Bloomberg praises Bob Costas and says the N.R.A. ‘can be beaten’

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Bloomberg announcing the bust of gun traffickers. (Edward Reed via NYC.gov)
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning said that the recent elections demonstrate that the National Rifle Association, contrary to widespread political belief, is not invincible.

"In this last election, I think we showed that the N.R.A. can be beaten," said the mayor, following a press conference marking the start of construction at the 26-acre Hudson Yards project on the far west side.

The mayor made his remarks in response to a question about sportscaster Bob Costas, who sparked controversy when, during Sunday's Cowboys-Eagles halftime, he criticized the country's "gun culture" and its role in tragedies like Jovan Belcher's murder-suicide.

"There are gonna be in the next four years something like 48,000 murders with guns," said Bloomberg today. "Somebody's got to stand up, and I have a lot of respect for Bob Costas for doing exactly that."

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Bloomberg has identified gun control as a policy goal he'd very much like to advance on the national stage.

To that end, he co-founded and underwrites Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and shortly before November's election, he created a super PAC with the intention of supporting candidates who agree with him on issues like gun control.

The mayor intends to invest yet more money in his super PAC once his third and final term expires at the end of next year.

As Reid Pillifant reported in November, the super PAC's first election results were "mixed."

The mayor did win one big victory in California, by helping a relatively unknown state senator beat an incumbent ally of the NRA.

"We stood up, our super PAC went and financed peopleā€”or not financed people, but pushed advocacy for the positions of those who are willing to stand up against guns," the mayor said. "The NRA went [to] the other side, and thank god the electorate understands that guns kill people. We've just got to do a lot more of that."