NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had sharp criticism Friday for President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the wake of the massacre in Colorado.
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At least a dozen people were killed and 38 wounded when a gunman, identified by authorities as 24-year-old James Holmes, opened fire on the audience attending a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo.
Holmes was carrying a rifle, a shotgun, two pistols, a knife, a bulletproof vest, ballistic helmet as well as a “gas device” and a gas mask. All guns were purchased legally within the past two months, CBS News reported.
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Bloomberg, who has long labored against the traffic of illegal guns and gun violence, took to the radio Friday to ask for leadership from Washington.
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“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,” Bloomberg said. “I mean, there are so many murders with guns every day, it’s just got to stop. And instead of the two people – President Obama and Governor Romney – talking in broad things about they want to make the world a better place, okay, tell us how. And this is a real problem. 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 generalities – specifically what are they going to do about guns?”
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“But in the end, it is really the leadership at a national level,” Bloomberg added. “Whoever is going to be President of the United States starting next January 1st – what are they going to do about guns?”
Bloomberg has participated in numerous campaigns to strengthen gun laws. During the Super Bowl, for example, Bloomberg and his Boston counterpart appeared in an ad together saying “we just need to repair our background check system in the United States.”
“The horrific nightmare of a mass shooting on innocent civilians in a crowded public place has, sadly, come true once again. I mourn alongside the people of Aurora for the many killed and injured and the countless family and friends whose lives, as a result of the consequences of this event, will be negatively affected for decades to come,” said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, who lost her husband when Colin Ferguson opened fire on a crowded LIRR train in 1993, killing 6 and injuring 19. McCarthy’s son was severely injured in the shooting. “The shooter should be brought to justice and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But we as a nation should also not continue to ignore avenues to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future.”
Both Obama and Romney issued statements expressing sympathy for the victims, but so far, there’s no word from the campaigns on how this incident has impacted – or clarified – their stances on guns.
“We’re going to stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time,” Obama said. “And if there’s anything to take away from this tragedy it’s the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it’s not the trivial things, which so often consume us and our daily lives. Ultimately, it’s how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another.”
“Our hearts break with the sadness of this unspeakable tragedy,” said GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who also altered his campaign schedule. “This is a time for each of us to look into our hearts and remember how much we love each other.”
“Our hearts break for the victims and their families. We pray that the wounded will recover, and those who are grieving will know the nearness of god,” Romney said.
Other local politicians in New York also sounded off.
“The shooting in Colorado was a horrible and senseless attack that has shocked and saddened me and all Americans,” said Rep. Gary Ackerman. “Our hearts go out to all the citizens of Aurora particularly those whose loved ones were killed or injured in this awful crime.”
“Such violent actions have absolutely no place in our society and will not be condoned,” said Rep. Charles Rangel.
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