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20. Because Our Mayor Isn’t Afraid to Talk Gun Control.

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Illustration by Sam Kerr  

Americans bought so many firearms on Black Friday that the FBI’s background-check system crashed twice. The NRA said a reason for the rush was President Obama’s reelection and his desire to take away Second Amendment rights. If only. Michael Bloomberg, though, has never been afraid of speaking out about the damage inflicted because of easy access to weapons; in 2006, he launched Mayors Against Illegal Guns. But major change can only come at the federal level, when pols know someone will consistently push back against the gun lobby. So this year the mayor, motivated in part by the Colorado movie-­theater massacre, created a super-PAC; its biggest win was the defeat of an NRA-friendly California Democratic congressman. Bloomberg tells me he has been to too many emergency rooms after shootings of cops and kids. “You go to someone and explain why their loved one is not coming back, that’s—” There’s a catch in his throat. “ ‘Little girl, your father is not coming back. Miss, your husband.’ And they start saying ‘Why?’ How do you explain it? You talk about how they gave their lives, how they’re brave …” He shrugs, knowing the words sound empty. “It’s so preventable.” Soon he’ll have more time to fight the hail of bullets.


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