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Opinion: Columnists

Bloomberg the lawless calls for gun control

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Opinion,Gregory Kane,Columnists

Didn't you just know that the shooting in Aurora, Colo., would result in calls for more gun control laws?

Those calls went out even before the 12 dead victims were identified. I'm surprised some media outlets were able to hold off before rigor mortis had set in on their bodies.

Editors at the San Francisco Chronicle held off until the evening after the massacre -- 6:34 p.m. on Friday, July 20 -- before running an editorial titled "Tragedy shows need for gun control" on its website.

"The details of the Aurora-theater shooting are depressingly, hauntingly familiar," the editorial begins. "[T]he crowded public space, this time a midnight screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in a suburban Colorado movie theater. The 'lone wolf' suspect, this time a reclusive 24-year-old neuroscience graduate from the University of California-Riverside named James Holmes. The staggering number of victims: At least 12 dead and scores more wounded.

"What also rings all too familiar: the continuing cowardice of this nation's politicians on the subject of gun control."

Now some of those politicians might actually fervently believe that the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to own firearms as individuals. Memo to San Francisco Chronicle editors: The Second Amendment does precisely that, and politicians that believe such aren't "cowards." They just have an opinion on this subject that runs counter to yours.

The Chronicle editorial continued by hinting that two of the so-called "cowards" have the names President Obama and Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

"Both presidential candidates rightfully mourned a senseless tragedy," the editorial continued, "but offered no solutions to stop this from happening again and again and again. The only major politician who was brave enough to point out the elephant in the room -- our nation's laughable gun-control restrictions -- was New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ... 'Soothing words are nice,' Bloomberg said, 'but maybe it's time the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they're going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country.' "

A second memo to Chronicle editors: If the best argument you have for gun control is to quote Bloomberg, you've already lost.

And it's not because Bloomberg has already established himself as an "enemy of liberty" with his advocacy of banning certain sizes of soft drinks in his city. That stuff is small potatoes. It's because Bloomberg supports police policies that defy the law of the land. Where does he get off calling for more gun control laws while defying the law of the land?

The Supreme Court established that law way back in 1968, in its Terry v. Ohio decision. The Court ruled that police could only stop suspects if they have a reasonable suspicion to believe that suspect has committed, or is about to commit, a crime.

This year, New York cops have stopped and frisked thousands of people, many of them black and Latino. A New York judge recently chided the department because, in her words, cops made many of those stops without so much as an iota of reasonable suspicion.

Bloomberg's reaction? Those stops, in defiance of the law of the land, reduced gun crime, and would continue.

Now this lawbreaker would presume to lecture the rest of us on the need for more gun control laws. We don't need such from Bloomberg in light of the Aurora tragedy.

His silence would have been much more appropriate.

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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