The Madeleine Brand Show

The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Madeleine Brand

How will the Colorado shooting effect the Presidential campaigns?

by The Madeleine Brand Show

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President Barack Obama addresses the audience at the 29th annual NALEO conference June 22, 2012 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials also hosted Republican Presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney Edward Linsmier/Getty Images

Both candidates in the Presidential race made statements today expressing shock and sadness over the shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

But New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a local radio station that "soothing words" are not enough. He challenged both President Obama and Governor Romney to tell the American people what they intend to do about gun violence.

Bloomberg is a strong gun control advocate. But for the most part, the American people are not. Polls show only about a quarter of Americans think handguns should be banned. And less than half favor controls on semi-automatic and assault weapons.

David Mark, a senior editor at Politico says there's a simple political reality. For most politicians, pushing gun control means losing votes. That's often as true for Democrats as it is for Republicans.

Mark says in some urban areas, officials can get elected by pushing for tighter gun laws. But they still face the wrath of the powerful National Rifle Association, and, as he points out, there's no equally powerful lobby pressing for gun control.

Like most observers, Mark doesn't expect any new push for gun legislation based on this latest example of gun violence. But he does note the event will at least mean a mellowing in the current bitter tone of the Presidential contest. Both campaigns cancelled events today, and Mark predicts they'll be gentler in light of events. At least for a few days.

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