Once again, Mayor Michael Bloomberg reminds us of his true legacy.
Like Margaret Sanger on safe birth control for women and Martin Luther King on civil rights (they both did other things, good and bad) I believe Mike Bloomberg will also be remembered for one bold crusade–his lonely campaign to eliminate assault weapons in private hands, bring down the number of guns on our streets and end the insanity of Americans slaughtering each other in record numbers.
Once again, a mass murder takes place by a deranged American with an assault weapon, this time in a crowded theater in Aurora, Colorado last weekend. And once again, as after Columbine, the Gabby Giffords nightmare and other tragedies, politicians wring their hands at the horror of it all. But as usual, only one politician has the balls to stand up to the NRA and demand stopping the lunacy and banning assault weapons, Mike Bloomberg, who looks with skepticism at the statements of care and empathy from both President Obama and Mitt Romney.
“Expressing sympathy is nice,” said Bloomberg. “But somebody’s got to actually do something.”
A federal ban on assault weapons was in effect until 2004. While Governor of Massachusetts, Romney fought for and got a state ban on assault weapons passed, but has since reversed his opinion on the matter. Meanwhile President Obama has totally avoided the issue. Bloomberg shows disdain for what he calls their empty rhetoric, demanding “it’s time for both of them to be held accountable.” And of course he’s right. But don’t hold your breath.
A bill currently in Congress to outlaw magazines that hold large amounts of ammunition like the Colorado shooter used would be a good start. But Congress has ignored it, as have both Obama and Romney. Meanwhile the NRA has put in the crosshairs this fall lawmakers sympathetic to limiting ammo for such deadly assault weapons.
Why would the NRA oppose this bill? It doesn’t interfere with 2nd Amendment rights, nor with the purchase of hunting rifles or pistols for family and private protection. So after seeing the carnage these weapons and ammo causes innocents, why would they oppose the bill so strenuously?
Because they can. Because the NRA, which used to be a respectable organization advocating responsible gun use, is now just interested in one thing: power.
“They have shown absolutely no interest in public safety, but in people taking the law into their own hands,” says Bloomberg.
The NRA, who sees Bloomberg as public enemy No. 1, disputes this, saying taking away the right of private citizens to own deadly assault weapons is a “slippery slope.” If they truly believe this, why stop at assault rifles? Why not allow hand granades? How about dirty bombs? Why limit the weaponry Joe Citizen can purchase and carry?
Maybe I shouldn’t give them any ideas.