New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg sharply rebuked members of both major parties on Monday, saying that the country could make significant progress on gun control if only politicians would do what they had promised to do.
"We don't have to break new ground here," he said on Monday's Morning Joe. "All we've got to do is follow the promises that were made by the elected officials back when they were pandering and said, 'We're going to fix this problem.'"
The main thing that was required, he said, was enforcement the laws already on the books. "Plug the one or two loopholes in the laws they already passed and then fund the enforcement of it," he said. "We haven't had the head of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms because the President can't get anybody through Congress. We don't have any monies to go and enforce the laws. The states aren't putting data into the database."
Bloomberg dismissed the possibility that tougher gun control enforcement would be a political liability. "I think there is a perception among the political world that the NRA has more power than the American people. I don't believe that," he said.
In fact, he argued, following the NRA's wishes might be more politically damaging. "At the state and federal level, in the executive and legislative branches, they think that the NRA is going to control their destiny," he said. "And I think maybe in a perverse way, the NRA is going to control their destiny to their downfall.
Since the shooting in Aurora, Colorado on Friday, Bloomberg has been calling for action on gun control. Just hours after the shooting, he criticized both Obama and Romney for what he said was a failure to lead on the issue. On Face the Nation, he said that Obama "has spent the last three years trying to avoid the issue." "This really is an enormous problem for the country, and it's up to these two presidential candidates," he went on. "They want to lead this country, and they've said things before that they're in favor of banning things like assault weapons. Where are they now and why don't they stand up?
Bloomberg is the co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an association of over 600 pro-gun control mayors.