New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was decrying gun violence in America on a local radio show Friday morning shortly before a gunman opened fire outside the Empire State Building.
The stunning coincidence occurred as Bloomberg was making his weekly Friday appearance on the John Gambling Show on WOR radio, which runs from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Shortly after 9 a.m., a man who officials said had been fired from his job in a shop outside the Empire State Building returned to the scene, shot dead a former co-worker and then opened fire on police officers in a chaotic, rush-hour gunfight. The gunman also was killed, and at least nine people were wounded, city officials said.
Within minutes of making his comments on the radio, Bloomberg appeared at a news conference to update the public on the shooting.
The issue of gun control had already been raised on the radio show Friday when Gambling played the heartbreaking cries of a New York City resident who had just lost her 13-year-old child to gunfire. “That was my baby!” she shrieks.
With that, Bloomberg launched into what has become his familiar call for an end to gun violence through greater gun control nationwide.
“I speak at too many funerals and read too many stories, and I just wonder what would I do if it was somebody that I love,” Bloomberg said during the segment, which has since been posted on the city’s website.
“It is just too many guns in the streets,” he said, adding: “We are the only developed country in the world with this problem.”
New York City has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, making Bloomberg one of the media’s turn-to experts on the issue.Time and again this summer -- after the Colorado movie theater shooting, after the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin -- he has called for tougher gun control.
He also wants New York to find ways to crack down on gun crime via “microstamping,” a ballistic imprinting and engraving technology that helps law enforcement officials track down culprits.
Bloomberg also called out President Obama and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for not doing more to fight the sale of AK-47s. Bloomberg said Obama campaigned in part by calling for a ban on the powerful weapons, a ban that Bloomberg said was also supported -- at one point -- by Romney.
“Now, neither one says anything about it,” Bloomberg said.