Watch: Does this ad change your mind about gun control?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The scene is intense: A man is ferociously knocking on a door while a woman inside the house calls 911, saying that her ex is trying to break in. A child sits on the couch.

The man bursts in and grabs the child, and the woman yells not to take the toddler. The man pulls out a gun. A shot rings out, and the screen goes black. A child cries out.

The violent domestic scenario is only a television ad from a gun control group, but it attempts to portray what some women face. It also depicts the next front in the gun control debate.

The ad, by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group Everytown for Gun Safety, is airing in the District of Columbia and three states. It targets three Republican senators: Dean Heller of Nevada, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, lawmakers who have shown a willingness to back some sort of gun control or whose communities have faced a tragic mass shooting.

The focus on women and domestic violence comes after gun-control advocates gained little traction on efforts to tighten restrictions on gun ownership.

Public opinion on the issue is divided. A CNN poll from December found that 50% of people are opposed to tighter gun-control laws, but 49% support them.

After the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 elementary school students and six staff members were killed, public opinion tipped to the side of gun control.

But under pressure from the National Rifle Association, Congress did not pass reforms that would have strengthened background checks for gun purchases.

The new advertisement was released Tuesday and is part of a campaign to link the potentially deadly combination of guns and domestic abuse.

The NRA, which opposes most efforts to restrict gun ownership, did not respond to a request for comment on the new campaign.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on the issue Wednesday and heard from Elvin Daniel, an NRA member and gun owner whose sister was killed by a domestic abuser.

“It has been nearly two years since Zina was murdered and it is heartbreaking to know that our weak gun laws continue to allow dangerous abusers to buy guns without background checks,” he said, choking back tears.

Gabrielle Giffords, a former Arizona congresswoman who was shot in the head during a mass shooting, is not expected to speak at the hearing, but she wrote an opinion piece on the issue for CNN.

“We urgently need stronger gun laws that protect women,” she wrote. “We can’t wait any longer. Women’s lives are at stake.”

Advocates point to statistics that show that 46 women are shot and killed by a current or former domestic partner each month and that more than half of women murdered are killed by their current or former partners.

Giffords wrote that more women were shot to death by an intimate partner between 2001 and 2012 than the number of soldiers killed in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Advocates also point to a recent incident in Texas in which police accused a man with a history of domestic violence of shooting and killing many of his estranged wife’s family members during a violent rampage.

“This is an area where we can really make progress and keep guns out of dangerous hands,” said Erika Soto Lamb, spokeswoman for Everytown for Gun Safety.

They have gotten behind a bill by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota that would expand gun restrictions for abusive dating partners.

It currently applies only to married partners. The proposal would restrict guns from people who have been issued restraining orders.

George Mason University law professor Joyce Lee Malcolm told the hearing that “taking these guns without due process violates that fundamental right.”

In a statement, Ayotte pointed to her co-sponsorship of the Violence Against Women Act, which passed in the Senate last year, but did not indicate whether she’d back Klobuchar’s bill.

39 comments

    • Indian Andy

      Yes, it does. By the time they ask if there’s a restraining order, a description of him and your address, the attacker will have already killed the victim. Also think in the response time. If anybody attacks my wife, she will make sure they leave in a body bag.

    • Bobby Tables

      How ironic that the very thing they are trying to depict here (guns only get into the hands of bad guys). Is firing back in their face. Because the man never would have even made it in the front door if it were my child.

  • Desert Pete

    Why would any intelligent woman be going for her phone when her ex, who is violating his restraining order, is kicking her door in? Does the woman think her phone has some magical power to save her life …. assuming 911 doesn’t put her on hold for 5 minutes?

    Is there anybody stupid enough to believe that stricter gun control will disarm criminals? Yeah, sadly there are.

    • Sarah

      Totally Agree! Criminals dont follow the law! Now they should make and show what would have happened if she had a gun!

  • Noelle

    How would gun control stop this situation? There will always be guns available no matter what kind of laws are passed…it only means that those who are law abiding citizens will either find it harder to obtain a gun or no longer be able to obtain a gun, but criminals, guys like this jerk and big government will still have access to guns

  • Viking ZX

    This has got to be the most pro-gun “anti-gun” ad I’ve ever seen. The message here is pretty clear:
    Own a gun. Use your 2nd amendment rights. Don’t be defenseless.

