NY mayor urges Obama gun crackdown

2011-01-24 22:43

kalahari.com

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."

- SAPA
Read more on:    michael bloomberg  |  barack obama  |  us  |  gun control
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

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
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The virtual world can be very tempting to escape into but focus on also being present and keeping your feet anchored in reality....read more

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

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.