New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined loved ones of victims of shootings from Colorado to Virginia to blast lawmakers on Monday for being too cowed by the firearms lobby to pass gun control laws that could save lives.
At a City Hall press conference, Bloomberg described Friday’s mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school as “no aberration,” and said it should make tightening gun laws the top priority of the president and Congress.
“Somehow or other, we’ve come to think that getting reelected is more important than saving lives, that political power is more important than saving lives,” he said in an angry, emotional tone. “Enough.”
The move came amid signs that pro-gun lawmakers were rethinking their ironclad opposition to gun control measures after the Newtown massacre.
Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Kentucky), who is Jewish, said he has shifted his position on guns.
“I have been largely silent on the issue of gun violence over the past six years, and I am now as sorry for that as I am for what happened to the families who lost so much in this most recent, but sadly not isolated, tragedy,” Yarmuth said in a statement.
Bloomberg was joined by more than two dozen survivors and relatives of victims of mass shootings including the gun violence at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, last July, at a 2011 public meeting held by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, and at Virginia Tech in 2007.
Any one of those earlier massacres should have been cause enough to tighten gun laws, he said.