When the smoke cleared at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in the wee hours of a Friday morning last July, 12 people were dead, 58 were injured and Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in New York, readying an assault of his own.
The campaign that Mr. Bloomberg and his “gun team” came up with in the hours and days after Aurora involved carpet-bombing Washington with millions from the mayor’s immense fortune and a media blitz that would be deployed following the next massacre.
“He was so frustrated by the lack of conversation around this issue … that he decided to force the conversation himself,” Howard Wolfson, deputy mayor for government affairs and communications, told Politicker.
Earlier today, President Barack Obama unveiled a broad set of gun control proposals prompted by the wave of anti-gun sentiment generated by last month’s massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a prominent gun control advocate, scheduled a press conference this afternoon to praise the White House for what he described as “a bold and comprehensive plan to tackle gun violence” that matches much of his own vision.
“Today it’s clear that the president and the vice president heard us and they heard the American people,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “The vast majority of Americans support common-sense gun regulations, and clearly, the White House was listening.”
In the wake of the killings in Newtown, Hollywood superagent Ari Emanuel is making a donation to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the initiative co-founded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Mr. Emanuel, one of the CEO’s of the massive talent agency William Morris Endeavor and the real-life inspiration for Entourage character Ari Gold, announced his support for Mr. Bloomberg’s anti-gun violence crusade in a blog post on his Linkedin page yesterday.
“There is no way to ignore the tragedy that took place in Newtown. It weighs on us as a country. As a parent it is unfathomable, and compels me to question how this could have happened,” wrote Mr. Emanuel. “I am the first to acknowledge that the issue of gun control is complicated and has many sides. I am not here to educate anyone on the matter. But just because something is complicated doesn’t mean that we should just throw our hands up. It actually means that it matters and that we need to come to the table and figure this out.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not satisfied with President Barack Obama’s reaction to the recent shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. Specifically, a tearful Mr. Obama called for “meaningful action” to prevent future tragedies, a vague vow that Mr. Bloomberg, who has emerged as one of the chief gun control advocates nationwide, found wholly unacceptable.
“President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families in Newtown. But the country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem. Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement. “We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response. My deepest sympathies are with the families of all those affected, and my determination to stop this madness is stronger than ever.”
Ahead of last night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University, several members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a prominent organization backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, penned an op-ed in the Long Island publication Newsday urging questions that demand accountability from the candidates on policies to address gun violence, and for substantive plans to be offered in response. Well, in a post-debate statement the group said they got half their wish.
“President Obama, during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals,” local voter Nina Gonzalez asked President Barack Obama during the town hall-style discussion. “What has your administration done or plan to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?”
Early on a Friday morning last month, a deranged shooter walked into a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and sprayed enough bullets to injure 58 people and murder 12. A few hours later, Mayor Mike Bloomberg was set to go on his weekly radio hour with 710 AM radio host John Gambling.
No sooner had the host, who has met with the mayor nearly every week at the same hour for the last decade, said “Good morning,” than Mr. Bloomberg, his voice trembling with anger, slammed the nation’s political culture for sitting by while the bodies piled up.
“You know, soothing words are nice, but maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be President of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country,” he inveighed.
Super Bowl XLVI
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino are starring in a Super Bowl ad to promote their Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign. The ad features both men clad in the jerseys of their city’s respective teams talking about how they “don’t agree” on sports or local cuisine.
“But we both support the second amendment,” Mayor Menino says in the ad.
“And believe America must do more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” Mayor Bloomberg adds.