SAMANTHA GROSS | AP
NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg met with Sikh community leaders Monday and said the mass shooting in Wisconsin offered yet another reason for the presidential candidates to put forward proposals to curtail gun violence.
Both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have given their condolences following the recent shootings in Colorado and at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, Bloomberg noted. But, he said, "neither of those statements have anything to do with stopping the next massacre."
"Neither candidate has been willing to address the issue," he said.
Bloomberg also accused Washington politicians of a lack of concern in the face of violence.
"Even when a congresswoman was shot, Congress didn't care," the mayor said.
Bloomberg is co-chair of the advocacy group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which recently began running television ads calling on the candidates to release plans to address gun violence.
Asked to respond to the ad Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said: "It's an issue that transcends these incidents of horrific violence that we see periodically, and it's an issue that transcends legislation passed by Congress with regards to firearms. And we need to go after it on every front."
Carney said the president would "continue to instruct his administration to take action towards common-sense measures that protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, but make it harder and harder for those who should not have weapons under existing law to obtain them."
A message sent to a Romney campaign spokeswoman seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.
Along with Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Bloomberg visited the Sikh Cultural Society in Queens a day after a gunman killed six people at a temple in Oak Creek, Wis. The officials expressed their condolences, and Bloomberg told a crowd outside that the shooting in suburban Milwaukee went against the spirit of New York City.
"We have no tolerance for intolerance or for lawless violence," he said.
Kelly said that he had spoken to federal officials and there was no sign that the gunman had any ties to New York City, and there was no reason to believe Sikhs in New York were at risk. Still, police were taking additional precautions at temples in New York City, and will continue to do so while authorities look further into the attack, Kelly said.
Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island also are increasing patrols.
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