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Late Night: Mayor Bloomberg urges police strike over gun control

July 24, 2012|By Meredith Blake

In the wake of the horrific massacre in Aurora, Colo., early Friday morning, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been one of the few high-profile American politicians speaking out in favor of tighter gun restrictions.

On Monday, he took his case to “Piers Morgan Tonight,” where he argued that police officers in particular should throw their support behind gun control. “I don't understand why the police officers across this country don't stand up collectively and say, ‘We're going to 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,’” he said.

The mayor reasoned that “by leaving guns in the hands of people who shouldn't have them, and letting people who have those guns buy things like armor-piercing bullets,” the American public is making police work more dangerous. Gun violence is a distant if terrifying threat for most of us, but for police, it's much more immediate, Bloomberg contended. “When you or I hear shots, we run away. They run towards it.”

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Bloomberg explained his support of moderate gun restrictions as a natural extension of his job as a mayor. “The public holds mayors accountable. If the trash isn't picked up. If the kids don't get an education. If the streets are dangerous. You hold the mayor accountable,” he said. “Unfortunately, we don't hold other levels of government to that standard.”

Monday night Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert also addressed the killings, with both satirists harshly criticizing ABC News’ Brian Ross for erroneously tying alleged shooter James Holmes to the tea party, and also laughing at AMC theaters for banning costumes. On “The Daily Show,” Stewart also bristled at the frequently spouted talking point that it’s somehow “too soon” to bring up the subject of gun control. “You’re telling me that to discuss the epidemic of gun violence in this country -- for that, there is a waiting period?” he said.

Meanwhile, Colbert suggested it was hypocritical for President Obama and his rival Mitt Romney to pull negative ads from the airwaves in Colorado, given that an average of 25 people die from gun violence every day: “If you’re really pulling those ads down to be sensitive, I don’t see how you could ever run them again.”

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Follow Meredith Blake on Twitter @MeredithBlake

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