4:20 pm Aug. 6, 20122
Yesterday, shortly before a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that left six dead, Mayors Against Illegal Guns unveiled a national ad campaign demanding President Barack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney take a stance on gun control.
Bloomberg has been sounding that note relentlessly since the Aurora shootings, and the organization he co-founded and underwrites, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has even launched a petition to that effect, DemandaPlan.org, that has collected more than 125,000 signatures.
Today, at a Parks Department ribbon cutting in the Rockaways, a reporter wondered whether a candidate's articulation of a gun-control plan might actually move the mayor to endorse him.
"I don't know what officially I'm gonna do yet," said Bloomberg. "But I can tell you I would be the first one to congratulate them, and to thank them and to tell everybody they're doing what's right for the country."
Related, Bloomberg took a lukewarm stance on a new package of statewide legislation crafted by State Senator Michael Gianaris and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence that would, according to the Daily News, limit handgun purchases to one per month, institute a 10-day waiting period, and require background checks for all gun sales (even private ones).
"I mean, his heart seems to be in the right place," said the mayor, of the senator.
"The only other thing that they could do which would really make a difference would be be pass a law allowing us to track the shell from the shell casings and see where the bullets come from," said Bloomberg, referring to a microstamping bill that's stalled in the legislature. "That would make a big difference ... If Gianaris wanted to improve his bill, that's the direction I would go."
Bloomberg has a history of using his support, and financial wherewithal, to reward office-holders for taking action in support of his agenda, as when he raised money for four Republican state senators who voted for same-sex marriage in New York.
He recently announced that he is holding a fund-raiser for the National Rifle Association-backed U.S. senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who is running for re-election against a liberal Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren.
Bloomberg explained that he was backing Brown because Brown opposed his fellow Republicans on "concealed carry reciprocity" legislation, despite the fact that Brown "is not good on guns generally."
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