Since everyone else seems to be shooting off about Mike Bloomberg’s Super Bowl ad, I might as well inject my two cents into the discussion as well. I not only liked the ad, the fact that he used some questionable data about how many children are killed each year with guns didn’t bother me at all. Given how far from reality most narratives stray that are promoted by Gun-nut Nation about their so-called gun ‘rights,’ so what if Mike’s advertisement claimed that 19-year olds were just kids?
The internet is filled with all kinds of messaging saying that Mike’s ad was ‘hypercritical,’ ‘wrong-headed,’ ‘arrogant,’ ‘elitist,’ all the usual anti-Bloomberg crap. But the best video of all was put together by the boys at Fairfax based on some ‘interviews’ at the big Pennsylvania gun show that took place at the same time the Super Bowl was being played. These interviews were so candid, so original, so individual, that it took me about 30 seconds to realize that all the folks spieling about Bloomberg were working off the exact, same script.
Of course the line-up of people defending their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ was as inclusive as all gun-owning populations tend to be; there was the cop, the mother wearing her Trump hat and the Black dude who was particularly upset because Bloomberg spends millions on armed security guarding his house so how ‘I can’t use a gun to defend where I live?’
Hey schmuck, did it ever occur to you that the reason Mike has to spend money for armed security is because he wants to make sure that the security guards he hires to protect himself actually know how to use a gun? Did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe you don’t have any ability to engage in armed, self-defense just because you sat in a room while some old guy droned on and on for a couple of hours about how to hold, clean and fool around with a gun?
At some point, I don’t recall exactly the year, but it had to be after 2001 (because that’s when I went back into retail guns for the third time and this incident took place) my friends at 1200 Roosevelt Avenue, which happens to be the address of Smith & Wesson, decided to try and buy some ad space in that year’s Super Bowl magazine. The ad agency producing the magazine turned them down. They also tried to do a promotion at a NASCAR race except NASCAR also turned them down. I tried to do a promotion with the local Harley dealer but the Harley corporate office wouldn’t let the dealer get involved with anyone selling guns.
These incidents took place long before Sandy Hook, long before Mike Bloomberg started bankrolling Shannon and her Moms, long before all those shooting rampages that have focused significant public attention on gun violence. In other words, for all the talk by Gun-nut Nation about how guns are becoming a mainstream consumer product, the truth is that there isn’t a single, mass-market venue allegedly favored by gun owners which is willing to step up and do any kind of promotional activity on behalf of guns.
It’s not very difficult to go to a gun show and find some folks who will tell you all the reasons why they like guns. But what kind of reaction would be found if Nielsen or one of the other TV survey companies called up Super Bowl viewers and asked them what they thought about Mike’s message on guns?
To me, what was different about Mike’s ad was that it wasn’t really a political message; it was more like a PSA that focused on guns rather than on Corona virus or some other public health threat. And if Mike continues to run ads that focus on issues rather than on insults, invectives and lies, he will be making an important and necessary contribution to the current political debate.