NY mayor urges Obama gun crackdown

2011-01-24 22:43

New York - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined gun violence victims on Monday calling on President Barack Obama to urge tighter controls on firearms during his State of the Union address.

The mayor, a prominent voice in the national debate over guns, said Obama's speech on Tuesday is a chance to act in the aftermath of this month's wounding of congressperson Gabrielle Giffords and killing of six others in Arizona.

"We believe it is an opportunity for our president to make a strong pledge to fix our gun laws and shore up our background check system," Bloomberg said.

The mayor, flanked by gun violence victims and the son of slain black civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, said "loophole-free" checks to prevent criminals and mentally unstable people from purchasing guns were essential.

"Every day, 34 Americans are murdered with guns - and most of them are purchased or possessed illegally," Bloomberg said at City Hall, where he was also joined by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

The 34 victims attending the event - their number chosen to mirror the country's daily toll - echoed Bloomberg.

A mother pleaded for "President Obama to start taking action. We are having a horrible, horrible war of our own here toady. We are here not as victims but as victorious voices to stand up to gun manufacturers."

Deeply embedded

Obama is under pressure from his Democratic party to tighten gun laws, but the issue is a political minefield in a country where huge numbers of voters own weapons and gun-ownership is deeply embedded in the culture.

While massacres like the Arizona shootings spark widespread outrage, attempts to follow up with tougher controls are usually swiftly overcome by opposition from Republicans and gun advocates such as the National Rifle Association.

Given the political landscape, gun control proponents are focusing mostly on pushing Obama to do no more than call for banning the kind of oversize ammunition clips that allow a shooter - like the Arizona gunman - to spray bullets.

"Mr Obama ought to tell that to Congress and the public in his State of the Union address this week," the Democrat-leaning New York Times said in an editorial.

"We are still waiting for President Obama to fulfil his promises."

Adding weight to Bloomberg's appeal was Martin Luther King III, who said he too was a "victim".

"For decades we have tolerated senseless gun violence, which has struck down too many of our fellow citizens, particularly our young people," King said.

Enough now

The small crowd of gunshot victims and relatives of people murdered took turns to come to the podium and deliver their own poignant messages.

"We need to take a stand because it's ridiculous. I'm angry. I'm very angry right now because the person who murdered my daughter has still never been found," one distraught parent said.

Another woman held up a picture of her dead son in his school graduation robes.

He was "murdered in front of my home by strangers in a chance encounter with a stolen gun," she said.

"Something has got to change. Enough is enough."


Read more on:    michael bloomberg  |  barack obama  |  us  |  gun control

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


We will give you police - Zille

A total of 250 000 police on the streets is one of the election promises Helen Zille made during an anti-drugs and gangsterism march in Manenberg, Cape Town.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia E7

Your mobile office Real-time emails with Mail for Exchange. Easy access to...

From R3499.00

I'm shopping for:


Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.