There is no higher-priced ad than a Super Bowl commercial.
And there is no higher-stakes fight than the one that the nation’s mayors are waging against the National Rifle Association.
In the truest tradition of opposition research, the mayors’ “Demand A Plan” campaign has fielded a third-quarter ad in Super Bowl XLVII that places the words of NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre deep in his own end zone.
In a May 1999 congressional hearing, LaPierre listed the gun measures that his organization found “reasonable.”
“We think it ‘s reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. No loopholes anywhere for anyone,” LaPierre told Congress in 1999, and that testimony is replayed in the ad aired by Mayors Against Illegal Guns — though, now, the NRA is calling more pervasive background checks no solution to gun violence.
Background checks for all gun-buyers, including those at gun shows as well as those at retail stores, is the one measure that draws almost universal support in opinion polling. The mayors’ ad would appear to be a high-priced calculation that, for whatever happens with assault weapons or mega-ammunition clips in the Capitol Hill gun-control debate, there is one measure that the NRA, representing gun owners and manufacturers, cannot stop.
The ad is built around children, in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders. “America can do this for us,” says one child in the ad, picturing children at play. “Please.”