Bloomberg: Let's Talk Gun Control - NBC New York

Bloomberg: Let's Talk Gun Control



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    NEW YORK - AUGUST 24: (AFP OUT) New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a dinner in observance of Iftar at Gracie Mansion on August 24, 2010 in New York City. At the dinner, Bloomberg defended the proposed Islamic community center and mosque. Guests included Sharif el-Gamal, the developer of the lower Manhattan complex, and Daisy Khan, a co-founder of the group planning the mosque. (Photo by Frank Franklin II-Pool/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Michael Bloomberg

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the shooting of an Arizona congresswoman should spark a renewed gun control debate, calling accused shooter Jared Lee Loughner “a disgrace to democracy” as he advocated changes in federal gun policy.

    “This case is fundamentally about a mentally ill drug abuser who had access to guns and shouldn’t have,” Bloomberg said at a news conference Tuesday with members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

    The political fallout from the attack on Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has overwhelmingly focused on the heated state of political discourse, with debates on gun policy largely absent. But Bloomberg, a longtime supporter of gun control, said the conversation — specifically, stronger background checks — should be revisited.

    Mayors and law enforcement officials joining Bloomberg said gaps in the system of federal background checks allowed Loughner to purchase guns and that thousands more could slip through the cracks.

    “Based on what we know so far, the system that is supposed to protect us from dangerous and deranged people has failed once again,” Bloomberg said.

    Bloomberg was also joined by Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), who plans to introduce legislation that would make it illegal to carry a weapon within 1,000 feet of high-level government officials.