WASHINGTON -- One of the nation’s most powerful gun-control advocacy groups is out with a new ad, and a symbolic new spokeswoman, in an effort to persuade Congress to outlaw magazines that allow up to 32 shots without reloading.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence put out the new spot on Tuesday morning calling directly on President Barack Obama to take a stand against high-capacity magazines -- the clip used by Jared Loughner, the alleged shooter of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and 19 others in Tucson.
In conjunction with the ad’s release, the group is deploying a powerful new congressional liaison. Kelly O'Brien, fiancee of Gabe Zimmerman, the Giffords' staffer killed by Loughner, will be on the Hill Tuesday to endorse legislation sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) banning high-capacity magazines.
O’Brien’s entrance into the debate over gun control legislation carries the same type of emotional undertones that accompanied the founding of the Brady Campaign itself. Once titled Handgun Control Inc., the group evolved into its current incarnation and namesake after James Brady, a top aide to President Ronald Reagan who was permanently disabled during an assassination attempt on Reagan.
O’Brien isn’t the only deliberately heart-tugging symbol of the new Brady campaign. The ad includes the silhouette of a young girl on a gunman’s printable, target practice sheet -- riddled, after 32 shots, with bullet holes in the heart and head.
“A magazine that allows a gun to fire 32 shots in 16 seconds is good for only one thing: killing a lot of people fast; and that’s something we can live without. Assault clips: they make everyone a target,” the script reads.
And yet, for all the chilling imagery and sentimental lobbying power, the Brady Campaign still faces a heavy lift. The Obama administration has convened a series of gun-policy meetings at the Justice Department to cover what, exactly, can be done to tighten current law and ensure that unstable purchasers don't get their hands on firearms. High-capacity magazines, sources tell The Huffington Post, have not come up during the talks.