Bloomberg Says Police Should Strike Until Tougher Gun Laws Are in Place

Monday, July 23, 2012

It was a grim opportunity, but the mass shooting in Colorado last week gave Mayor Michael Bloomberg a chance to speak passionately about one of his key issues: gun violence.

In a his most strongly worded statement since the shooting last week, Bloomberg suggested on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Monday that police should go on strike until tougher gun laws are imposed.

"I don't understand why the police officers across this country don't stand up collectively and say we're going to go on strike," Bloomberg said. "We're not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what's required to keep us safe."

On Tuesday, the mayor walked back his statements, saying he “didn’t mean literally go on strike,” but was highlighting the dangers cop faced without stricter gun laws.

“They’re the ones that get killed and they have families,” Bloomberg said. “I’ve been to too many funerals for police officers in the last 10 years.”

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the statement was made out of "frustration" by the mayor.

"The frustrating we all feel that there is inadequate gun control in this country," he said.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took a shot issue with the push by Bloomberg and others have made for gun control just days after the shooting in Denver, saying it is "not the appropriate time to be grandstanding about gun laws."

But the mayor has continued his push for the presidential candidates to get beyond what he says are "just platitudes," and act to enforce stricter gun laws in the nation, a cause he has championed for years.

“It’s not unreasonable to say, ‘What, are you going to do about it, and not just platitudes,’” Bloomberg said. “And people say, ‘oh, well, now’s not the time because we’re mourning.’ Well, it’s been 16, 18 months since the Arizona massacre and we’ve done nothing. If not now, when?”

Speaking to reporters at a health clinic on Manhattan’s Lower East Side on Monday, Bloomberg walked the rhetorical tightrope between those concerned about their Second Amendment rights and those — like him — who want curbs on what can be bought and sold by focusing on the responsibility he has for keeping everyone safe.

“We have to obey everybody’s rights, but if you don’t have the right to go out on the street without worrying about yourself being shot, a lot of the other stuff [is]…not really that important,” he said.

Bloomberg occupies a rare space in the gun debate. He’s a moderate independent, initially elected as a Republican. He’s tough on crime, as evidenced by the controversial stop-and-frisk police policy. He’s a billionaire who doesn’t need to worry about offending a potential non-profit or political donor.

This freedom, so to speak, has allowed him to become one of the nation’s leading voices on gun control — even if he bristles at the term. He prefers “crime control.”

“I think it is incredibly important that he keeps speaking out on this,” said Richard Aborn, the former Manhattan District Attorney candidate. Aborn’s been an outspoken proponent for stricter gun control laws for years. He was formerly the president of the Brady Campaign, which successfully passed legislation establishing the national gun purchaser background check and the non-defunct ban on the sale of assault rifles.

“[Bloomberg] is calling on the president and the presumptive Republican nominee to address this issue, and calling on Congress, and they are the people that have the power,” Aborn said.

Bloomberg appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday to press both presidential candidates for details on how they would approach what he has called “a scourge.”

“Governor Romney, when he was governor of Massachusetts, actually passed a ban on assault weapons. And President Obama, when he came into office in 2008, said he would reinstitute the ban—the federal ban—on assault weapons,” Bloomberg said on the show. “The governor has apparently changed his views and the president has spent the last three years trying to avoid the issue, or if he’s facing it I don’t know anybody that’s seen him facing it. And it’s time for both of them to be called—held accountable.”

With the end of his time as mayor coming sooner rather than later, Bloomberg’s long-standing work on the issue — he co-founded the nationwide group Mayors Against Illegal Guns back in 2006 — suggests, mayor or not, his commitment to reducing gun violence will continue into the indefinite future.

To wit: when asked on Monday whether he was frustrated that his efforts hadn’t moved the issue further in his preferred direction, Bloomberg responded through parable.

“There’s an old story about a good salesman is a salesman that when somebody slams the door in their face, they just get it out of their mind and they go next door,” he said. “A great salesman is, they get it out of their mind and they know they’re going to make the sale next door. A brilliant salesman is somebody who re-knocks on the same door. And that’s what we gotta do.”

With the Associated Press


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Comments [26]


With the exception of a few of you who actually understand the constitution, the whole lot of you posters are brain-washed and brain-dead traitors and should be shipped out of this country immediately. God bless the 2nd Amendment.

Jul. 26 2012 04:02 AM

His comments and policies[STOP and FRISK]is just a list of his reckless understanding of the law.We don't need the police or any law enforcement agency becoming legalized thugs.

