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Bloomberg On Push For Gun Control: I Didn't Mean For Police To 'Literally' Go On Strike

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- One day after suggesting police officers should strike to prompt tougher gun control action, Mayor Michael Bloomberg clarified his provocative remarks in his latest push for tougher laws in the wake of the massacre in Colorado.

Appearing on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Monday, the mayor urged police officers, who stand in the front lines against violent criminals, to take a stand to get Congress to renew the expired federal ban on assault weapons.

1010 WINS' John Montone reports


"I don't understand why the police officers across this country don't stand up collectively and say, 'We're gonna go on strike. We're not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what's required to keep us safe,'" Bloomberg said.

"After all, police officers want to go home to their families and we're doing everything we can to make their jobs more difficult," the mayor added.

WCBS 880's Rich Lamb: Bloomberg Clarifies Comments


New York State law prohibits strikes by public employees and Bloomberg clarified his remarks when speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

"I don't mean literally go on strike," he said. "Keep in mind, it is police officers who run into danger when the rest of us run out. Police officers have families. They want to come home to their families safely."

1010 WINS' Stan Brooks reports


The mayor is hoping police officers join his gun control campaign.

"I'm counting on them to help us lead the charge," Bloomberg said.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday that he thought the mayor's comments were a statement of frustration.

It was the mayor's latest salvo in the gun control debate that started shortly after the movie theater massacre, when he challenged both presidential candidates to take a courageous stand on the issue. Bloomberg also suggested citizens lobby Congress, CBS 2's Marcia Kramer reported.

"They should call their congressman, call their senators and say 'My family wants me to come home. What are you doing to protect me?'" Bloomberg said.

He said members of Congress are two-faced, voting for strict gun controls to protect themselves while they are in Washington, but refusing the same protection for people in their districts.

"There's a different level of protection for them when they're in Washington than there is at home. It is just nonsensical, duplicitous hypocritical," the mayor said.

He also came up with a special scheme for dealing with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who apparently tried to play to the pro-gun Republican base by suggesting Bloomberg was using the Colorado shooting victims as pawns.

"Can we at least get through the initial grief and tragedy for these families before we start making them political pawns?" Christie said.

Knowing that Christie is on the short list of possible vice presidential nominees, and that Mitt Romney wants to pick a conservative running mate, probaly one that is going to defend the right to bear arms, Bloomberg apparently tried to affect the selection process by painting Christie as anything but pro-NRA and pro-gun.

"Some people try to write it that he is opposed to what we are trying to do. That's not so. Governor Christie has stood up for reciprocity. Governor Christie has said there are too many hand guns in New Jersey," Bloomberg told CBS 2's Kramer.

Forty-nine states have laws allowing people to carry concealed weapons and Bloomberg believes voters should hold the nation's leadership responsible for easy access to guns.

Bloomberg said if the laws aren't changed, 48,000 people in this country will be killed by guns during the next presidential term.

Bloomberg is co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of more than 600 mayors fighting gun trafficking and gun violence.

What do you think of Bloomberg's latest rhetoric on gun control? Let us know below...

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