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Bloomberg Gun Ads Target Mary Landrieu, Carville Intervenes
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is putting the soda buckets down this week and picking up his battle against illegal guns. Proving once again that he has enough money to be on TV anytime he wants, the New York City mayor launched a multimillion dollar ad campagin urging support for universal background checks on gun ownership. Mayor Mike has 14 senators in the crosshairs. One of them happens to be Louisiana's own Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Comprehensive background checks are a key piece of President Barack Obama's gun reform plan. They would close the "gun show loophole," requiring checks on sales made by private gun sellers. Mayor Mike's Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition says about 40 percent of gun sales are made by the private sellers. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put the wheels in motion on a gun bill with "expanded" background checks, but conservative Rand Paul is indicating that he will fillibuster the effort.
Though Landrieu's brother Mayor Mitch is a member of the coalition, Mary Landrieu faces a tough reelection campaign coming up next year in a state that just passed a constitutional amendment that's proudly held up as the most extensive Second Amendment protection in the country.
What with the family dynamics and all, Bloomberg's strategy may seem a bit impolite, especially for a mayor from up North. But the cable news mavens knew exactly where to turn this morning for an explanation. Newly liberated from CNN, James Carville was free to head over with his forward-leaning brethren on MSNBC and discuss Bloomberg's campaign on this morning's edition of The Daily Rundown.
The Ragin' Cajun was quick to point out that universal background checks enjoy much wider public popularity than other pieces of gun reform that have already been ruled out, such as a ban on assault weapons.
"First of all, in terms framing what they want, expanded background checks, that's 85, 90 percent of the people agree with that, be they gun owners or people from Louisiana, or people from Massachusetts or people from anywhere else," Carville told The Daily Rundown's Luke Russert. "The problem is it's never framed like that. You saw Karl Rove on Sunday morning TV saying, 'Oh no. You're not going to be able to give a gun to your grandchild, etc, etc.' The [National Rifle Association] is saying the same thing. So, Mayor Bloomberg is doing this, and I think--you need to frame the issue properly."
The well-funded NRA stands as a major opponent to any laws perceived as gun control. Though Bloomberg's coalition says the NRA supports measures like universal background checks, Landrieu still faces opposition for voting "yes" to any gun bill, Carville said.
"If Mary Landrieu votes, the NRA is going to send a letter out, they're not going to say she voted for expanded background checks, or [keeping out of hands of] felons, or people with mental illness can't get a gun, they're going to say that she's trying to take everyone's gun away," Carville told MSNBC. "So, they never frame the issue properly. So, this thing is going to go the way gay marriage does, as people have a chance to look at it more and more, this thing is going to change."
Carville didn't offer a timetable for how quickly change would come, but said, "Congress is going to catch up with public opinion before long," he said.
Whether that means a change in Louisiana before any upcoming Senate vote is another matter.
"Sen. Landrieu has a great deal of respect for Mayor Bloomberg and his leadership on a host of issues important to our country, but the Senator will be listening closely to her constituents on this issue," said Landrieu spokesman Matthew Lehner.
Here's one of Bloomberg's ads, called 'Responsible':
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,
Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall
Michael Weber, B.A.
B. E. Mintz
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Minced Media, Inc.