Despite being targeted by what police say were a pair of ricin-laced letters decrying his fight against illegal guns, Mayor Michael Bloomberg remained cool as a cucumber last night, saying he didn’t feel threatened or angered by the alleged attacks.
“Well, there was a letter that threatened us, but let me tell you, we are–number one–I have enormous confidence in the NYPD and the FBI and their procedures,” he told reporters outside the Museum at Eldridge Street Synagogue’s spring celebration gala at Gotham Hall, according to a transcript of the remarks.
“We take a lot of security measures, as you know. The men and women that open the mail, for example, even they are well-trained and we have procedures for something like this. This is not the first letter that was ever sent to anybody,” he said.
The letters–one of which was sent to Lower Manhattan and the other to the office of his Mayors Against Illegal Guns group in Washington, D.C.–contained material that, “when tested locally preliminarily indicated the presence of ricin,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said in a statement.
According to Mr. Browne, the writer of both letters “threatened Mayor Bloomberg, with references to the debate on gun laws.”
“You’re not going to take my guns. You’ll have to kill me before you take my guns. If you take my guns, you should see what I’m going to do to you,” the computer-typed letters read, sources told the New York Post.
But Mr. Bloomberg was apologetically about his anti-gun efforts.
“In terms of–why they’ve done it, I don’t know. The letter does, obviously, referred to our anti-gun efforts, but there’s 12,000 people that are going to get killed this year with guns and 19,000 that are going to commit suicide with guns, and we’re not going to walk away from those efforts,” he said. “And I know I speak for all of the close to 1,000 mayors in Mayors Coalition Against Guns: This is a scourge on the country that we just have to make sure that we get under control and eliminate. Thank you.”
But, did he feel threatened by the alleged attack against him? he was asked.
“No, I don’t feel threatened.”
What about angry?
“No, I’m not angry,” he said. “There are people who, I would argue, do things that may be irrational, do things that are wrong. But it’s a very complex world out there and we just have to deal with that I think.”