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Moments Before Empire State Building Shooting, Mayor Decried Illegal Guns

By Jill Colvin | August 24, 2012 10:55am

NEW YORK CITY — Just moments before a disgruntled fired employee began shooting outside the Empire State Building Friday morning, leaving two people dead and an unknown number hurt, a dismayed Mayor Michael Bloomberg pleaded with lawmakers to do more to crack down on illegal guns.

Speaking on his weekly radio show with WOR's John Gambling, Bloomberg bemoaned the number of shootings in the city, following the killing of a 13 year-old boy in Brooklyn early Friday.

“I speak at too many funerals and read too many of these stories. And I just wonder what would I do if it was someone I loved?” Bloomberg said, after listening to the boy’s tearful mother’s pleas.

“It is just too many guns on the streets,” he said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for tougher gun regulations moments before the shooting.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for tougher gun regulations moments before the shooting.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

The mayor has been a national leader on gun control, and is co-chair of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which has fought to strengthen gun laws nationwide.

Bloomberg has long blamed lawmakers in Washington for a lack of action, renewing his calls following the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and the recent Colorado movie theater shooting.

“I don’t know what it takes, John," he said. Somebody asked me what would shock Congress. Well, they had a Congresswoman shot…. And that didn’t seem to do anything,” the mayor said. “The Founding Fathers I don’t think ever envisioned AK-47’s in the hands of people."

He has called on President Barack Obama and the Republican nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, to make illegal guns an issue in the campaign.

“All of us are paying for this,” Bloomberg said.