Catalina Camia, USA TODAY
The commercial features a ticking clock and people bowing their heads to observe a moment of silence for the 20 children and six adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last year on Dec. 14. Halfway through the spot, a presumed shooter carrying a bulky duffel bag approaches a building and the door shuts.
“But with 26 more school shootings since that day,” the narrator says, “Ask yourself: Is silence what America needs right now?”
The ad is sponsored by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, groups that have pushed Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence. Moms Demand Action was formed in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting.
The 30-second and one-minute versions of the ad were uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, ahead of the group’s news conference Thursday.
“American mothers will never again listen to those who say it’s too soon after a senseless tragedy like Sandy Hook to discuss gun reform. And we will never again be silent about gun violence — that bell cannot be unrung,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, said in a statement. “Over the past year, we have grieved the loss of too many victims and witnessed too much inaction by our elected officials.”
Although some state legislatures have acted, Congress has been unable to pass sweeping gun-control legislation since Newtown.
Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to extend for 10 years a 1988 law that bans guns that are undetectable in metal detectors or X-ray machines. The Senate is expected to follow suit and pass the plastic gun ban.
But a measure to expand background checks on potential gun owners was squashed in the Senate earlier this year, amid staunch opposition from the National Rifle Association. The House has yet to bring up similar legislation. President Obama, who has pushed for new gun restrictions since Newtown, blamed politics for the Senate’s failure to expand background checks and called it a “shameful day for Washington.”
Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns will be holding events in 35 states on Dec. 14 to mark the Newtown anniversary and call for action on gun-control legislation. Instead of a moment of silence, the groups will be ringing bells across the country.
On Dec. 13, members of Moms Demand Action will deliver bells to members of Congress. The group suggested in a news release that they will also hold members of Congress and congressional candidates accountable in next year’s midterm elections.
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