New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, as well as several House Democrats, are seizing on Friday’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn. to make the case for stricter gun control.
“President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families in Newtown,” Bloomberg, a frequent advocate of stricter gun laws, said in a statement after the shooting, which killed 27 people, 20 of them children. “But the country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem. Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We need immediate action.”
The New York City mayor’s office tweeted: “For every day we wait, 34 more people are murdered with guns. Today, many of them were five-year olds.”
At the White House Friday, Obama called for “meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.” His spokesman, Jay Carney, had earlier said “today’s not the day” for a discussion of gun control.
“If now is not the time to have a serious discussion about gun control and the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our society, I don’t know when is,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York in a statement of his own. “Yet another unstable person has gotten access to firearms and committed an unspeakable crime against innocent children. We cannot simply accept this as a routine product of modern American life.”
Capt. Mark Kelly, the husband of Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman shot in the head last year, wrote on Facebook:
The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve leaders who have the courage to participate in a meaningful discussion about our gun laws - and how they can be reformed and better enforced to prevent gun violence and death in America. This can no longer wait.
Reps. Ted Deutch, Donna Edwards, Mike Honda, Ed Markey, and Nita Lowey, all Democrats, also issued statements tying the shooting to the gun control debate.
A group of gun control advocates gathered outside the White House Friday afternoon to call for action on the issue. And a petition has been started on the Whitre House website, calling for immediate gun control legislation.
The twitter feed for the National Rifle Association has been silent since the shooting.