New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new push for gun control Sunday on Meet the Press.
Bloomberg said that $12 million worth of ads urging Americans to demand gun control legislation from Congress would begin airing Sunday. He added that his goal was to lessen the influence of the National Rifle Association and make the NRA just one of the voices—rather than the dominant voice—in the gun control debate. The Senate continues to debate gun control legislation, while President Obama continued to urge Congress to take action. The president noted it has been three months since the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in his weekly address.
In response to Bloomberg’s assertion that he wanted his group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, to act as a counterweight to the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the organization, said the mayor was “reckless” with his language. LaPierre made his attack on Bloomberg personal, saying, Americans “don’t want him in their restaurants, they don’t want him in their homes…they sure don’t want him telling them what self-defense firearms to own.”
“He can’t buy America,” LaPierre said on Meet the Press.
Bloomberg argued that the majority of Americans favor stricter background checks and banning assault weapons and that politicians needed to respond to the demand. Several recent polls have shown the public’s support for background checks above 90%.
“If 90% of the public wants something and their representative votes against that, common sense says that they’re going to have a price to pay,” he said.
The pro-gun control ads will air in 13 states, according to the AP: Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Watch Bloomberg below:
Watch the NRA chief here.