Reacting to What Obama Didn't Say
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - 01:24 AM
Afterwards, Bloomberg released a statement calling the omission of gun control from the speech "disappointing."
Considering the effort Bloomberg put into forcing the issue onto the president's radar, that appears to be an understatement.
Leading up to Obama's third State of the Union speech, Bloomberg hosted 34 people who lost family members to gun violence — one for each person who, on average, are killed in America every day by guns. Among those represented were victims of the Virginia Tech shooting, the recent Tuscon shooting, and even Martin Luther King III, son of the slain civil rights leader.
At the event, Bloomberg said the nation needed someone with "courage" to address the issue.
Later that same day, Bloomberg appeared on CBS with Katie Couric — along with King — to further press his case.
The day of the speech, the coalition Bloomberg founded to combat "illegal guns" published an open letter to the president in the Washington Post. Hours before the speech, Bloomberg's office announced he would be joined at City Hall on Wednesday by "Gifford's hero intern" who "cared for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot."
Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of Long Island said, "I'm disappointed that President Obama did not urge us to look at our nation's gun laws."
McCarthy — a gun control advocate spurred to action after her husband was gunned down on the Long Island Railroad — added, "I look forward to continuing that path and hearing from our president in the future."
Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner also thought that the Arizona tragedy provided Obama a moment to lean into what has normally been a difficult issue.
"In a speech that seemed to strive for common ground, he missed a chance for common sense on guns," Weiner said.