Tuesday night's shooting at an Oregon shopping mall which killed two shoppers is likely to reignite the national debate on gun laws--and few people have been louder on the subject than New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
New York Magazine Contributing Editor Chris Smith wrote about it as part of the magazine's "Reasons to Love New York" series: at number 20, "Because our Mayor isn't afraid to talk gun control."
"For virtually the entire 12 year run of Michael Bloomberg as Mayor of New York City, this has been an important issue for him and it has only grown over the years as he has gone to more emergency rooms, in the middle of the night, having to break the bad news for the families of New York City cops or kids killed in random and evil shootings," Smith told Chris Jansing Wednesday.
Motivated in part by the July 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, Bloomberg formed a SuperPAC to support 2012 candidates who favored three of his signature policy initiatives: enacting tougher gun laws, legalizing same-sex marriage, and school reform. He spent over nine million dollars of his own money in the campaign's final stretch. In one case, he spent $3.3 million to defeat NRA-friendly Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.)--that's 15 times as much as Baca's opponent spent.
"He thinks he can take on the NRA, doesn't he?" Jansing asked. "Exactly," Smith said.
Bloomberg's third term as New York's Mayor is up in 2013, and Smith said the SuperPAC points to how Bloomberg envisions himself after leaving office. "It's very much about the mayor's future after City Hall," Smith said. "He wants to be a player."