VIDEO: Super Bowl commercial starring New York, Boston mayors promotes gun reforms
During the Super Bowl Sunday, one commercial was for a political group seeking to make small changed to the gun control laws in the country. The measures are backed by a 600-member coalition of big- and small-city mayors. In the ad, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Tom Menino starred.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Boston mayor Tom Menino, both avowed supporters of Second Amendment rights, in a Super Bowl commercial to promote "common sense" gun regulations.
The pair are part of a 600-mayor movement to try and halt illegal online gun sales and fix the broken parts of a background check system that is allowing the purchase of guns by people who aren't supposed to have access to them. Like convicted criminals.
The commercial for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, while full of football references from the two mayors who represented the hometowns of the competing football teams, tried to appeal to all Americans and bridge the political divide that is wide on issues of gun control.
"We both support the Second Amendment," Menino said.
"And believe America must do more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals," Bloomberg continued.
Dan Baum, a contributor to Harper’s Magazine, said the intent was probably to have gun rights supporters lash out at the commercial during the Super Bowl and be talked down by the people they were watching the game with.
"I think they were trying to get a little bit of a conversation going in people's houses," Baum said. "The problem here, there's a number of them, one is that Michael Bloomberg is a known quantity. He's a guy on the record as not only wanting to tell people what to do with their guns, but how much salt they can eat and where they can smoke and how much fat they can eat. So he's not the best messenger."
Baum said gun guys bristle at Bloomberg and his tell-you-how-to-live attitude. But if you look at the group's goals, they're all pretty mild, he said.
"And none of them have to do with taking away people's guns or restricting even how people can buy them," Baum said.
The big goals, he said, are to fix holes in the background check system and get information on mental illness into the database.
"Stuff that I would think, if the majority of gun guys sat down and looked at what they want to do, they'd say 'I don't really have a problem with that,' " Baum said.
But Bloomberg represents a problem for the organization to gets its message across, Baum said. Pairing Bloomberg, an independent, with Menino, a Democrat, doesn't do much to assuage the fears of gun-rights activists. There are a number of Republicans who support the measure.
Baum said Bloomberg is especially active in this issue because New York has strong gun laws but suffers from states with weak gun laws.
"Guns are bought in weak gun law states and then travel to New York," he said, "and kill people on the streets of New York."
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