Bloomberg hopes Isla Vista shooting renews gun debate

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is hopeful that the recent mass shooting in California bolsters the case for further gun restrictions.

When asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if the attack, which left seven people dead and 13 wounded, would lead to more gun rules, Bloomberg responded, “I certainly hope so.”

Bloomberg has long been a vocal advocate for further limits on guns and how they are sold, and argued that it is clear the public wants to keep the guns out of the hands of three key groups.

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“We have too many guns in the hands of criminals, people with psychiatric problems, as this guy obviously did, and minors,” he said.

“Kids just should not have guns on campus,” he added.

Mass shootings in recent years, such as the one in Newtown, Conn., that left 28 people dead, have renewed calls from some sectors for tougher gun control laws. But so far action has stalled in Congress, amid opposition from Republicans and centrist Democrats and groups like the National Rifle Association.

Bloomberg acknowledged there have been some setbacks on establishing new limits, but insisted the cause was making progress.

“The public understands what’s happening here,” he said.

On May 23, student Elliot Rodger used knives and guns to attack his fellow students before ultimately killing himself. Before the attack, he posted online a lengthy manifesto detailing his frustrations and motivations, particularly regarding women.

In the interview, Bloomberg said authorities should have more power to place mentally disturbed people under monitoring if they are afraid they pose a risk.

“The parents of this kid knew he had a problem,” he said. “You don’t want cops to be able to go and grab somebody off the street and institutionalize them [but] we don’t have that thing that a cop could use right away.”