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After Aurora: How Mayor Bloomberg Planned to Make the Next Massacre Count
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03/13/2013 08:54 AM
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Surprising said NO ONE...
[link to politicker.com]
"When the smoke cleared at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in the wee hours of a Friday morning last July, 12 people were dead, 58 were injured and Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in New York, readying an assault of his own.
The campaign that Mr. Bloomberg and his “gun team” came up with in the hours and days after Aurora involved carpet-bombing Washington with millions from the mayor’s immense fortune and a media blitz that would be deployed following the next massacre.
“He was so frustrated by the lack of conversation around this issue … that he decided to force the conversation himself,” Howard Wolfson, deputy mayor for government affairs and communications, told Politicker.
By 5 a.m., just a few hours after the shooting, Mr. Bloomberg was emailing members of his staff, preparing a media offensive against President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and what he perceived as their campaigns’ silence on gun control.
At 8 that morning, the mayor came out swinging during his regular appearance on WOR’s John Gambling Show.
“Maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them concretely, not just in generalities. Specifically, what are they going to do about guns?”
The moment had come—in fact, it had come and gone several times. The next time a tragedy like Aurora went down, he would be ready.
In his years building the business empire that made him a billionaire, Mr. Bloomberg developed a unique fluency for numbers and learned to view the world through a statistical prism. Multiple people close to Mr. Bloomberg have said that the figure he’s most preoccupied with is the number people in his city who die of preventable causes. This obsession with bringing down the death rate has driven the mayor’s notorious crusades against smoking and sugar, and according to John Feinblatt, the mayor’s chief adviser, it was a major factor behind his decision to step into the national gun control debate several years ago.
“This was part head, part heart. The head part was, he had been extremely successful, with [NYPD Commissioner Ray] Kelly and others, in driving crime down during the first term, but I think there was a recognition that, to continue to drive it down, one had to do something about guns. I think that the mayor is always driven by data, and there’s one data point that’s sort of hard to miss, which is that 85 percent of the crime guns in New York City come from out of state, so you knew that to really address this, you had to address this nationally,” explained Mr. Feinblatt. “I think the heart part was … every mayor gets that call at 2 in the morning and has to arrive at the emergency room and break the news that’s going to break somebody’s heart … You see gun violence up close [and] personally in a way that federal officials just don’t.”
Mr. Bloomberg’s first national initiative was called Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group he co-founded with Boston Mayor Tom Menino in 2006 to address what Mr. Menino described at the time as “a crisis on the streets of our nation.” In the years that followed, the group grew from 15 mayors who attended the inaugural summit at Gracie Mansion to more than 900. They shared gun control strategies and launched a PR blitz that included two Super Bowl ads.
It took the Aurora shooting to propel Mr. Bloomberg to kick those efforts into high gear. Both Mr. Wolfson and Mr. Feinblatt said the shooting was the event that defined the mayor’s current approach to gun violence. “It all flows immediately from that moment,” Mr. Feinblatt said...."
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