New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is challenging President Obama and Mitt Romney to spell out what their response is to the mass shootings in Colorado which claimed at least 12 lives and left 59 people wounded.
The mass shooting at the Century 16 Movie Theater in Aurora has reignited the gun control debate, but both Mr Obama and Mr Romney have so far avoided the issue in their response.
Police in Aurora, Colorado continue to investigate the mass shooting at the Century 16 Movie Theater, with the alleged shooter James Holmes, 24, expected to appear in court on Monday.
When the suspect was arrested, police recovered one AR-15 rifle, one shotgun, two Glock handguns, a gasmask and ballistic body armor.
The president and Mr Romney cancelled scheduled campaigning yesterday and offered condolences to the victims and their families, but did not discuss the issue of gun control.
The dean of the school of public policy at the University of Maryland, Don Kettl, told the San Francisco Chronicle it is not one of the issues that either candidate has shown much inclination to discuss.
"There are more downside risks than upside gains in talking about it," he said.
However in a taped interview for CBS's "Face The Nation" on Sunday, Michael Bloomberg will attempt to focus the political debate on gun control.
"You know, Governor Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts actually passed a ban on assault weapons, and President Obama when he came into office in 2008 said he would reinstitute a federal ban on assault weapons," Bloomberg told CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer in the interview.
"The governor has apparently changed his views and the president has spent the last three years trying to avoid the issue or if he's facing it, I don't know anybody that's seen him face it."
"It's time for both of them to be called, held accountable," he continued. "You know, we spend all our time talking about tax returns, and gaffes, and things like that. This is one of those issues, along with a handful of others, that really matter to the American public. It matters to the future of our country, it matters to you and me and to our children and grandchildren. And it's time I think that we hold them accountable and say okay, you want our votes. What are you going to do?"
Bloomberg prefaced his remarks on the show by saying that "expressing sympathy is nice," but incidents such as the theater shooting happen to far too many people.
"There are about 34 people killed with illegal guns every single day," he said before pointing to other recent tragedies.
"Somebody's got to do something about this and it requires, particularly in a presidential year, the candidates for president of the United States to stand up once and for all say, yes they felt terrible, yes it's a tragedy, yes we have great sympathies for the families, but it's time for this country to do something," he said. "And that's the job of the president of the United States and I don't know what they're gonna do, but I think its incumbent on them to tell us specifically, not just in broad terms."
The U.S. Conference of Mayors President Philadelphia Mayor, Michael A. Nutter, said the nation's mayors express their shock at a mass shooting and send their condolences to the victims, their families, and their community.
"The U.S. Conference of Mayors is repeating its call for reasonable changes in our gun laws and regulations that could help to prevent senseless tragedies such as the one that has rocked Aurora and the nation this morning."
The director of federal affairs for of Gun Owners of America, John Velleco, told CNN he expected more gun control side talk about how more gun control is needed in wake of this horrible shooting.
But he said "more gun control could actually make situations worse by making it harder for law-abiding folks to own and carry guns, which means for lunatics that there are more unarmed, potential victims."
The nation's largest citizens' lobby to prevent gun violence, The Brady Campaign, launched a petition demanding "Congress stop arming dangerous people."
Brady Campaign President Dan Gross said as someone who has suffered the lasting impact of gun violence "I can tell you that we don’t want sympathy. We want action."