Giffords group launches first attack ads

The group launched by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, is out with its first ads criticizing senators who voted against expanded background checks for gun purchasers.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 16: Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Mark E. Kelly meet with Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) on Capitol Hill concerning gun reform legislation Tuesday April 16, 2013. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Mark E. Kelly on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

The Americans for Responsible Solutions radio spots target Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Both ads feature disappointed voters lamenting that their senator "ignored the will of the people" and opposed "common sense legislation" to "keep guns out of the hands of criminals."

To start, it's a buy of a couple hundred thousand dollars -- not huge -- but it's a sign of what the group is planning in the wake of legislative defeat. The New Hampshire ads are running in Concord, Manchester, Keene and the Seacoast. The Kentucky ads are in Louisville and Lexington.

Here's the script for the Ayotte ad:

Woman 1:  Remember that ad Kelly Ayotte ran saying she’s one of us.

Woman 2:  Oh, where she’s out for a run?

Woman 1: Yeah.  Well, it sure didn’t take long for her to “go Washington.”  Says here Ayotte voted against improving background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

Woman 2:  Are you serious?   89 percent of the people in New Hampshire support universal background checks.  She just ignored us?

Woman 1: Sure did.  This was common sense legislation written by a Republican and a Democrat.  Supported by law enforcement.  And it protected Second Amendment rights.  But Ayotte voted against it anyway.

Woman 2:  And ignored the will of the people.

Woman 1:  Well, I’m calling Senator Ayotte and telling her to listen to the people for a change.  You should too.  The number is 202-224-3324.

And the McConnell ad:

Announcer: We watched.  We listened.  We felt it.  Newtown.

But Senator McConnell won’t listen to us.

Eighty-two percent of Kentuckians support universal background checks.  

But Senator McConnell voted against them. 

McConnell opposed common sense checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. 

Written by a Republican and a Democrat.  Supported by law enforcement officers.  It was a common sense plan that protected Second Amendment Rights. 

But Senator McConnell ignored the will of the people.  Making our children and our families less save…. And putting the Washington special interests ahead of Kentucky… AGAIN.

Call Senator McConnell at 202-224-2541. And tell him to start listening to us, for a change.

Last week, Americans for Responsible Solutions aired ads thanking senators in both parties who voted for the bill.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Aaron Blake · April 24, 2013