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Bloomberg suggests police go on strike in appeal for gun control, then backpedals

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Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergAP

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg doubled down this week on his call for more gun control following the Colorado massacre – suggesting police strike until additional laws are passed.

Bloomberg, the Republican-turned-independent, wasted little time in calling for tougher gun laws, saying just hours after the mass shooting early Friday at a movie theater that President Obama and Mitt Romney must address the gun violence issue.

Then on Monday night, when asked by cable TV host Piers Morgan why Americans don’t demand tougher laws after such a tragedy, he said:  "I would take it one step further. I don't understand why police officers across this country don't stand up collectively and say, 'We're going to go on strike. We're not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what's required to keep us safe.'"

Bloomberg, co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, backpedaled a bit on Tuesday. 

“I didn’t mean literally go on strike. In fact, in New York (police) can’t go on strike. There’s a law against it," he said. 

However, he continued to press Obama, Romney and other officials for change.

“We’re not getting any help from Washington ... the current candidates or those who want to come into office,” he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “And yet our people are getting killed every single day.”

When questioned why he brought police into the debate, though no officer was shot in the Colorado incident, he said police have more at stake.

“Because they get killed, and they have families,” Bloomberg said.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told The Journal that the mayor made the comments out of frustration.

Bloomberg on Friday said that “soothing words are nice, but maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about (gun violence) because this is obviously a problem across the country.”