Bloomberg: Media need to rethink gun violence coverage

Holly Bailey

NEW YORK—New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the media need to improve their coverage of gun violence, arguing the press pays attention to gun-related deaths only after mass shootings.

In an interview with NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, Bloomberg called the Dec. 14 shooting that killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., “terribly tragic,” but said there is scant coverage of people who are killed by guns every day.

“This was a crazy person with an assault weapon,” Bloomberg said of the Sandy Hook shooting. “But there’s 33 people killed in America with guns every single day of the year. And nobody seems to care. It only catches the press’s attention when it’s young kids concentrated. And it was terribly tragic, but there are kids killed every day all across this country.”

Bloomberg has emerged as one of the most vocal advocates of new gun-control measures since the Sandy Hook shooting, urging President Barack Obama to make the issue a top priority in his second term. But the mayor insisted he’s not trying to ban guns, telling Fallon that “if you are responsible and you are adult and you don’t have a criminal record, there’s nothing wrong with you having a gun.”

The problem, Bloomberg said, is that Congress doesn’t “fund enforcement” of existing gun laws and “guns are getting into the hands of the wrong people.”

“There’s just too many guns in the world and certainly in this country,” Bloomberg said. “And we’ve just got to do something about it.”

The mayor discussed his meeting Wednesday with former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot at point-blank range and nearly killed during a constituent meeting two years ago. Giffords, who is set to visit Newtown today, resigned from Congress to focus on recovery.

“She's still recovering. She’s still doing therapy and yoga and struggling to learn to speak again. … And she’s lucky. She lived,” Bloomberg said.