NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Will there be questions at the first presidential debate about curtailing gun violence?
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to force the issue by running television ads — demanding a plan from the candidates, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Monday.
He’s frustrated that President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have still not offered solutions to gun violence, so Bloomberg is reaching into his deep pockets and running ads to “Demand A Plan.”
The ad features Stephen Barton, a survivor of the mass shooting last July in Aurora, Colo., where a dozen people were killed and 58 were wounded by a lone gunman. Aurora is just a few miles from the University of Denver, where Obama and Romney will face off on Wednesday.
“This past summer in a movie theatre in Colorado I was shot … shot in the face and neck,” Barton says on the ad. “I was lucky. In the next four years, 48,000 Americans won’t be so lucky because they’ll be murdered with guns in the next president’s term.”
Barton, a Syracuse University graduate from Southbury, Conn., told CBS 2’s Kramer he delayed a Fulbright Scholarship to recuperate and take part in an end-the-gun-violence movement.
“More than anything we just want the candidates to address the issue of gun violence in a concrete, specific way,” Barton said. “Our biggest priority right now is getting universal background checks, a background check for every gun sale right now. As it stands, 40 percent of guns are sold privately.”
The mayor, who has had to attend police funerals and witness the deaths of innocents on the streets of New York, is just plain fed up with the failure of Obama and Romney to step up to the plate and he’s made numerous requests for action.
“There are assault weapons. The president campaigned four years ago on banning assault weapons. Governor Romney four years ago with great fanfare signed a bill in Massachusetts to outlaw assault weapons. Today, neither one of them will address the issue at all,” Bloomberg said.
The mayor also pointed out an important economic fact: property values go up in areas where gun violence goes down.
Obama and Romney were both off the campaign trail Monday prepping for the debate Wednesday night.
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