Being the mayor of New York City means plenty of enemies, especially if you’re in favor of stricter gun control laws. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was sent a letter that was found to contain ricin.
News broke yesterday (May 29) that two letters–one sent to Bloomberg, the other addressed to someone working on his gun control campaign–tested positive for the lethal toxin, which can cause death if inhaled or ingested.
The New York Times reports:
The first letter was opened at a New York City mail center in Lower Manhattan on Friday, the police said. Although staff members at the mail center do not appear to have become ill, several police officers who came into contact with the letter’s contents “indicated some mild symptoms the next day, including diarrhea,” and they are being treated in hospitals, the New York Police Department’s spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said on Wednesday afternoon. “They’re being checked out as a precaution.”
The second letter, which was opened on Sunday in Washington, was addressed to Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group Mr. Bloomberg helps run and finances, officials said. Mr. Glaze opened the letter, an official said. No injuries were reported, Mr. Browne said.
Both letters were identical in content, bore references to the debate over gun regulation and contained written threats to Mayor Bloomberg, Mr. Browne said. “It’s threatening, and it’s very clearly about one issue,” one official said of the letters.
Both letters appear to have been mailed from Louisiana on May 20.
The NYPD and the FBI are currently investigating this incident. Mayor Bloomberg appears to be taking the threats in stride. “There’s 12,000 people that are going to get killed this year with guns and 19,000 that are going to commit suicide with guns, and we’re not going to walk away from those efforts,” said Bloomberg when asked about the incident yesterday. “And I know I speak for all of the close to 1,000 mayors,” in Mayors Against Illegal Guns, he said. “This is a scourge on the country that we just have to make sure that we get under control and eliminate.”
Photo: NYC Mayor’s Office