The families of four victims from the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary appear in two new anti-gun TV ads out this morning, part of an effort to reinvigorate a lagging campaign for new gun controls.
“Don’t let the memory of Newtown fade without doing something real,” Terri Rousseau, the mother of slain teacher Lauren Rousseau, says in an emotionally charged appeal.
The ads also feature personal testimonials from Neil Heslin, father of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis; Chris and Lynn McDonnell, parents of 7-year-old Grace McDonnell; and Jillian Soto, sister of teacher Vicki Soto, 27. All talk about their loved ones and what it was like to learn the tragic news on Dec. 14, 2012.
The ads, which will run only in Connecticut, come as that state’s legislature considers state-level gun control measures. They were produced by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” and released in conjunction with a “National Day to Demand Action” taking place today across the country.
President Obama’s outside advocacy group – Organizing for Action – is also part of the effort. More than 100 events are planned, organizers said.
At the White House later this morning, Obama will surround himself by victims of gun violence, their families and law enforcement officials to add his voice to the campaign. The Newtown families appearing in the ads are expected to attend.
The president and other advocates are still calling for legislation to impose comprehensive background checks; limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines; and an assault-weapons ban. But such measures face increasingly tough odds of passage in Congress.
Earlier this week, three Republican senators threatened to filibuster next month’s expected Senate debate on a package of gun-control measures. That package does not include an assault-weapons ban, although Senate Democrats say it will get a vote as a separate amendment to the bill.