Mayor Bloomberg kept up his full-throated criticism of the NRA following its press conference this morning, saying the organization’s decision to focus on student safety – including placing armed guards in schools – rather than gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy only underscores his claim that its leadership “has long been out of step with its members.

“Their press conference was a shameful evasion of the crisis facing our country,” the mayor said in a statement. “Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe.”

“Leadership is about taking responsibility, especially in times of crisis. Today the NRA’s lobbyists blamed everyone but themselves for the crisis of gun violence. While they promote armed guards, they continue to oppose the most basic and common sense steps we can take to save lives – not only in schools, but in our movie theaters, malls, and streets.”

“Enough.”

“As a country, we must rise above special interest politics. Every day, 34 Americans are murdered with guns. That’s why 74 percent of NRA members support common sense restrictions like criminal background checks for anyone buying a gun. It is time for Americans who care about the Second Amendment and reasonable gun restrictions to join together to work with the President and Congress to stop the gun violence in this country. Demand a plan.”

That 74 percent figure comes from a poll commissioned by Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group this past spring – before the Aurora, Colo. shooting, but after the Tucson, Az. shooting in which former Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in the head and nearly killed.

The poll conducted by GOP strategist Frank Luntz surveyed 945 gun owners and found, among other things, that 87 percent of NRA members agree that support for Second Amendment  rights goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.