Mayor Bloomberg on U.S. gun laws: "What kind of craziness is this?"

(CBS News) One outspoken advocate for strict gun laws demanded action from the president Monday. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said President Obama isn't vigorously enforcing background checks on gun buyers. He criticized Mr. Obama for not naming a permanent director for the agency that enforces gun laws. CBS News talked to the mayor, and pointed out that many millions of Americans disagree with gun control.

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Bloomberg: Lots of people think we shouldn't have speed limits. We still have speed limits. Lots of people think we shouldn't have public schools. We still have public schools. Lots of people are against a lot of different things. A democratic society, you have to come together and what a majority of the people want, and every time somebody's on a poll the majority of people want sensible gun restrictions.

Pelley: And in your opinion, sensible gun restrictions would include what?

Bloomberg: No guns in the hands of minors. No guns in the hands of criminals. No guns in the hands of people with psychiatric problems. No guns in the hands of people with substance abuse problems. No guns in the hands of people that we put on the "no-fly" list. We won't let you fly, but we'll sell you a gun. What kind of craziness is this?

Pelley: So why is this your problem?

Bloomberg: Why is the murder rate around the country...I'm an American! What's your question?

Pelley: Why is this Mike Bloomberg's crusade?

Bloomberg: I live in America and I'm a human being. I don't know what your religion teaches you, mine teaches you to take care of each other. In America, read the Constitution, we're all equal and we're all Americans.

Pelley: But what do you say to those who would make the argument that the guns are already out there...

Bloomberg: Fine, let's get them off the streets...

Pelley: ...that we've lost this war, that there are three million AR-15s made in America already out there.

Bloomberg: Think of what you said. I'll give you a list tomorrow of the 34 families who had somebody in their family killed tomorrow, do it by the end of the day. You really want to call them up and say: "It's hopeless, we're just going to keep killing more and more people"? Do you want that for your kids? I don't think so.

CBS News wanted to hear from supporters of gun rights, but we asked to talk to more than two dozen members of congress, and they all declined to talk with us, but we will try again.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg held press conference Monday, Dec. 17, calling on Congress and President Obama to take action on gun control.
  • Scott Pelley

    Correspondent, "60 Minutes"