The Virginia gubernatorial race has gotten so nasty that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has gone so far as to use photos of mass murderers to attack Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli.
Bloomberg — a big proponent of gun control laws — is running ads against Cuccinelli ahead of the Nov. 5 election through his Independence USA PAC.
The new ad — a $1.2 million buy airing on television in Northern Virginia — criticizes Cuccinelli’s views on gun control, while showing photos of “the dangerously mentally ill” and “criminals” from some of the country’s most gruesome shootings in recent history.
Among those who make an appearance in the ad: Virginia Tech massacre shooter Seung-Hui Cho, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza and Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes.
And even though the region is still recovering from the mass shooting at Washington’s Navy Yard last month, the ad includes a photo from a security camera of shooter Aaron Alexis holding his Remington 870 shotgun during his rampage.
“The gun show loophole,” the ad begins. “It means anyone can buy a gun without a background check. The dangerously mentally ill. Criminals. Endangering our families.”
The ad continues: “Ken Cuccinelli opposed closing the gun show loophole — against comprehensive background checks at gun shows for criminals and the dangerously mentally ill, siding with the NRA and undermining law enforcement.”
But is Bloomberg being misleading by tying Cuccinelli and the so-called gun show loophole to these mass murders? Gun rights activists often point out that the proposed legislation would not have stopped any of these shootings because none of these murderers were impeded by background checks.
As for the Virginia Tech shooter: Cho passed the FBI NICS background check.
As for the Navy Yard shooting: Alexis passed both the FBI NICS background check and an additional Virginia background check system.
As for Newtown: Lanza killed his mom — who had passed background checks — to steal her guns to use in the rampage.
As for the Aurora theater shooting: Holmes passed the FBI NICS background check system.
Bloomberg has said his PAC was designed to support candidates and referenda in local, state and federal races across the country. But he is just now getting involved in the Virginia’s governor’s race — with less than two weeks to go and as Democrat Terry McAuliffe now has a solid lead in the polls.