Today, the National Rifle Association had its press conference about guns, their first in the wake of the tragic Newtown shootings that left 26 children and educators dead at a Connecticut elementary school. While the NRA had promised to "offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again," NRA head Wayne LaPierre simply blamed the media, gun-free school zones, video game makers, monsters, and President Obama—and then suggested that armed guards be placed in every school. As expected, Mayor Bloomberg, a staunch advocate of gun policy reform, was disgusted, calling it a "shameful evasion of the crisis facing our country."
Bloomberg's full statement:
The NRA's Washington leadership has long been out of step with its members, and never has that been so apparent as this morning. Their press conference was a shameful evasion of the crisis facing our country. Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe. Leadership is about taking responsibility, especially in times of crisis. Today the NRA's lobbyists blamed everyone but themselves for the crisis of gun violence. While they promote armed guards, they continue to oppose the most basic and common sense steps we can take to save lives - not only in schools, but in our movie theaters, malls, and streets. Enough. As a country, we must rise above special interest politics. Every day, 34 Americans are murdered with guns. That's why 74 percent of NRA members support common sense restrictions like criminal background checks for anyone buying a gun. It is time for Americans who care about the Second Amendment and reasonable gun restrictions to join together to work with the President and Congress to stop the gun violence in this country. Demand a plan.
"Demand a plan" refers to Bloomberg's initiative through his group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
The mayor also said that he'll be using his billions to help political candidates who are in favor of gun control, telling the NY Times, "If you told me that I could write a check today and stop 48,000 murders in America in the next four years, can you imagine me not? What kind of a person would I be?"