Outgoing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hailed 2013 as a successful year for gun control despite no action from Congress, citing several state laws.
Bloomberg, who founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2006, co-wrote an op-ed in Politico Magazine with Shannon Watts, who founded Moms Demanding Action after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., just over a year ago. The op-ed announced the merger of the two groups
“To get Congress to listen, we must unite supporters from every walk of life. And that is why our two organizations are merging to create a nationwide movement of Americans – mayors, moms, survivors of gun violence, law-enforcement leaders and gun owners,” they wrote.
They went on to not the progress made over the last year.
“Earlier this year, for instance, we helped pass new laws in Connecticut, Colorado, New York, Delaware and Maryland that close state-level loopholes in our background check system,” the op-ed said. “Colorado’s new gun law mandates that private gun sellers conduct the same background checks that already take place at federally licensed dealers, and the early results are encouraging: More than 70 criminals have been blocked from buying a gun.”
They further proclaimed victory over the National Rifle Association, the top gun-rights lobby organization in the United States, pronouncing that pro-gun control Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe defeated pro-gun rights Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor’s race.
“In 2013 we also helped elect candidates in Virginia—the NRA’s home base—who campaigned on gun safety solutions, while the NRA went 0-for-3 in Virginia’s statewide races,” the column said.
The two also heralded the confirmation of B. Todd Jones as the director of the troubled Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after a seven-year vacancy.
The Moms Demanding Action group has 130,000 members in 50 states. The Mayors Against Illegal Guns organizations began with a group of 15 mayors in 2006, and now includes more than 1,000 mayors.
“Combining the legal and policy expertise of mayors with the passion and determination of moms will create a force for change that political leaders will not be able to ignore,” Bloomberg and Watts wrote. “And by uniting a broad coalition of millions of Americans, we intend to take the fight for common-sense gun safety measures to a new level. It’s a fight that can be won, and— unless we are willing accept that 33 Americans will be murdered with guns every day—it’s a fight we must win.”