The progressive activist group is spending “six figures” to air the commercial aimed at the NRA on CNN and other national cable channels for a week starting Sunday, according to CNN.
The simple ad attempts to counter the soft, anti-gun East Coast liberal stereotype by featuring a burly, bearded outdoorsy man named Jerry Thompson, from Ohio. He announces that he’s a gun owner and supporter of the Second Amendment. However, he says, he is disgusted by the NRA’s reaction to the Newtown massacre and declares it time for politicians to stop accepting money to support the NRA agenda.
The MoveOn gun control ad, using the tagline “The NRA doesn’t speak for me,” plays into divisions within the NRA. While CEO Wayne La Pierre opposes any attempts to strengthen gun control, including increasing background check requirements, the NRA’s own members actually support such measures, the Washington Post has reported.
As far as the man in the MoveOn ad, not much is known so far. There are 67 men with that name listed in Ohio phone directories, but none who could be reached Sunday identified themselves as the man in the commercial. MoveOn describes him as a member of the group, as well as a parent, veteran and gun owner.
MoveOn campaign director Garlin Gilchrist told The Hill that the gun control ad will air during Sunday morning political talk shows, and that another version will be aimed at Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman.
The gun control ad will join several others that have aired following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
· An NRA ad that called President Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for wanting to keep guns out of schools while his own children are protected by “armed guards,” meaning the Secret Service. The White House responded by calling the commercial “cowardly.” The commercial was the work of the NRA’s long-time ad agency, Oklahoma City-based Ackerman McQueen, according to the Washington Post.
· A gun control ad by former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Gifford, the survivor of a mass shooting, showing memorials to the dead in places like Newtown and Aurora, Colo. Giffords, appearing with her husband, says that there are solutions, such as universal background checks, that everyone agrees on and calls for Congress to act on them.
· A series of gun control ads by the “Demand a Plan” organization founded by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas Menino.
- The first featured dozens of celebrities including Jason Bateman, Cameron Diaz and Beyonce urging people to demand a plan to end gun violence.
- A second, which aired during the 2013 Super Bowl in the Washington D.C area, showed photos of children and pointed out that the NRA once supported background checks for gun purchases.
- And a third, with the mother of slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton talking about her daughter’s death and calling for Congress to support “common-sense” solutions to gun violence. Coming so soon after the girl’s death, the gun control commercial prompted blogger Joni Hudson-Reynolds to wonder whether the mother was being exploited.
With no major political campaigns running, the wars winding down, and the government budget crisis on hiatus, gun legislation is at the forefront of political rhetoric. As the White House and Congress battle over legislation, you can bet you will see more gun control ads airing across the country.