New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is at the forefront of the campaign for stricter gun legislation in America. Stirred by the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, he’s been increasingly vocal in demanding new federal gun control measures.
Tonight Anderson Cooper sits down with Bloomberg to get his reaction to the 23 executive actions signed by President Obama on Wednesday, and the gun legislation he sent to Capitol Hill.
Bloomberg has called for many of the White House proposals, including prohibiting the sale of the military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, and addressing background checks.
He also suggested actions the president could take without Congressional approval, like appointing someone to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Before signing the executive actions yesterday, Obama announced he was nominating B. Todd Jones as head of the agency, and urged lawmakers to approve his pick saying “Congress hasn’t confirmed a director … in six years.”
Does Bloomberg think the president and vice president’s strategy will work? Is he confident Congress will deliver? In tonight’s interview he acknowledges that some changes will gain wide support faster than others. “There’s a general consensus in the country that background checks before you buy a gun should apply to everyone,” says Bloomberg. He sees the ban on assault weapons as a “tougher sell.”
Asked how he responds to opponents of tougher laws who say none of the proposals would have prevented the murders in Newtown, Connecticut, Bloomberg doesn’t disagree. “”That’s probably true... but that doesn’t mean having fewer guns around isn’t a better idea.”
Hear more tonight about his conversations with the Obama Administration, why he thinks the time is ripe for new laws, and the next steps in his fight to change gun policy.
Watch a preview and tune in at 8 and 10 p.m. ET on AC360.
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