Mayors' Ad Pushes Candidates on Gun Control

New television spots prod the presidential candidates to tackle gun control.

ByABC News via logo
April 14, 2008, 11:41 AM

April 14, 2008 — -- A group of 300 mayors from across the nation have banded together to produce an advertisement aimed at forcing the three remaining presidential hopefuls Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Republican Sen. John McCain to tackle gun control.

The ad is being released nationwide today and will appear on television, radio and the Internet. The release coincides with the third annual Mayors Coalition Against Illegal Guns in Washington, D.C., which also begins today.

"All three want to be the president of the United States. One of them will be, and it's time to show leadership. Don't just talk about it, but actually stand up," said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "We're trying to highlight to everybody there are more people murdered with illegal handguns every day in the United States than were killed at Virginia Tech."

The ad released today features Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon and Jacksonville, Fla. Mayor John Peyton calling on candidates to address gun control issues more often.

"All three candidates said they oppose the gun show loophole, which allows criminals to buys guns illegally and murder innocent Americans," the mayors said in the television ad.

The controversial topic of gun control hasn't received much attention from candidates this election season, which has primarily focused on the economy, the war in Iraq and experience.

"This is the kind of thing that will make the candidates get very uncomfortable. Gun control is not an issue that any of these candidates wants to bring up right now. For the candidates, it's a lose-lose," said Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute. "To have prominent mayors including Bloomberg, who has been courted assiduously by all three presidential candidates push them on an issue where they lose more voters than they gain is a nightmare."

The topic is a passionate one for Bloomberg, who said he has spoken with McCain, Clinton and Obama about it.