Just over 12 hours since the terrible shooting in Aurora, Co. at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, the last in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, the responses are coming in and Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City has this to say on a routine call in to the John Gambling radio show (Village Voice):
No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them concretely, not just in generalitiesÂ—specifically what are they going to do about guns? I can tell you what we do here in New York. The State Legislature passed the toughest gun lawsÂ—some states may say no. That's okay, what do you want to do? And maybe every Governor should stand up. But in the end, it is really the leadership at a national level, which is whoever is going to be President of the United States starting next January 1stÂ—what are they going to do about guns?
Bloomberg has long been an advocate of stricter and/or better enforced gun control laws. Gambling did press the mayor on the reality of gun rights versus gun control in this country, but the mayor is a True Believer and firmly feels that restricted access to guns will limit these kind of tragedies.
Is the mayor right? His stance seems to fly in the face of recent Supreme Court rulings on the issue. The Second Amendment allows that:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Both President Barak Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney have expressed their condolences and their intentions to (CBS News). In this economy, neither one has really been called on to talk about the issue, although the president has previously stated that he is sympathetic to communities affected by gun violence while Romney has stated that he has come around to the belief that enforcement of current gun control laws is sufficient (2012 Presidential Candidates).
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, has released his own statement:
The shooting in Aurora is a senseless tragedy and a despicable act. Our thoughts go out to the victims, their families, and to the entire community as they deal with the shock and grief today brings.
The former governor of New Mexico has previously made clear that his own stance on gun rights is firmly on the side of no control being best (2012 Presidential Candidates).
Doesn't seem likely that Johnson will be getting the mayor's vote, does it? While the mayor might be well-intentioned, gun rights activists are unlikely to see his point, and in fact are likely to be quite hostile to it. Does his question seem opportunistic to you? Do you believe that gun control arguments do not have a place at times like these? This seems to be a time when mental health should also be discussed, but that never seems to really go anywhere.