Giffords' Gun Control Group Ads Target McConnell, Ayotte

Wednesday, 24 Apr 2013 12:25 PM

By Melanie Batley

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A pro-gun control group started by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is launching a series of attack ads Wednesday targeting two Republican senators who helped defeat the Senate background check bill last week.

The 60-second radio spots from Americans for Responsible Solutions strike out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte for their opposition to extended background checks, Politico reported Wednesday. The ads are expected to run for two weeks.

Pia Carusone, the group's executive director, said the ads are aimed at "making good on the promise [to] communicate with constituents that elect their Senators.

"Obviously we’re in it for the long haul. We’ve been really successful so far in our fundraising and plan to do everything we can to keep this issue on the table," she said.

According to Politico, the McConnell ad starts with a montage of news clips about the Dec. 14, massacre of 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Conn. last year. A narrator says, "We watched. We listened. We felt it. Newtown. But Senator McConnell won’t listen to us. Eighty-two percent of Kentuckians support universal background checks. But Senator McConnell voted against them. McConnell opposed common sense checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals."

The spot goes on to say McConnell ignored the will of the people, “making our children and our families less safe.” It urges voters to call the senator.

The ad targeting Ayotte is similar, but focuses specifically on women.

“Says here Ayotte voted against improving background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” one woman says in the commercial. A second responds: “Are you serious? 89 percent of the people in New Hampshire support universal background checks. She just ignored us?”

Both ads highlight the fact that the background check legislation was bipartisan and supported by law enforcement officials.

While Ayotte’s seat is not up for re-election next year, McConnell's been preparing for his 2014 re-election bid for months.

In a New York Times op-ed piece last week, Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who was nearly killed in a 2011 assassination attempt by a lone gunman, said she was “furious” the day after the background check bill was killed in the Senate for the lack of six votes. She promised to keep the issue in front of the public.

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