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

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs