1:10 pm Dec. 21, 2012
Today, the N.R.A. presented "a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe," says a statement released by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
This morning, the N.R.A. made its first major comments since gunman Adam Lanza murdered 20 small children and eight adults (including himself) last Friday.
The N.R.A.'s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, berated the media for its coverage of guns, recommended installing armed guards at every school across the country, and advocated establishing a national database of people with mental illnesses.
The statement from Bloomberg, who co-founded and funds Mayors Against Illegal Guns and runs a super PAC that supports pro-gun-control candidates, was also an attempt to broaden the "common sense" argument, and marginalize the N.R.A., by suggesting that the organization's leadership is out of touch with its own members.
Here is Bloomberg's response, in full:
The NRA's Washington leadership has long been out of step with its members, and never has that been so apparent as this morning. Their press conference was a shameful evasion of the crisis facing our country. Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe. Leadership is about taking responsibility, especially in times of crisis. Today the NRA's lobbyists blamed everyone but themselves for the crisis of gun violence. While they promote armed guards, they continue to oppose the most basic and common sense steps we can take to save lives - not only in schools, but in our movie theaters, malls, and streets. Enough. As a country, we must rise above special interest politics. Every day, 34 Americans are murdered with guns. That's why 74 percent of NRA members support common sense restrictions like criminal background checks for anyone buying a gun. It is time for Americans who care about the Second Amendment and reasonable gun restrictions to join together to work with the President and Congress to stop the gun violence in this country. Demand a plan.
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