New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Sunday challenged President Barack Obama to take charge of imposing stricter gun-control laws in the United States following the horrific shootings of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut schoolhouse.
“It’s time for the president, I think, to stand up and lead and tell this country what we should do, not go to Congress and say what you guys want to do,” Bloomberg said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “This should be his No. 1 agenda.”
The staunch gun-control advocate, whose state’s gun restrictions are among the toughest in the country, said if Obama does not act, an estimated 48,000 Americans will die next year at the trigger of illegally possessed guns.
“We kill people in schools,” Bloomberg said. “We kill them in hospitals. We kill them in religious organizations. We kill them when they’re young. We kill them when they’re old. We’ve just got to stop this.”
Specifically, Obama, who campaigned in 2008 on an assault-weapons-ban platform, should enforce existing laws more aggressively and introduce legislation to Congress, Bloomberg said.
“If Congress were to act, if Congress wasn’t so afraid of the NRA — I think I can show you that they have no reason to be — but if they were to stand up and do what was right for the American public, we’d all be a lot better off,” he said, describing the power of the National Rifle Association as “vastly overrated.”
“There is this myth that the NRA is so powerful . . . the public, when you do the polls, they want to stop this carnage, and if 20 kids isn’t enough to convince them, I don’t know what will be.”
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