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. Patrick in Wisconsin

    The NRA has been showing ads in Newtown for weeks. Why are conservative's heads exploding over the fact that their opponents are following suit?

    March 28, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. Capitalist Pig

    The NRA and firearms industry are finally being taken on by the financial sector. Money talks-the NRA and firearms industry WILL WALK!

    March 28, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. Oakspar77777

    So, the NRA gets blasted for calling citizens of the town while robocalling the entire state, but Mayor for Illegalizing Guns puts the families in their propagada and they are "featured."

    Disgusting.

    March 28, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Diane

    The more you people who love your guns talk the crazier you sound. You sound like you would not pass attest to own a gun. Dianne Feinstein bill excludes over 2,000 for you to choose from, is that not enough??????? What freedom are you losing not to have an assault weapon or a background check or smaller magazines?
    I am sure you know the NRA / gun manufactors could care less about our freedoms. The only thing they want from you is to buy more guns....and you all are following their plan perfectly and they are laughing at you all the way to the bank.
    Do you know how people finally believed black people were being beaten and much worse in the segregated south? A mother of a black 14 son was beaten, shot, tortured had his casket open during his funeral. That is what helped pass the 1964 Civil Rights Law. Americans finally understood, but they had to see the body of Emmett Hill.
    Maybe we have to show what was left of those 6 year olds bodies for you to truly understand that we need some gun control.

    March 28, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  5. DG

    Having a loved one shot is sad HOWEVER it doesn't make you an expert on gun control, only a victim of senseless violence. If this person would have gone through the scholl and killed 20 people with a baseball bat would we still be having opening day of baseball season or would it be a victim of bat control. This is just a sad situation being used to advance a few people's anti gun agenda.

    March 28, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  6. coolstorybro

    Lol i love to see actors on the news acting like they lost a kid. idk what to think about this society and the "Random" events that happen. Your not taking my guns, Your not gonna take my rights just make some rules and do background checks and make sure that everyone that owns a gun is the one fully responsible for it. lol idk im bored and ranting. see ya fellow gun and freedom fighters i love you all. lol

    March 29, 2013 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  7. Brenda

    What I find amusing is the gun control people who want armed guards in banks but not in schools....somebody call somebody the banks been robbed....money owns this country.....disgusting but true

    March 29, 2013 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  8. Bill

    Oh wow the NRA is the sole cause and reason.. Sandy Hook elem was attacked and shot up. Really? So Goverment employee Unions reason for gas price's? Teacher Union's cause our defict? NAACP behind Global Warming? Must be if your STUPID enough to "say" or "think"... NRA caused Newtown. Believe EVERY WORD OBAMA Preaches.

    March 29, 2013 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
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