Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun violence prevention group chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will air an advertisement during the Super Bowl calling on Congress to pass universal background checks. The ad is part of the group’s “Demand A Plan” campaign, which focuses on convincing elected officials that stronger gun regulations are needed.
The spot features pictures and voices of children — a harsh reminder of the 20 first-graders killed in December in Newton, Connecticut. The kids single out the National Rifle Association for backtracking on its earlier support for background checks on all gun sales.
Current U.S. law allows people to buy guns through private sales without undergoing the otherwise-mandatory background check. That means that anyone who finds a firearm through Craigslist — or shops for one at a gun show — can walk away with a weapon undetected. Eighty percent of guns used in crimes seem to have been bought privately, and 40 percent of all gun sales are purchased without a check.
What’s more, universal background checks are widely supported. Just eight percent of the country agrees with the NRA’s position against such a measure; 92 percent support background checks for all. That’s likely to make the Super Bowl ad — which will air “on CBS, the network broadcasting the Super Bowl, in the Washington DC market in the third-quarter break coming out of halftime” — quite popular.