10:16 am Mar. 2, 2012
Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning defended the NYPD's surveillance of Muslims in New Jersey from criticism by Governor Chris Christie and Newark mayor Cory Booker. He also blasted the repeal of a gun law in Virginia that he said would hurt New York City.
On Wednesday night, Christie said the NYPD's surveillance program, which involved intelligence-gathering operations targeting Muslims in New Jersey and elsewhere, both in person and online, was "born out of arrogance, or out of paranoia, or out of both."
"They think that their jurisdiction is the world," said Christie. "Their jurisdiction is New York City."
"Are you surprised at some of the words you're hearing from the governor and the mayor of Newark?" asked John Gambling, during the mayor's regular Friday morning radio appearance on WOR.
"Well, I haven't talked to either one about it," said Bloomberg. "We have an agreement with the state of New Jersey signed by I think it was Governor Codey, in terms of helping them—because it's a regional problem—prevent terrorism. And we also have an agreement as to what would happen if we had to respond, and we'd do it jointly.
"And also, in the case of I think its Newark, they've assigned one of their police officers to work with the NYPD. So, we've certainly been keeping them informed ... You gotta remember, John, a lot of the World Trade Center terrorists that killed 3,000 people went back and forth to New Jersey, and trained, I think, some of the training was in New Jersey, certainly some of the planning was in Newark, as a matter of fact. And so to say that the NYPD should stop at the border is a bit ridiculous."
"So I think what we've got to do is just work together," he added. "We'll do as good of a job we can to keep everybody informed. Sometimes, there's nothing to inform them. Sometimes you inform people and they don't listen. I think we should work and find the things that we can work together with Governor Christie and Mayor Booker rather than spend their time trying to find differences."
Christie was not the only governor Bloomberg took issue with.
Governor Robert McDonnell of Virginia signed a repeal this week of a longstanding gun law that forbids an individual from buying more than one handgun a month.
"The signing came after McDonnell met Saturday with families of people killed or injured in the April 2007 shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history," reported the Washington Post. "The families had hoped to persuade him to veto the bill, although they knew it was a long shot."
Gambling asked the mayor, who's made gun control one of his signature issues, his thoughts on McDonnell's decision.
"In New York City, we find an enormous number of the guns used to shoot and kill people, and shoot and, sadly, every once in a while, kill a cop, have come from Virginia," said Bloomberg. "And so, you know we have a very big vested interest. Every state I really do believe has the right to have their own gun laws. But when somebody from that state takes those guns and takes them elsewheres, then it seems to be it's the state where the guns were first purchased responsibility to protect the other states, because what they allow in their state does have impact outside.
"Virginia's one of the states where the dealers really do sell more to people without background checks and a lot of those guns wind up on the streets. And you saw, just this past week, a cop was shot. Fortunately, the bullet hit his ammunition clip on his belt buckle and didn't injure him. But we've had four shootings, I think two of the four guns came from Virginia, all four were illegal guns, and one of them killed a police officer, Officer Figoski. He had four daughters he left behind. You know, their father's never coming home, and it's time for us to stop this senselessness."
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