News / USA

New York Mayor Calls for Stronger US Gun Laws

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and dozens of shooting survivors and victims' relatives are calling on Congress and President Barack Obama to tighten gun laws and enforcement, December 17, 2012.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and dozens of shooting survivors and victims' relatives are calling on Congress and President Barack Obama to tighten gun laws and enforcement, December 17, 2012.
Bernard Shusman
There is a political move toward new restrictions on gun ownership rights in the United States in the wake of Friday's school shooting in a small New England town.  Following President Barack Obama's remarks suggesting he would back new gun bans, at least two conservative Democrats say they are changing their positions and considering new action to restrict guns.  And in New York Monday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gathered victims and families of mass shootings to push for a ban on the sales of assault weapons. 

A look at how the U.S. ranks in comparison to the rest of world when it comes guns and gun violence.
 
The U.S. has the highest gun ownership rate in the world. 
 
GUN OWNERSHIP PER 100 PEOPLE
 
1. United States  -  89
2. Yemen            -  55
3. Switzerland     -  46
4. Finland            - 45
5. Serbia             - 38
 
--------------------------------------------
 
Despite the high number of guns, because of its large population, the U.S. does not have the worst firearms murder rate.
 
GUN MURDERS PER 100,000 PEOPLE
 
1.  Honduras     -  69
2.  El Salvador  -  40
3.  Jamaica      -   39
4   Venezuela   -  39
5.  Guatemala  -  35
 
The United States ranks 28th, with a rate of 3 per 100,000 people
 
-----------------------------------------
 
*The U.S. is one of the leading countries in the number of deaths attributed to guns.
 
NUMBER OF PEOPLE KILLED BY FIREARMS IN 2010
 
1.  Brazil              -  34,678
2.  Colombia         -  12,539
3.  Mexico            -  11,309
4.  Venezuela       -  11,115
5.  United States   -  9,146
 
Source: UNODC & Small arms survey of 2010 
Thirty-four citizens from across the country joined Bloomberg in unveiling a video campaign that demands that the U.S. government control gun violence.   The City Hall news conference follows the massacre of 20 youngsters and six educators in  Newtown, Connecticut last Friday.  Mayor Bloomberg, a  co-chair of the organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns, challenged the president and Congress to pass new gun control legislation.

“Last night the president said he would use whatever powers his office holds to address this violence.  I think it is critical he do so," Bloomberg said. "Words alone cannot heal our nation. Only action can do that. Gun violence is a national epidemic and a national tragedy that demands more than words.  We are the only industrialized country that has this problem. 

The mayor added that if this moment passes without action from Washington, it will be a stain on our national commitment to gun safety.  The 34 Americans whose families were touched by gun violence added to the mayor’s message. 

“He had a future ahead of him," lamented Chris Foye, who lost his 13-year-old son on a New York street.  "The incident itself actually destroyed me and my family. And it was the worst pain a parent could ever go through."

Lori Haas’s daughter was shot and wounded in a shooting at Virginia Tech University in 2007.

“I read in the paper the other day that we’ve had over 2,000 soldiers die in Afghanistan and how horrible that is," she said. "And it is horrible but in that same eight-year time span we’ve had 96,000 American citizens killed by guns in this country.  Something is terribly, terribly wrong."
 
There has been no official comment from the National Rifle Association, a strong pro-gun advocacy group. However, gun dealers have weighed in.  One of them, Earl Curtis, calls it a mental health problem.

“The last three or four incidents have been males, 15 to 25 years old. Any incident that’s been done has been around that age group," Curtis explained. "What’s causing the problem?  Why is there such a disconnect or why are they just snapping?  So mental health is really the issue here instead of gun control."
 
The big question remains:  will this tragedy in Newtown actually be the impetus for tougher gun control laws?

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 19, 2012 8:01 AM
It seems for me this kind of mass massacre with guns is the result of social dilemma. Social dilemmma is one of the interesting sujects in the field of sociology. This dilemma needs three conditions to be formed and emerge into society. First, there is a conduct which is adavantagious for first one who start it as long as followers are a few. Second, the conduct is no longer advantagious or even much harmful for everyone if the number of followers increase. Third, everyone can chose freely either taking the conduct or not.

Every American can chose either to pssess guns or not. As long as the number of those who have guns are limited, they must be highly advantagious in protecting themselves. But when everyone come to possess guns, what happes? People must want to equipe more assaultiing guns conmetitively. As a result, everybody falls into disadvantage to be shooted.

How can this kind of social dilemma be solved ?

by: Jake
December 18, 2012 1:51 PM
With regard to firearm licences, background checks on the applicant by Police, should be conducted first,along with criminal background checks. Application must be accompanied by three independent character references who have know the applicant for at least one year. In addition to this an interview of the spouse by the Police should be done to verify no history of domestic abuse on women. No automatic weapons should be sold to the public and a Board should vett all firearm applications with power to refuse issue on justifiable grounds. Limits to be set on weapons to be held.

by: Phil from: washington
December 18, 2012 12:26 PM
The more people there are with guns, the more there will be people who want to own one to protect themselves, causing yet more people to want to buy them. It's an endless cycle of proliferation, much like a nuclear arms race, except much easier to turn deadly. All that it takes is for one person to turn psycho and start shooting at people.

It's impossible for society to control human behavior. But we can certainly control the availability of the very tools responsible for the loss of 20 innocent school children last week. Enough is enough

by: Kali Mirch from: Mumbai, India
December 18, 2012 10:55 AM
All guns should be banned. Licenses given earlier should be revoked or if it cannot be revoked then they should not be renewed. If gun licenses are to be given, the case should be the rarest of the rare.

by: Matt from: New England
December 18, 2012 10:29 AM
As Curtis said, the issue isn't gun laws, if somebody is planning a murder, the legality of the weapons is their last concern. People can get guns illegally, and the more the government tightens their grip on the legal gun owners, the more illegal fire arms are going to enter the US. The REAL solutions investing in mental health clinics to help the people that are committing these crimes, don't take guns away from the good citizens.

by: tim from: Arizona,USA
December 18, 2012 10:28 AM
bloomberg you are such a loud mouth full of nothing but lie`s. please go back to your gold plated rock a crawlback under it. we Americans know you only support your crooked rich people of a city that only cares for those who can afford it.

by: Paul Caras from: Taunton,Mass
December 18, 2012 10:28 AM
As usual, Mayor Bloomberg with his over reaction to the problem,
more gun controll. Please, that is like me blaming a spoon for me being fat. He would prefer to disarm the population and scuddle the 2nd amendment so only the criminals and law enforsement would own guns. Just enforse the laws we have now.

by: JM from: Maryland
December 18, 2012 10:23 AM
Humm, how well are those gun-bans doing for Chicago? They will likely have 500 murders this year.

It is easy to blame the guns. I guess politicians do that because they are too weak to stop gangs or drugs or the mentally deranged.

I say we make guns as illegal as Heroin and Crack. Then I'll be able to get a gun much easier and without all that annoying paperwork.

by: Matt Thornhill from: TN
December 18, 2012 10:20 AM
Petition to help prevent this in the future (not gun control.) http://wh.gov/nOfr

by: michael from: Cincinnati
December 18, 2012 10:14 AM
Great idea as long as Bloomberg gives up his right to have armed secruity guards. Whats good for one is good for all. Who keeps electing this guy?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs