Bloomberg: NRA’s power is ‘vastly overrated’

Updated
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appears in a pre-taped interview on "Meet the Press" in Washington.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appears in a pre-taped interview on "Meet the Press" in Washington.
William B.Plowman/REUTERS

What has kept America from enacting sensible gun-control? Many observers say it’s the political power of the National Rifle Association. But New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a outspoken advocate of gun control, believes that fears of NRA payback are exaggerated. “This myth that the NRA can destroy political careers is just not true,” Bloomberg said Sunday on Meet the Press. “The NRA’s power is vastly overrated.”

Just days after the Newtown school massacre that left 20 children and 6 adults dead, Bloomberg called on President Obama to exercise his full power–from executive action to helping introduce legislation–in his second term in the White House.

“It’s time for the president, I think, to stand up and lead and tell this country what we should do,” Bloomberg told host David Gregory. “This should be his No. 1 agenda.”

In his tearful address to the nation after the shooting on Friday, Obama said it was time to take “meaningful action” to prevent further tragedy. But Bloomberg says the president must take “immediate action” and show leadership on the issue.  “If he does nothing during his second term, something like 48,000 Americans will be killed with illegal guns,” Bloomberg said of Obama. “That is roughly the number of Americans killed in the whole Vietnam War.”

Bloomberg: NRA's power is 'vastly overrated'

Updated