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

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid