New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a champion of stricter gun laws, did not mince words responding to the National Rifle Association’s first press conference following the Newton, Conn. shooting.
“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,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
A the press conference, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre called for armed guards in schools, pointed a finger at Hollywood’s depictions of violence and criticized the media for its reporting on guns.
“Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol police officers, yet when it come to our most beloved innocent and vulnerable members of the American family — our children — we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predator of the world know it and exploit it,” The Daily Caller reported LaPierre, said.
Bloomberg took issue with LaPierre’s view, calling it “a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe” and admonished the four million member organization for failing to take responsibility.
“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,” he said. “Enough. As a country, we must rise above special interest politics.”
Bloomberg concluded his statement by calling 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.”
While Bloomberg took on the NRA this afternoon, earlier in the day Politicker reported the New York mayor told a caller on his weekly radio show that he was the strongest defender of the Second Amendment.
“I don’t think there’s anybody that’s defended the Second Amendment as much as I have, Ray,” Politicker reported Bloomberg said to a caller who asked why he was “so against” the Second Amendment.
“I think you have a perfect right to buy weapons and keep them for protection or for sport. We have tried to make sure that you have it. The Supreme Court says that there are–consistent with the Second Amendment–you can have reasonable restrictions, so, for example, you can’t buy a nuclear-tipped weapon,” he added.