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Bloomberg Taking Aim At Guns After Newtown, Conn. Shooting

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Michael Bloomberg was clearly livid following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., saying it is almost impossible that a mass shooting could happen in a kindergarten class.

And as WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported, the mayor has been pulling out all the stops when it comes to guns.

WCBS 880's Rich Lamb: Mayor Bloomberg Is Livid


"With all the carnage from gun violence in our country, it's still almost impossible to believe that a mass shooting in a kindergarten class could happen. It has come to that," Bloomberg said Friday. "Not even kindergarteners learning their A,B,Cs are safe."

After the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., Mayor Bloomberg met with a survivor of that shooting to discuss gun violence. Bloomberg also called out President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney during the election to clarify their stances on gun control and get specific about their plans to reduce gun violence. On Friday, he reiterated his stance.

"We heard after Columbine that it was too soon to talk about gun laws. We heard it after Virginia Tech. After Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek. And now we are hearing it again. For every day we wait, 34 more people are murdered with guns. Today, many of them were 5-year-olds," Bloomberg said. "President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families in Newtown. 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. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response. My deepest sympathies are with the families of all those affected, and my determination to stop this madness is stronger than ever."

As CBS 2's Marcia Kramer reported, Bloomberg is a long-time gun advocate who started "Mayors Against Guns," which now has more than 700 members. He has been lobbying for:

* Renewal of the assault weapon ban that expired in 2004.

* Required background checks for every gun sold right now -- 40 percent of all guns are sold without background checks.

* Stronger enforcement of straw sales, where someone buys a gun for someone not eligible to own one.

* A requirement that states enter criminal and mental health records into the federal background check system.

The massacre in Newtown, Conn., came during the same week that major rulings came down in two states on gun rights and gun control.

In Michigan Wednesday, the state Senate voted 27-11 against a bill that would have done away with the criminal background check requirement for firearm ownership.

The Michigan decision came the day after a concealed weapons ban in nearby Illinois was tossed by the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. The decision gives that state six months to pass a law that would allow ordinary citizens to carry weapons.

Do you think stronger gun control is needed after the shooting? Leave your comments below...

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