Newtown parents press for gun control in Bloomberg group's ad

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (I) pro-gun control group on Thursday unveiled a new ad featuring parents of children killed in the Newtown, Conn. mass shooting calling for tougher gun laws.

The ad from “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” will run on Connecticut stations, and urges state legislators to pass universal background checks on all gun sales, as well as bans on the sale of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, according to reports.


In the ads, parents of victims slain at the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School share memories of their family members before the tragedy and learning of their deaths.

“We dropped Jesse off in the morning to go to school Dec. 14, he gave me a hug and a kiss and said ‘I love you dad, and I love mom too,” says Neil Heslin, the father of student Jesse Lewis. “That was the last I ever saw of Jesse alive,” he adds.

Jillian Soto, whose sister Vicki Soto, a teacher at the school and was killed in the attack, says her sibling “loved teaching at Sandy Hook elementary.”

“Every student would say, I hope I get Ms. Soto next year,” she says.

The ad also features Chris and Lynn McDonnell, the parents of Grace McDonnell, and Terri and Gilles Rousseau, the parent of teacher Lauren Rousseau.

“Connecticut can save lives,” the ad says, urging legislation for “comprehensive background checks, limit [on] high-capacity magazines, [and an] assault weapons ban.”

“Don’t let the memory of Newtown fade without doing something real,” says Terri Rousseau as the ad concludes.

The ad is the latest in a high-profile campaign by Bloomberg, a staunch advocate of gun control, to pressure lawmakers to act on the issue. Last week, the mayor announced that his group would spend $12 million on ads targeting swing state senators, urging them to support background checks.

Last week, Bloomberg joined Vice President Biden, who headed the White House task force on gun violence and families of the Newtown victims as the administration ramps up their efforts to move a gun-control package before the Senate next month.

President Obama will also hold an event with mothers of gun violence victims and law enforcement representatives at an event next week on the 100th day after the Newtown shooting.

The Senate bill headed to the floor includes measures on background checks, increased funding for school safety and tougher penalties against straw purchasers.

But many gun reforms urged by the White House, including bans on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition will not be in the bill, in the face of staunch opposition for the gun lobby and the unlikelihood such measures could pass in the GOP-controlled House.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has pledged to allow those proposals to be voted on as amendments.

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre on Sunday criticized Bloomberg’s big dollar campaign to promote gun control by targeting senators, saying that the New York mayor could not “buy America,” and vowing that the gun lobby would oppose restrictions they say infringe on Second Amendment rights.