Jul. 24 2012 10:03 PM

If more people and especially our presidential candidates had Mayor Bloomber's courage to say what he believes and speak out against the misguided majority, the country would be on a better path. To those who say gun control would not stop mass killings, I say, let's try it and see.
Could the Colorado killer have killed as many people as he did without assault weapons? I am sure he could not.

Jul. 24 2012 09:18 PM

Ron McCune - I actually tend to agree with your theory... BUT in regards to standing up to the gun lobby... President Obama hasn't really done anything to bring about that sort of change. It appears he actually tried to avoid the whole issue altogether. Romney we know won't (even though he did as governor of Mass where he didn't have to worry about the gun lobby)... but Obama hasn't either.

Jul. 24 2012 08:59 PM
Ron McCune

Has Mr. Romney shown any solutions to our problems? Romney and the Republicans will pander to the NRA and allow people to buy as many guns as they want. Mr. Romney and the Republicans will even allow the sales of semi-automatic weapons. Many people who can buy guns will buy many guns and then sell them to people who aren’t allowed to buy guns, namely the criminals. By allowing people to buy as many guns as they want and by allowing most any kind of gun to be sold Mr. Romney, the NRA and the Republicans are assisting the criminals to create crimes. By voting for the Republicans YOU are assisting the criminals to kill and harm the POLICE and citizens of America! So the next time you vote ask yourself if you want to vote for someone who blocks laws that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Now I know a lot of you are wondering how are we going to pass laws that will keep laws out of the hands of criminals but allow law abiding citizens to buy guns. Well that is easy to devise such a law. I have been trying for a long time to get this law passed. The law simply says that we can buy guns but all we are allowed to buy are two more guns. Certified hunters and rural farmers/ranchers can buy a couple more. But that is all the guns we can buy. And no more semi-automatic weapons can be sold. You can keep the guns that you already have but are restricted to be able to buy only two more. Doing this will eventually dry up the market place for illegal guns which will make it hard for criminals to get guns. I’m sure that you and the police will appreciate it it if criminals couldn’t get guns. And when you think about it the way things stand right now we are assisting criminals to be a worse person then they normally would be. By allowing criminals to get guns we are making criminals do things that they wouldn’t do if they didn’t have a gun. Most criminals who use guns to commit crimes wouldn’t commit that crime if they had to use a knife or a bat or something else besides a gun. And wouldn’t you feel better if you had to face a criminal who has a knife or bat or something else besides a gun. It would be a safer and better world world if we do something to get the guns out of the hands of criminals. Here’s the plan. NOW DO IT! Contact those in Congress and demand to have these laws passed! I'm sure President Obama would sign it into law. Unfortunately I'm sure Romney wouldn't.

Jul. 24 2012 06:15 PM

New Yorkers have most authoritarian government in the world, The emperor Bloomberg tells you if you can drink your cola in an approved container, wants to limit your 4th amendment rights, seems as if New Yorkers can't think for themselves and let the government think for them. The longer you all well allow Blumberg to be in office, the closer you will resemble 1960 USSR, of which the Russians got tired of Russia got rid of Stalin and New York should embrace democracy and say no to their mayor.

Jul. 24 2012 06:08 PM

...but they shouldn't strike for like, their pensions, right? Or because there's rampant corruption as a consequence of a ridiculous quota system? Right, OK.

Jul. 24 2012 02:41 PM
BabyEinstein from NJ

I agree that we need to get guns off the streets, but a national police strike is not the answer. When the teachers went on strike, they got arrested - who's going to arrest the police strikers when they break the law?

Jul. 24 2012 01:22 PM

easyls - you are absolutely correct!!! The manufacturing of guns needs to be regulated - but they won't do it because if they slow the production the price will go up and less guns will be sold. It's a catch-22. The "arms" industry has a lot of power (no pun intended)... and as long as day after day guns proliferate faster than ppl... there will be criminals who can easily get there hands on guns. Sad!

