it’s time for Obama and Romney to step up and offer a real plan to protect Americans from firearms.
“It’s time for both of them to be called, held accountable,” Bloomberg said. “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 handful of others, that really matter to the American public. It matters to the future of our country, it matters to you and me and to our children and grandchildren. And it’s time I think that we hold them accountable and say, ‘Okay, you want our votes? What are you going to do?'”
Bloomberg criticized both the president and his opponent for failing to live up to their past promises on gun control.
“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 a federal ban on assault weapons,” Bloomberg said. “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.”
Bloomberg, who has long advocated more aggressive efforts to fight gun violence, is a co-chair for Mayors Against Illegal Guns. After the Aurora shooting, he released a statement through that group expressing condolences and saying
The fixes are easy and they are common sense. It’s about enforcing existing Federal laws and making sure we don’t let criminals buy weapons. We need to put a background check on all sales and require states to step up their reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to make sure we have a check that works. Maybe this will finally wake up Washington. We are going to keep the pressure on because this just has to stop.