Do You Think It Is SAD That Conservatives Care More About Protecting The GUN RIGHTS Of Mass Murderers Than They Do About Protecting Our Children?
How we will beat the NRA
Mayor Bloomberg says: One month after Newtown, ordinary Americans must keep pressure on Washington to demand responsible gun laws that save lives
One month has passed since 20 children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School. No words could do justice to the horror we felt. No pictures could convey the anguish and grief of the survivors and their families. And no prayers could undo the evil of that day.
The children at Sandy Hook Elementary could have been our children — mine and yours. When parents drop their kids off at school, they do so knowing they will be safe. But they don’t know that anymore — not with absolute certainty. They can’t. Newtown shattered that illusion.
No place in America is safe from dangerous people armed with guns. Not elementary schools or universities. Not playgrounds or churches. Not malls or movie theaters.
Not unless Washington acts — now.
Over the last month, Americans in all 50 states have taken action. Nearly a million people have signed the “Demand a Plan” petition organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan coalition of more than 800 mayors from every region of the country.
Our petition — which you can sign by going to DemandaPlan.org — urges the President and Congress to require background checks for every gun sale, ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines and make gun trafficking a federal crime.
Daily News readers have also taken action: More than 100,000 of you have signed the Daily News petition calling on Congress and President Obama to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines. I encourage everyone to get involved — by signing petitions, calling your representatives and supporting candidates and groups that are fully committed to common sense gun laws.
Last November, I supported five candidates for Congress who were running against NRA-backed candidates. Four of them won, showing that the NRA’s power is more myth than reality.
The lobbyists for groups like the NRA try to twist the issue of gun violence into a debate over the Second Amendment. But that debate is settled. The Supreme Court has ruled it is constitutional to place reasonable restrictions on guns, and nothing that we are proposing would run afoul of that standard.
This issue is not about whether we uphold the Constitution. It’s about whether members of Congress have the courage to buck a special interest group that is endangering our children — and all of America.
Gun owners understand this. In fact, more than 80% of gun owners support common sense steps — like background checks for all gun sales — to strengthen our gun laws. They recognize that those laws protect them, too. Right now, any violent criminal can log onto the internet or go to a gun show and buy a gun illegally. Whether or not you are a gun owner, that reality threatens all of us.
If we are serious about protecting lives, we have to get serious about enforcing our laws. It’s not enough to punish crime; our goal should be to prevent it.
That’s what we’ve done in New York City, and we’ve been able to reduce crime to record lows. Last year, we had the fewest number of homicides since records first started being kept in 1963, partly because we have some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and our police officers proactively enforce them.
But we cannot solve the problem of gun violence by ourselves. About 85% of all guns used in New York City crimes come from out of state, largely from states with very lax gun laws. This is a national problem that requires national leadership from our elected representatives in Washington. I have spoken with both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, and I am hopeful that they will take concrete action this week.
In the month since Sandy Hook, more than 100 mayors have joined our coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. And yet, at the same time, nearly 1,000 more Americans have been murdered with guns. If Congress and the President fail to act, every month that passes there will be 1,000 more people murdered with guns — 48,000 people over the course of the President’s second term. That’s nearly as many casualties as we experienced in the entire Vietnam War.
We cannot allow another month to go by. We cannot allow guns to threaten our children and communities. We must hold Washington accountable for action — now.
Michael Bloomberg is mayor of New York.
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