US mayors launch $12m campaign for gun control
Obama vowed to push for tighter gun-control laws in the wake Sandy Hook massacre
Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.
Sunday 24 March 2013
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced a $12m (£7.9m) television advert campaign to push Democrats and moderate Republicans to back new control laws in Washington.
The advert blitz across 13 US states by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group, which is led by Mr Bloomberg, will unfold over Congress’s Easter recess and is meant to encourage lawmakers to support legislation to expand background checks when they return to Capitol Hill next month. Most Americans support tougher controls.
The law, which to the disappointment of many gun-control advocates will not include an assault-weapons ban, will come up for vote in April.
US President Barack Obama vowed to push for tighter gun-control laws in the wake of the December massacre of 20 young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, by a shooter using a military-style assault rifle. The law will also include new federal money for school safety and tougher penalties for gun trafficking.
The assault-weapons ban that was initially meant to be a part of the package will be considered as an amendment owing to a lack of support in the chamber, the Democratic majority leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, said last week. A spokesman for the National Rifle Association (NRA), the country’s most powerful pro-gun group, criticised Mr Bloomberg and the new adverts, accusing him of attempting to “intimidate senators”.
He said NRA members and supporters would be calling senators directly and urging them to vote against proposed gun-control legislation.
“What Michael Bloomberg is trying to do is... intimidate senators into not listening to constituents and instead pledge their allegiance to him and his money,” said spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.
The new ads will air in 13 states the group believes are divided on gun control. Mr Bloomberg, who is one of the most prominent gun-control proponents in the US, said of the advert campaign: “These ads bring the voices of Americans – who overwhelmingly support comprehensive and enforceable background checks – into the discussion to move senators to immediately take action to prevent gun violence.”
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...
£110 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers required fo...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...