In the wake of the shooting in Arizona over the weekend, which gravely injured Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others, Mayor Bloomberg gathered with officials from across the region at City Hall to lay out a series of steps which would they say could have prevented the tragedy.
“The more we learn the more it becomes clear that this case is fundamentally about a mentally ill drug abuser who had access to guns, and shouldn’t have,” Bloomberg said. “This isn’t an ideological battle. This is about enforcing the law, pure and simple.”
The assembled were part of Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, which works to strengthen the nation’s gun laws in light of federal resistance.
Among the quick steps Bloomberg laid out, which he said could prevent another tragedy, were: the appointment a permanent head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; lengthening the amount of time that ex-drug users are prohibited from buying guns from one year to five years; and more communication among the various law enforcement agencies.
Bloomberg was joined by Long Island Congressman Peter King, who said he planned to introduce a bill in Congress which would make it illegal to carry a gun within 1,000 feet of a federal official.
King, the state’s highest ranking Republican, said that, “From a conservative perspective, we have to have a stable society, we have to keep crime down…We have to make better argument.”
King though was at something of a loss to explain why his conservative colleagues disagreed with his gun control stance.
“They mean well,” he said. “Part of it is a cultural difference in other parts of the country where people are raised with guns in their home…I don’t think they think through the full consequences of what happen when there are no reasonable regulations on weapons.”