Bloomberg: Sadly, Giffords Tragedy Didn’t Move Congress On Gun Control

The tragic shooting spree that injured now-retired Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) one year ago did not move Congress to take up gun control, lamented New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a leading advocate for stricter gun laws.

“Well, you’d think that if a congresswoman got shot in the head, that would have changed Congress’ views,” Bloomberg said Sunday on NBC’s Meet The Press. “I can tell you how to change it: Just get Congress to come with me to the hospital when I’ve got to tell somebody that their son or daughter, their spouse, their parent is not going to come home ever again.”

The New York mayor made an impassioned plea for new gun control laws.

This week, sadly even though the murder rate in New York is now so much lower than almost every big city, we still had a cop shot last week with a gun that somebody had, even though the federal laws prohibited that person from having a gun. You know, the federal laws say you can’t get a gun if you have a drug problem, psychiatric problem, criminal record, or a minor; and yet, Congress doesn’t give monies to make sure that we can have a background check. They have too many loopholes. The background database isn’t up-to-date. Private sector sales of guns is something like 40%, and they don’t do background checks.

I don’t know who has to get killed for people to start saying, “Wait a second, this is enough.” We’ve had 400,000 Americans killed since R.F.K. and Martin Luther King, Jr., were both assassinated back in ’68. That is more Americans that have died on the streets from illegal guns since then in America than Americans that were killed in World War II. Enough is enough.

The cause of gun control has slowed to a grinding halt in Congress over the last decade and a half, with the GOP hardening its pro-gun stance, Democrats running away from the issue and the Supreme Court handing down a series of gun-friendly decisions. President Obama has not touched the cause.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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