New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has long been an outspoken critic of the National Rifle Association. But in an interview with ABC's "Nightline," his rhetoric reached new heights when he suggested that the organization was partially to blame for last week's Newtown, Conn. school shooting.
"We're not trying to take away your right to advance the interests of gun owners, hunters, people who want to protect themselves," Bloomberg told anchor Cynthia McFadden. "But that's not an absolute right to encourage behavior which causes things like Connecticut. In fact, Connecticut is because of some of their actions."
Bloomberg, who co-founded the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, is perhaps the most visible gun-control advocate in the country. In the aftermath of the Newtown shooting, he has used his national profile to agitate for stricter laws, urging President Obama to push for bold legislative action and circulating gun-control proposals of his own. This week, Obama announced the formation of a gun-violence task force led by Vice President Joe Biden.
After days of silence after the Connecticut shooting, the NRA announced in a statement Wednesday that it will hold a press conference on Friday morning, and that it was "prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."