Mayor Michael Bloomberg lashed out on Thursday against U.S. senators who voted against gun control measures in Washington that were proposed in the wake of the deadly massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, and he said the vote could come back to haunt opponents of the legislation. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
As far as Mayor Michael Bloomberg is concerned, the gun bills in Washington would have kept criminals and the mentally ill from buying dangerous firearms.
"This is just an up and down vote. Condone murder or don't. It's not any more complex than that," Bloomberg told reporters on Thursday.
The previous day, though, legislation to expand background checks, ban assault weapons, and ban large capacity ammunition clips was defeated.
"Children lost. They are going to die and the criminals won. I think that's the only way to phrase it. This is a disgrace," Bloomberg said.
The defeat should be particularly stinging to the mayor, who pumped $12 million into an ad campaign to pressure Senators to back the legislation, and to say that background checks would not restrict the constitutional right to bear arms.
The advocacy did not sway enough members, and neither did the fact that the overwhelming majority of polled Americans support background checks for gun buyers.
Bloomberg warned that lawmakers who opposed the expanded background checks will pay in the mid-term elections next year.
"You wait until the next November, a year from now, when people who run against them will say, 'Look at how many more people died since they voted to stop sensible rules that would simply keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.' That's all this legislation would have done," the mayor said.
Bloomberg, though, suggested that he was not entirely surprised by what happened in Washington, although he admitted that many Americans were probably expecting new gun control measures after 20 children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
"I think the general public believed there would be reform. I'm a little more skeptical and cynical," said Bloomberg.
The mayor was asked whether he would use his money to try and defeat some of the senators who voted against the bills. He said he will use his money to support candidates who did the right thing.