Mayor Michael Bloomberg is absolutely right to call upon President Barack Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney to do more than sympathize with the families and friends of the 12 people who were shot and killed by a clearly crazed guy in Aurora, Colo., last week. More than 50 others were injured in the incident.
Offering bromides of sympathy is not enough. The president and the leader of the opposition party have a duty to lead the country and take on the National Rifle Association that has frightened members of Congress to follow its dictates and not exercise the power of Congress to regulate the possession of guns without violating the Second Amendment.
The National Rifle Association has pressured Congress into providing a loophole in the law that requires dealers to check any purchasers to see if they have a felony record or were ever institutionalized for mental problems using a list provided by the government.
The Congress inserted a provision that such background checks are not required if the guns are purchased at gun shows, where I believe, 40 percent of guns sold in the U.S. are purchased.
Closing this loophole would not have affected this recent event. Nevertheless, it has, and will in the future, affect other events. This current case was affected by Congress refusing to continue the ban on selling semi-automatic rifles that act like machine guns. Any member of Congress who refuses to pledge to support and vote for the closing of the loophole should be defeated.
As Mayor Bloomberg cogently stated, let the president and Mitt Romney tell us how they will deal with this issue and, in particular, these loopholes. This issue is as important as any issue facing our country. If they want our votes, they can tell us where they stand.
Edward Koch was the 105th mayor of New York City for three terms, from 1978 to 1989. He previously served for nine years as a congressman. Read more reports from Ed Koch — Click Here Now.
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