Newtown families featured in first political ad
March 28th, 2013
08:23 AM ET
1 year ago

Newtown families featured in first political ad

(CNN) – Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, released on Thursday the first television ad buy featuring family members of victims in the Newtown, Connecticut massacre.

In the spots–one is 60 seconds, the other is 90 seconds–family members talk about their loved ones and call on political leaders to embrace tougher gun laws. The ads come more than three months after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in addition to his mother, before taking his own life.

The ads specifically emphasize a need for comprehensive background checks, a limit on high capacity magazines, and an assault weapons ban–proposals that have all been floated in Washington and in Connecticut's state legislature.

Many of the family members in the ads have been seen in Washington calling for stricter gun laws, including Neil Heslin, father of Jesse Lewis, and Chris and Lynn McDonnell, parents of Grace McDonnell. Jillian Soto, the sister of the late teacher Vicky Soto, and Terri and Gilles Rousseau, parents of another teacher Lauren Rousseau, also speak in the spots.

Focused on pending Connecticut legislation, the ads will run in the Hartford market. Their release comes the same day the group launches "The National Day to Demand Action," a major advocacy initiative that involves groups, such as Organizing for Action and former Rep. Gabby Giffords' group Americans for Responsible Solutions, for events across the country.

President Barack Obama will hold an event at the White House, where he will stand with mothers who are urging Congress to take action on measures to combat gun violence. He'll be joined by Vice President Joe Biden, law enforcement officials, victims of gun violence, and other stakeholders in the gun control debate.

"We cannot afford to wait for another tragedy – it's long past time for elected officials to listen to their constituents and pass reforms like comprehensive background checks that we know will save lives," Bloomberg said in a release with the spot.

Group spokeswoman Erika Soto Lamb confirmed the commercial is separate from the $12 million ad buy by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which was announced on Saturday. Those ads began airing in 13 states on Tuesday and are timed to put pressure on both Republican and Democratic senators home for the congressional Easter recess.

When lawmakers return the second week of April, the Senate will begin debate on a gun bill formally introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week. The legislation would expand the background check system, impose more school safety measures and introduce tougher laws on gun trafficking. Reid said he'll allow amendments to be added so the Senate can vote on other proposals, such as magazine capacity limits and a ban on semiautomatic rifles modeled after military-style assault weapons.

Recent polling, however, shows public support for gun restrictions has declined since the December shooting, as renewed attention has amplified on both sides of the debate. Shortly after the school massacre, 52% of Americans favored major restrictions on guns or making all guns illegal, according to a CNN/ORC International poll. That number has dwindled to 43%, according to the same poll conducted March 15-17.


Filed under: Ads • Gun control • Gun rights • Michael Bloomberg
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Good. It's about time someone stood up to the NRA. Why anyone would want to join that group is beyond by understanding. The entire board of directors that run the NRA are comprised entirely of owners and top executives of companies that manufacture weapons and ammo. It is almost as if trade professionals have hijacked what began as a group of private citizens with a shared interest in safe hunting, and turned it into sales promotional tool.

    March 28, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  2. JeffersonLives

    Nice to see the democratic party exploiting anything possible to advance their long held gun grabbing agenda... Fortunately for the rest of us who value individual liberty over despotism, their efforts will fail. You see we as Americans have come to understand that anyone who wants to limit or ban guns is in fact a despot or doing the bidding of such. History has shown over and over again that those who take the guns from their people typically turn on their people. However, Americans for as stupid as some may be, we are not that stupid to repeat the mistakes of history.

    We will keep our guns thank you, you can all go back to your dark rooms to plot and scheme and fantasize about your socialistic utopia where everyone is equally poor and miserable.

    March 28, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  3. plain&simple

    Unfortunately more senseless killings of the Newtown type will happen. When enough people in this contry finally realize how absurd and selfish and apathetic we have been,no more innocent lives will be lost by our inability to come together to do what is right.

    March 28, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. Marie MD

    The nra, their slobbering leaders and four million members out of 313,000,000+ are holding the country hostage.

    March 28, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. sonnie3

    This Newtown thing is getting milked on a overtime daily basis. It is hammer on the news every day since the act took place. Tragic as it is it don't compare from loss of life from our military personal that is of a much , much, large scale.
    Why? Politicians in General have little sympathy for dead soldiers. It just don't forward the cause. Because the liberals agenda is to gut our constitution. They are for big government to control everybody and then take your guns away. It has happened in many country's and look where they are now. Not a pretty picture for sure.

    March 28, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  6. Wake up People!

    I'm sorry for your losses but unfortunately the NRA runs this country.

    March 28, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Carla Nelson

    Lets remember one thing is that fact that those who are mentally disturbed do not care about what politacl party that a person belongs to. It is easy to not to do nothing if your family has not been affected by this type of disater. Bullets don't have a way to discriminate if your in the way.

    March 28, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. YBM

    Allowing themselves and their loss to be exploited for an agenda. I no longer feel sorry for them.

    March 28, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. J

    we need to stand up to Obama and say no this is not how the founders would have done things

    March 28, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Are you kidding me?

    Time to strip the NRA of their power trip. I would not to see this happen to any other parent or family. The robocalls are a disgrace and make me sick to my stomach.

    Responsibility and maturity must be shown here and we must start looking at this mess objectively. The time is now to overhaul this from top to bottom. People have a right to protect themselves by they do not have a right to kill – especially unarmed children.

