Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest gun control PSA runs just over a minute and a half, each second more tense and harrowing than the last.
Bloomberg pledged $50 million of his own money on Wednesday to launch a national grassroots gun-control initiative called Everytown for Gun Safety in his efforts to combat the NRA. The website, everytown.org, while pretty bare bones in layout, offers plenty of detail on gun-related acts of violence around the country.
On the homepage, a link to an analysis includes the caption, "There have been more than 60 school shootings since Newtown. How many more until Congress decides to act?"
The new PSA features two children, Lucy and Sam, playing hide-and-seek at home. Sam counts backward, slowly, while Lucy hides in a closet upstairs. Her mother tells her not to run in the house, presumably, and ironically, to stay safe. She finds a handgun in a shoebox in the closet and proceeds to play with it before Sam finds her, and she pulls the trigger.
A question flashes across the screen, asking viewers, "Will you stop this?"
The screen goes black with the sound of a gunshot, followed by their mother’s scream.
Then, the statistic flashes across the screen: "Scenes like this happen all the time. More than two million American kids live in homes with unsecured guns."
Everytown for Gun Safety is a consolidation of the other gun control groups Bloomberg funds. According to the New York Times, Bloomberg’s new strategy is to focus on expanding the background check system at state and federal levels, as opposed to working toward blanket federal restrictions of certain weapons.
Bloomberg told the Times that gun control advocates can learn from the way the NRA influences politics.
"We’ve got to make them afraid of us," he said of the NRA.
Around 12 pm EST Thursday Bloomberg tweeted, "@Everytown will fight the NRA with common sense."
The NRA was not immediately available for comment.
Bloomberg’s new undertaking is bold, but it’s backed with hefty enough funding to presumably gain traction. He realized his strategy needed to change course, as an outright ban on certain weapons won’t happen so long as members of Congress continue to have constituents screaming about Second Amendment rights.
Bloomberg and his allies seem to be hoping that with their amended course of action, and an additional $50 million dollars, lawmakers will realize they’re not asking for anything to be taken away, but for a process to change, so no more lives are senselessly lost.
And he only took a minute and a half to power-pack the first punch.