On Friday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pro-gun control organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns launched a television ad featuring former NFL players Marshall Faulk, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson.
The ad follows the same format of previous MAIG public service announcements where hired spokespeople (victims of gun violence or celebrities or politicians or, in this case, pro football players) make references to recent tragedies, including the movie theater shooting in Aurora, CO, and the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, and then utter the vague motto ‘Demand a Plan.’
As previously noted in a Guns.com article, the ‘plan’ in ‘Demand a Plan’ actually refers to three specific legislative initiatives:
• Require a criminal background check for every gun sold in America
• Ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines
• Make gun trafficking a federal crime, with real penalties for “straw purchasers”
“Like most Americans, these football legends support sensible reforms that will help keep our children safe,” said Bloomberg, MAIG’s Co-Chair and largest donor.
“Common-sense proposals like background checks for all gun sales, removing military-style assault weapons from our streets and gun trafficking legislation are already in the red zone – it’s time for Congress to take them over the goal line,” added Bloomberg.
The other Co-Chair of the group, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, also chimed in, saying, “We are grateful that these sports heroes – who are also fathers, brothers and uncles – are choosing to speak out.”
“We need every voice to be heard to keep the pressure on Congress to pass legislation that will save American lives and make our neighborhoods safer,” Menino added.
The ad was released just days after leaders from MAIG met in Washington, D.C. to pitch their gun control agenda.
At the MAIG press conference other celebrities like comedian Chris Rock and singer Tony Bennett showed up to voice support for the ‘Demand a Plan’ campaign as well as the president’s call for tougher gun laws (Obama and MAIG’s plans are virtually one and the same).
Though, as Bill O’Reilly pointed out in the video below, one has to question the efficacy of ‘trotting out’ celebrities or football stars as a way to win support for stricter gun laws.
In a debate that is starving for facts and objective analysis on the national level, does it help to have more uninformed voices putting whatever celebrity clout they have behind a cause they know little or nothing about?
Does anyone really believe that Chris Rock or Tony Bennett or Michael Irvin or Deion Sanders can articulate what makes an ‘assault’ weapon an ‘assault’ weapon?
What are your thoughts? With respect to the non-gun owning public, are these MAIG PSAs effective? Or do they actually subvert the argument Bloomberg and other pro-gun control advocates are trying to make?