Trying to win congressional action after the Newtown shooting, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week will begin bankrolling a $12 million national advertising campaign that focuses on senators he believes might be persuaded to support a pending package of federal regulations to curb gun violence, says the New York Times. The ads, in 13 states, will blanket those senators' districts during an Easter Congressional recess that is to be followed by debate over the legislation.
The commercial is an unambiguous appeal to gun owners: a middle-aged hunter, rifle in hand, vows that he will fight to protect the Second Amendment. In a sensible, father-of-the-house tone, he also urges voters to support comprehensive background checks, “so criminals and the dangerously mentally ill can't buy guns.” Bloomberg's commercials make no mention of an assault weapons ban once sought by the White House and its allies, instead focusing on the more achievable goal of universal background checks. The ad blitz will saturate tv screens in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Arizona. (National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” called Bloomberg’s approach to gun control “insane” and said universal background checks for gun buyers are based on a a “dishonest premise.” “Criminals aren’t going to be checked, they’re not going to do this,” LaPierre said, calling background checks a “speed bump for the law abiding.”)