AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Michael Bloomberg released his :60 Super Bowl ad on Thursday morning, and the spot focuses on his gun control efforts as the founder of Everytown for Gun Safety.
The ad, titled “George,” talks about 20-year old George Kemp, Jr. who was shot and killed in Texas in 2013. Kemp’s mother, Calandrian Simpson Kemp, describes the pain of losing her child, before the ad transitions to pictures of Bloomberg at a Mayors Against Illegal Guns podium as Kemp says that Bloomberg “heard mothers crying, so he started fighting.”
Kemp goes on to say that Bloomberg isn’t “afraid of the gun lobby… they’re afraid of him,” portraying the fight as one between the valiant billionaire and some amorphous “gun lobby,” as opposed to Bloomberg’s billions versus the millions of law-abiding gun owners he wants to turn into felons or unarmed subjects. If Bloomberg is really serious about tackling “gun violence,” you’d think he’d want criminals to be afraid of him, not the nation’s legal gun owners.
The ad doesn’t mention a single gun control policy backed by Bloomberg, nor does highlight Bloomberg’s comments just a few years ago about reducing gun violence by disarming black men under the age of 25, as well as “throwing” young minority males “up against the wall” to stop and frisk them for weapons as a means of enforcing his gun control laws. In fact, now that Bloomberg’s running for president, he now says he’s opposed to the controversial practice.
The ad closes with a shot of Bloomberg hugging a young child, with the tag “Mike Will Get It Done,” but it’s unclear what the “it” is. Reducing violent crime? It’s already declining.
The fact is that Bloomberg and gun control groups are pushing policies that an increasing number of researchers say are ineffective at stopping violence involving firearms.
Dr Bindu Kalesan says that her work and that of others shows even further differences between various groups and communities that suggest that a broad and blunt approach to stemming gun violence may be ineffective.
Instead, she says that efforts to counteract gun violence need to be tailored to the groups they affect and address the social issues that drive them, such as poverty, mental health issues and drug use.
That’s not the Bloomberg way. Instead, his plans are aimed squarely at legal gun owners.
- Require point-of-sale background checks for all gun sales and finally close the private sale loophole, which enables prohibited people to buy guns simply by finding unlicensed sellers at gun shows or on the Internet.
- Require every gun buyer to get a permit before making a purchase.
- Use sales records to identify crime guns and notify local police when individuals have been prohibited from having a gun. A central system will let local authorities know when a gun owner has become barred from having firearms – due to a criminal conviction or a restraining order.
- Allow for extreme risk screening before guns are purchased so that issuers would be equipped to deny permits to troubled people who pose a danger to themselves or others.
- Curb the dangers of downloadable guns and ghost guns by reversing Trump’s proposed firearm export regulations that loosen oversight of gun exports—and make it easier to publish 3D-printing gun blueprints online. And work to pass legislation barring online publication of those files.
- Pass a federal red flag law that expands extreme risk orders to 50 states—and funds state efforts to maximize the policy.
- Require gun buyers to be at least 21 years old to buy handguns and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.
- Require all gun buyers to wait at least 48 hours before any firearm purchase.
- Reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
- Require secure storage of firearms which have been shown to reduce the risk of child gun injuries by up to 85 percent. However, an estimated 4.6 million American children live in houses with an unlocked gun.
- Ban all guns in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities – except for law enforcement.
You can watch Bloomberg’s ad, which doesn’t mention any of these policies, below.