Jul. 24 2012 12:43 PM

HipHop says - what exactly was "epic fail" in that???? every non-smoker I know loves it... Why should a person who doesn't smoke have to deal with the poison of someone who does? Same with a lot of ppl I know who don't drink soda... they don't even care. Most ppl realize obesity is a huge problem - that will take much more than a ban on huge sodas to sort out in this country. Are ppl's "rights" infringed?? Well a smoker can still smoke and a soda drinker will still be able drink... so what's the point??? Just to complain? Now guns is a different issue... but in regard to your last paragraph... you should read this - its an interesting take not on crime - but on the "gun culture":

Jul. 24 2012 12:38 PM
taxidermist from nyc

kudos to Bloomberg for keeping this discussion alive and in the news. Because if you left to obama he'd be all to happy to sweep the Col. incident under the rug. What a spine this President has. People getting shot up in a theater and then giving what I believe to be his meekest, weakest speech to date about an "evil" man and "they were out sisters and brothers, daughters and sons" he left out mother-in laws, father in-laws and taxidermist in his long and tiring response to the shooting. So so disappointed in obama, a man I believed would be an agent of hope and change. GROW A PAIR!

Jul. 24 2012 12:04 PM
Dennis Hoppe

Bloomberg is a pussy!! If he wants the citizens to "protect" the police.. then ARM THEM!!!!

Jul. 24 2012 12:02 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Well, I see the forum is quite divided. Let's see if we can tie this up:

I don't love the Mayor, but he does have a point in that these issues - gun control, excessive sugar consumption, etc. - do need to be addressed. However, his approach is more like what they would do in France. They decide something and without further study or referendum, they enact a law and put their respective feet down and voila!

In this country, we like to research, review and discuss everything to death before we let the lobbyists decide for us.

However, Mayor Bloomberg is also correct in saying that the presidential candidates should be discussing them and prospective policy changes. We do need to stop burying our heads in the sand and letting the lobbyists run roughshod over us.

Government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Jul. 24 2012 11:58 AM
barbara mates from Glen Ocve, NY

This issue is really the first time I have been truly disappointed with President Obama. He had the opportunity to stand up for gun control with this event, and he responded with platitudes, which may have been heartfelt but did not move the policy issue forward. Mayor Bloomberg, and a few other mayors, are the only ones who have the courage to stand up. it's a shame. One would expect this from Romney , but that Obama is cowed by the despicable NRA is very demoralizing, even to his big fans.

Jul. 24 2012 11:32 AM
nyc123 from nyc

SHUT UP BLOOMBERG!!!! Cops should strike for tougher gun laws but you frown upon workers striking to feed their families. WE shoud strike until you weed out the corruption in your administration that has caused billions of dollars to be wasted !!! citytime, 911 call system, etc.

Jul. 24 2012 11:31 AM

In gun control discussions why not mention the manufactured output of guns?It seems there is an unavoidable spillover. In view of the monetary power of weapons makers, the moviegoer's quote "you just hope you don't get shot" seems the only sensible reaction to gun proliferation.

Jul. 24 2012 10:55 AM
Aaron from Queens

The "people kill people, guns don't kill people" argument is disingenuous: It's not an all or nothing argument. Yes, you don't need an assault rifle to commit mass murder, but you can kill a heck of alot more people with one than without one.

Didn't less people die because Holme's assault rifle jammed?

If assualt rifles aren't more deadly. why would anyone oppose their ban? they're clearly not the same as conventional guns

Jul. 24 2012 10:13 AM
John W from NJ

Kudos to Bloomberg. Super-sized soft drinks aside, he really does nail it on public policy sometimes. And Mark below, his point is that the cops in Virginia should strike too to make their streets safer. And by your point, it would make it safer here too.

Jul. 24 2012 10:13 AM

For the strict constructionists, who seem to gleefully misinterpret the 2nd Amendment, I point out that the Constitution does not say anything about ammunition. So sell the guns; but regulate the ammo!

Jul. 24 2012 10:12 AM

The reason strict gun laws don't make anyone safer is because all you have to do to circumvent them is drive down to Virginia and load up your trunk at a gun show. There are neighborhoods in the metro area that have shootings every day. Having a gun isn't going to save you when a carjacker puts a pistol in your face at a stoplight or when you get your head blown off walking out of a bodega or maybe a stray bullet just flies in your window and hits your kid on the couch. Do you think owning a gun is going to stop that? What are you going to do run to the window and fire indiscriminately into the street? And the old BS about overthrowing the government? Suppose you overthrow the government then what? All those gangbangers are going to fill the power vacuum just like the Islamists do in East Africa and South Asia when a government collapses. People living in a cowboy fantasy should not be setting policy, this is insane.