    March 28, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Rick

    Conventional wisdom tells us that "those who do not learn by their mistakes are condemned to repeat them". States with the most gun laws experienced a lower overall mortality rate from firearms than did states with the fewest laws, researchers in Boston reported in a study published Wednesday. Obama tells us that: "There are some powerful voices on the other side who are interested in running out the clock, or changing the subject,". If those "powerful voices" are allowed to have their will what happened in Newtown will happen again. We have a need for comprehensive background checks, a limit on high capacity magazines, and an assault weapons ban in order to try to prevent future incidents.

    March 28, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. NameJohn Galt

    Why will they not say what meds this shooter in CT was on ? Maybe the drug companies are liable? Amazing the warrant info came out today.

    March 28, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. DMG2FUN

    What is the difference between this leftist aka progressive socialist gun hater anti right ad and the NRA robo calls? I do not want to see and hear this garbage attacking the rights of Americans.

    March 28, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. J

    so u would let Obama take ur rights away just cause u think it MIGHT help he said it him self that it would not help much wish our founding fathers were still around to teach this so called great pres. a lesson on our rights

    March 28, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. J

    WE the people need to stand up to Obama and the rest of our gov. and say these r our rights STAY AWAY r we not tierd of fighting eachother when we should b standing together aginst him for ALL OUR RIGHTS come on left and right we are the people we can keep our kids safe but not by picking and chosing our rights so what do u say we the people lets truly change for the better for left for right for all for the people

    March 28, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Carla Nelson

    Iit is nothing wrong with responsible poeple having guns. But i don't want a nut case to shootup innocent poeple because he got ticked off about something.

    March 28, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. Mike

    Never let a tragedy go to waste...that is the gun control mantra right now. If voters don't get these idiots out of office we'll be talking about Newtown for the next 3-4 years. People are sick of hearing about laws no one wants, and sick of Obama and Feinstein riding this horse hoping to annoy us enough until we cave in to their absurd demands. The last ban had ZERO effect on gun violence during its implementation, and in some areas the violence INCREASED. Prohibition and restrictions INCREASE the likelihood of a crime happening because they are umbrella laws: covering a wide array of activities that most law abiding citizens did before the law with no negative impact. "For our children..." Control advocates could care less about our children. Sending them into "gun-free" zones where they may or may not have an armed guard is like herding cattle for a slaughter. Psychopaths love these areas because they know they'll rarely be opposed while doing their deed. "NRA is evil and only looks after the rights of gun manufacturers..." Well no duh...they act like a workers' union, and I don't see democrats whining about them! My point is that any new controls that don't address the real issues, mental illness, is beating a dead horse and turns 50,000,000 Americans into felons because they won't fall in line with the new laws.

    March 28, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. me

    leave it to the left to use people like this to furher their agenda. pathetic

    March 28, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. J

    please people please stop we are suppose to b united our founding fathers gave us a gift they gave us freedom and our current gov is trying to strip us of those same freedoms for now it effects the people on the right but then the left will have there beleafs stripped away we can live in peace both left and right together protecting one another and looking out for our brothers and sisters we can protect our kids from killers like landza and holms but not at the cost of freedom there should not b a left and a right bcause if it truly effects just one of our fellow brothers then it effects as all cause that word United means something let us all show our tyrants in the gov what the true word United means let us take back our freedoms for ALL and give our kids the true life that our fonders intended them to have UNITE my brothers and sisters UNITE and stand together

    March 28, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. A Kickin` Donkey

    Here is the commercial that should be run.

    A crime scene with a sheet covered body on the ground. Shell casing tag numbers appear around the body on the ground: 13 . . . 15 . . 17, etc.

    The voice over says. Barve citizen in Tucson disarmed Jared Loughner when he went to reload after his 30-shot clip ran out. They saved countless lives. Unfortunately 9-year-old _ _ _ was killed by bullet number 12. If gun magazines were limited to 10 rounds, chances are, she`d be alive today"

    Run that ad Bloomberg. Hit them HARD.

    March 28, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. loldemocrats

    democrats once again exploiting anyone they can to get what they want.

    To the idiots talking about the nra and its members holding America hostage, I suggest you look at our leaders who hold us hostage with the plethora of laws they pass against us and exempt themselves from.

    use your brain, no gun has ever loaded itself and pulled its own trigger.

    March 28, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. robert betancourt of fl

    Its sick and disrespectful liberals would use dead children as leverage for politics ,those who follow are just as demented this country was founded ,protected and occupied by guns and no left wing extremist will render american defenseless so we may relive history by haveing americans rounded up and killed this is a dictatorship that is trying to get momentum and it sickens me the family would pawn there dead kids to motivate the blind ,nieve and complacent leftist who support this there is no reason to register weapons it will stop no mass shooting from occureing and will only fuel the blackmarket did history teach you nothing left need to read financing for dummys ,we american soliders diddnt fight for a tranny or commi countrywe fought fir a free country

    The guns used in newtown conn. Were leagaly bought owned and registered your failure of a vison for a communist america would have prevented nothing infact your failed pursuit will only divide america further get a grip and tackle the real problems dept, spending, lies and cover ups obama is distracting you all from the truth

    March 28, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. HG

    That's it, play the shame card. Good luck with that! I'll have no shame when I cast my next vote for a pro-gun candidate.

    March 28, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. J

    Those that will trade freedom and liberty for personal safty deserve neither- Ben Fankland – and i will stand and say give me liberty or give me death greed has corupted our gov my brothers and sisters we must unite and take back our country the way our fathers before us but only when we all stand together and tell the gov to give us back the country our forefathers gave us we can do it we can keep our childern safe but not by selling out like our gov has already done we must take back our freedom or soon very soon there will b none for left or for the right DO NOT SELL OUT OUR freedom unite and take it back

    March 28, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. me

    they have sold ouut tovthe least comonn denominator

    March 28, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
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