Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who helped pass a sweeping gun-control measure in 2011, has called for Americans to take “a step back” from the national conversation on gun control.
In an interview with The Atlantic published Thursday, the Republican presidential nominee said it’s “time to stop pretending to be leaders in our society, because you are not.”
The interview, published in the magazine’s Sunday magazine, also offered an assessment of the “tipping point” for the 2016 presidential election, including whether Republican nominee Donald Trump would be able to win the election and whether Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders would be elected president.
The former New York mayor, who also served as governor, said he’s “disappointed” in the nation’s political leaders for failing to reach an agreement to curb gun violence.
Giuliani, who was elected to the Senate in November, told the magazine he’s been disappointed by the lack of progress on the issue.
“I have been frustrated by the failures of the leadership on gun safety, gun control, and immigration,” Giuliani said.
“I have seen so many gun deaths, and I’ve seen so much fear in the gun control movement.
I don’t think there’s any other place in the world where you have such fear and such fear is the only thing that is keeping people from taking action on the gun issue.”
Giulio, who is also a professor of law at American University, added that there’s no way to prevent future mass shootings.
“People who want to make sure that the next tragedy is prevented have to be the ones who are talking about how to prevent it,” he said.
Giulia said he believes there’s a disconnect between gun owners and the American people, but that his support for universal background checks would help.
He added that the NRA’s endorsement of a proposal to require background checks for all gun sales is the best chance for the American public to come together to protect their rights.
“The NRA, I don.
I am not,” Giuliani told The Atlantic.
“But if they are, I support universal background check, because I believe that the gun lobby has a lot to answer for.”
Trump, who has said he would sign the proposal into law, also has called on Americans to step back from gun control discussions, saying “you have to have a level of empathy for the people that have been hurt” by gun violence in the United States.
“What I am proposing is to get together, get together and talk about what we have to do to make our country safe, and the solutions, which are going to happen as we talk, are going be very simple and very simple,” Trump said at a White House press conference in April.
“We have to come to a compromise, which is going to be very easy, very simple, and very quick, and that’s what we’re going to do,” he added.
The interview comes after The Atlantic, in a report on the rise of Trump, cited a “fiercely influential group of gun control advocates” as saying that the country should look beyond gun control as a potential solution to gun violence and instead focus on reducing gun violence on other fronts.
The NRA said in a statement to CNN that the organization “stands with the NRA and supports gun safety legislation that provides gun owners with more access to firearms, including background checks.”
The National Rifle Association said it “strongly believes” that the American People are committed to “universal background checks and a national registry for all firearms and ammunition.”
“We support all efforts to reduce gun violence, and we encourage all Americans to work together to achieve our shared goal of ending mass shootings,” the statement continued.