Boston, MA (CNSNews.com) - Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Bradley, campaigning in Boston on Thursday, repeated his call for the registration of all guns. He was touring an inner-city neighborhood often plagued by gun-related violence.
Appearing at the Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester, Bradley said his proposal to license all handguns would curtail violence while Vice President Al Gore's plan, which calls for registering all newly purchased weapons, is inadequate.
"I know this problem requires national attention and neighborhood wisdom," Bradley told his health center audience. His comments came after meeting a woman who told the former New Jersey legislator that she lost her two stepsons to gun violence and fears the same fate could befall her sole-surviving child.
Bradley told the gathering, in addition to registering all guns, he favors banning so-called "Saturday Night Specials," keeping gun dealers out of residential neighborhoods and the use of trigger locks.
"Thirteen kids are killed each day in America with a gun," Bradley noted. "If that is not a crisis, I don't know what is."
Bradley also used his appearance as a chance to site the inadequacy of Gore's gun control plan, telling his audience that the Gore plan would leave 65 million handguns exempt since it calls for the licensing and registration of only new gun purchases.
Bradley's Boston appearance is the start of a New England-area bus tour that will take him to Providence, RI, New Haven, CT and White Plains, NY. Each state holds its primary on March 5th. "I think we have a strong chance in all those states," Bradley said.
Bradley arrived in New England after spending the day in upstate New York. While campaigning in Buffalo and Rochester, the former NBA star voiced disappointment over his inability to make a connection with African-American voters, a group that heavily favors Gore. "I feel a little disheartened by the numbers. But that's not going to change my commitment."
Bradley also acknowledged that he must win something on March 7th and that the compressed primary calendar does not bode well for him. Noting the five-week gap between his second-place finish in New Hampshire and the March contests, Bradley said, "The five-week gap, given what happened in New Hampshire, did create a little dead space. But I don't think it's impossible to overcome when the public focuses again."
Meanwhile, the Bradley campaign has announced it will release another abortion ad. It will come two days after Gore received the endorsement of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). The spot will being airing on Friday and features a female announcer characterizing Bradley as the only candidate "who has been pro-choice for everyone, all the time."
"This in not an issue you can straddle," Bradley says in the ad. "You can't be on both sides. You have to decide which side you're on. Are you anti-choice or are you pro-choice," he asks, referring to Gore's pro-life positions as a Tennessee congressman.
The spot will air in all the states holding primaries March 7th and 14th.