Biden, Bloomberg Talk Newtown And Guns

Mar 21, 2013

As a federal push for an assault weapons ban seemingly fades, gun control advocates at the state level are keeping the pressure on. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference today with the vice president and Newtown families calling for tougher gun laws.

Bloomberg says he's is passionate about gun safety. "Because we believe that we have a responsibility to help free our country from the gun violence that takes lives and breaks hearts every single day, all year round." Bloomberg pointed a finger at Congress, and asked whether it has the courage to do what he says is the right thing. Meanwhile, he also spoke about Connecticut.

"Governor Malloy has proposed and legislators appear prepared to act on firearms safety reforms, as well. They include making private gun sales subject to background checks, limiting the size of high capacity ammunition magazines, and strengthening anti-gun trafficking measures." Bloomberg didn't mention an assault weapons ban. Vice President Joe Biden made his case, too. "Three months ago, a deranged man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School with a weapon of war. That's what he walked in with, with a weapon of war. And that weapon of war has no place on American streets and taking it of America's streets has no impact on one's constitutional rights to own a weapon."

Both men were flanked by two families of children who died in Newtown, as well as by the family of one of the school's slain teachers. Lynn McDonnell's daughter Grace was one of the children killed. "We'd ask everyone who has power to influence legislation in this area, and, of course, those whose job it is to vote on the legislation to ask themselves if they are doing enough to bring about real and meaningful change and, if they are not, to ask themselves, 'Why not?'"

Meanwhile, gun makers in Connecticut have repeatedly said that tighter laws on the kinds of weaponry used in Newtown would not make the country any safer.