Jul. 24 2012 09:44 AM
Tara from NYC

What an idiotic comment! Really! Bloomberg thinks cops should strike!?? I wonder how he would react to that if the NYPD pulled such a stunt. Probably call in the National Guard and jail them all. I can't wait until Bloomberg is no longer Mayor! And I truly hope this man just goes away (although unlikely considering the size of his ego).The man is an arrogant jerk who believes that all societal problems can be solved by simple autocratic decisions. Shut up Bloomberg!

Jul. 24 2012 09:40 AM
Jeffrey S.

What we need is stronger mental health laws, not more gun laws That's one area that has never been aggressively pursued by a politician in anti-gun violence legislation. Go ahead, ban all the weapons you want. It will have zero impact on mass shooters who are by and large psychotic.

Well-meaning people hear the phrase "assault rifle" and their brains short-circuit and they get amnesia. Here's a reminder to help them get past your short-term memory loss. Virginia Tech shooter Cho killed 3 times as many people as Holmes (37) without an assault rifle. He did it with 2 pistols. Loughner also used a pistol. U of Texas student Charles Whitman killed 16 with a shotgun in 1966. The Unabomber didn't need pistols at all, etc. etc.

As. Dr. Harold Koplewicz of the Child Mind Institute pointed out after the Loughner shootings last year, the first signs of 75% of psychiatric disorders appear by the age of 24. We need to start treating it before it kills again. There were heroes in that movie theater in Aurora, but there were others who *could* have been heroes if they'd bothered to pick up a phone. Severe mental illness doesn't develop overnight. There were warning signs, and those who explicitly ignored them should be held criminally liable going forward.

According to an NPR story yesterday morning, the owner of an Aurora gun club thought that Holmes sounded scary enough that he informed his staff not to let him join. But he didn’t inform the police.

Under my proposed legislation, similar to a Good Samaritan law, the gun club owner would face criminal charges. If he had picked up a phone those 12 people might be alive right now. If I were the relative of one of the shooting victims I would be directing my rage at this guy first and foremost (second to Holmes himself). Maybe this guy thought it wasn’t his business to call the police but that’s exactly the mindset we need to change. Then maybe, just *maybe*, we’d stand a snowball’s chance of stopping some of the mass shootings in the future.

So while people like Bloomberg, despite their good intentions, keep talking about the need for more legislation to keep assault rifles out of the hands of lunatics, well go ahead, why not?, can't hurt, I'm all for it, but they're missing the point that it still leaves the LUNATIC in the equation. Taking away a lunatic's particular choice of weapon doesn't cure his lunacy. With all due respect you are like a turtle putting its head in its shell and thinking it's invisible: does not compute.

Here's the bold legislation I want to see: If You Know Something, Say Something. The next of kin, most likely the parents, should be hauled in for questioning whenever a psychopath commits mass murder. If it turns out they knew the guy was severely mentally ill and never called the police or had him committed then they get charged with multiple counts of negligent homicide.

Jul. 24 2012 09:36 AM
HipHopSays from Fort Greene/Clinton Hill

Bloomie is (probably) good at organizing and disseminating financial information....but he is not a policy guy. this like the rest of his paternalistic smuckiness (ie: smoking ban, soda ban, etc) is an epic fail and would not actually do anything about the underlying issue. Here's a question for the knee-jerk leftist -- states with zero gun tolerance, have they staved off dealing with gun violence--- and for the knucklehead right of the aisle folks -- have liberal gun laws made your community any safer, do you feel safer.

guns are apart of our modern world .... we need to have a truly modern conversation on how to make home, self, and family safe from gun violence. and Bloomie needs to go buy himself a small island and call it a life (oh, wait he did -- it's called Manhattan).

Jul. 24 2012 09:33 AM

Blooming Iidiot is a pathological lying POS when it comes to citizens rights and an afront to his Jewish heritage as is anyone who professes the pathological lie that gun control reduces violence.

Jul. 24 2012 09:18 AM
James L.

Why is Bloomberg the only sane politician when it comes to the issue of gun control? Things have gotten totally out of hand now-we need strong, very strong, gun control. It will harm no one, and prevent thousands and even tens of thousands of needless deaths here in the US and in Mexico.

Jul. 24 2012 09:06 AM
oathororders from American Battlefield

congress declared america a "battlefield". it is now your duty to arm yourself, to protect our republic, its institutions, the bill of rights, the constitution and our public officials.
for 13 school years since kindergarden they had me pledge allegence to the flag, republic, nation and god. i will honor my pledge, the one they taught me.

Jul. 23 2012 11:59 PM

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