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NBA Joins With Michael Bloomberg Group to Oppose Gun Violence

Image: NBA Joins With Michael Bloomberg Group to Oppose Gun Violence
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Wire Services Photo) 

By    |   Wednesday, 23 Dec 2015 08:41 PM

The National Basketball Association has joined with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group in a partnership negotiated by the filmmaker Spike Lee to push for an end to gun violence.

"We know far too many people who have been caught up in gun violence in this country," Kathleen Behrens, the NBA's president of social responsibility and player programs, told The New York Times. "And we can do something about it."

The 30-second spots, to run during high-profile NBA games on Christmas Day, are being paid for by Bloomberg's group, Everytown for Gun Safety. They will feature league players focusing on shooting victims, while containing no policy recommendations.

The words "gun control" are never mentioned in the ads, the Times reports.

For instance, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors describes hearing of a 3-year-old's shooting: "My daughter Riley's that age," he said in one of the ads.

In another spot, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers recalls the advice he learned as a child: "My parents used to say, 'A bullet doesn't have a name on it.'"

Bloomberg's established his group last year to counter the National Rifle Association and to push for expanded gun background checks, as well as for stronger penalties for gun trafficking and for bans on gun sales to individuals convicted of domestic abuse, the Times reports.

The NRA has strongly attacked the Bloomberg group for its vigorous assault on the Second Amendment.

The arrangement comes during a year of heavy gun violence and mass shootings throughout the nation, including in Chicago — where 487 lives have been lost to gun violence so far this year.

Lee's latest film, "Chi-Raq," directly addresses gun violence and is set in the city's South Side. He is a member of Everytown's creative council.

"Because of the NRA, politicians and the gun manufacturers, we're dying under that tyranny," Lee told the Times in explaining why he brokered the deal between the NBA and Bloomberg's group.

He said that the time had come for "common sense anti-gun laws."

President Barack Obama praised the effort Wednesday on Twitter:



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The National Basketball Association has joined with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group in a partnership negotiated by the filmmaker Spike Lee to push for an end to gun violence.
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Wednesday, 23 Dec 2015 08:41 PM
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