  • Tired of people above the law

    Some people think stronger gun laws would help. Maybe it might in a small number, but the girl had a restraining order and it didn’t stop the man from breaking the law and being there in the first place. Let’s not forget that drugs are illegal but yet we can buy them anywhere including schools & prisons and automatic weapons are highly illegal but gangs still have them. All the other laws on the books are broken every second of every day, the laws don’t stop anything .I think it all comes to us, we are all held accountable for are own actions. What’s next, pencils misspell words and the fork makes me fat? Don’t get me wrong, it breaks my heart that he killed that mom, daughter, friend ect. Or any of the other gun crimes in the country, but you can buy a gun in this country legally or illegally, so living by the law is up to everybody to follow .

    • Mosquito

      I agree with your sentiments in general, but the “gang bangers with automatic weapons” thing is a myth. The last time an American was murdered using a machine gun was in the 1950s. The last time anyone was murdered using an “assault rifle” with automatic or select-fire capability was when the government did it at Kent State University. Gang bangers very rarely have automatic weapons, and couldn’t afford the ammunition even if they did have them.

      Millions of Americans DO legally own machine guns, but they are never used in violent crimes. A friend of mine has a Federally licensed 9mm automatic sub-machine gun. It runs through hundreds of dollars in ammo in less than a minute. It’s virtually useless.

      • Tired of people above the law

        Mosquito, I heard some time back that the Los Ageles sheriffs added automatic weapons to their arsenals because of the gangs, but I could be wrong. I think I would enjoy owning a automatic weapon but couldn’t afford the ammo neither.

  • Desert Pete

    On June 27, 2005 the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that police have no constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, even for a woman who has obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation.

    In that case Jessica Gonzales’s estranged husband murdered her children ages 7, 9 and 10. A firearm trumps a cell phone each … and …. every …. time!!

  • Laron F. Woods

    Great ad…for gun ownership! A woman with a restraining order should be offered a free gun by the state or county, then given training classes, paid for by the “ex”!

  • Indian Andy

    Doesn’t change my opinion on gun control. If someone barged in on my wife, they would be met by Mr. Smith & Wesson, and they’d be leaving in a body bag.

  • Gail Chadwick

    As a woman who has had a restraining order I say trust your aim and gun. Call the police after, if they come you and your children will still be alive to answer the questions. Without the gun your ex will be making up the lies to get off from homicide. I will protect myself and family FIRST. If others want gun control let them wait for the police and hope that piece of paper stops the bullet.

  • Joshua

    I think that commercial illustrates the importance of gun ownership. If the woman had been in possession of a gun and had used it when he broke in then she would not have been harmed. Owning a gun is not a bad thing. Using a gun to defend yourself or someone else is not a bad thing. Criminals can get guns even if it is illegal for them to do so. Gun Control laws don’t work in preventing crime.

  • bhaskie357

    The guy has a restraining order against him. He cannot Legally be in possession of a firearm. I’m sure, however that the violent ex was not aware that he was in violation of the law in having a gun. Had he known, I’m sure he would have turned around, left his ex-wife in peace, turned in his firearm to the police, sprouted a unicorn horn and fairy wings and joined forces with Santa Clause to bring happiness to the world.

  • Elissa

    When the second amendment was written, times were different. People could see the need of rising up against government. With the apathy in the U.S, I don’t see a rising up against corrupt leaders. Times have changed and it is stupid not to change laws to accommodate the changes. The truth is we need tighter gun control in the form of more advanced background checks. My mother was schizophrenic. She heard voices, believed in wild conspiracy theories, and had been admitted to mental hospitals. I think that the fact that someone would sell her a gun is idiotic. It did not stop her from purchasing one and using to end her life a few days after Christmas of 1996. Luckily she didn’t want to hurt anyone, but if she had wanted to it wouldn’t have been hard. Obviously arming people who have had protective/restraining orders issued against them is also idiotic. The constitution can be changed, the abolishment of alcohol was added to the constitution and latter dropped. I am sick of hearing how people should have a right to automatic weapons as long as they have not been convicted of a felony because our constitution promises it to them. That sort of thinking is as antiquated as the idea of liberty and justice for all, excluding women, non-Caucasians, and of course the gays. When you look at the amount of gun related homicides in the U.S. compared to any other developed country, why in the world do we allow gun laws to stay the same? If it is broke, please fix it. The truth is gun control will not change because people who went to school long before the 1999 Columbine school shootings keep making the laws. They do not know the fear that current students and parents of students experience.
    The logical answer is to include a mental health background and for states to keep a list of domestic offenders. If we made those two simple changes to background checks before giving out guns, who would we offend? who would we save? Before getting a license to drive a car if you have a mental condition, your therapist has to sign off on your yearly medical evaluation and you have to submit that to the DMV. How does it make sense not to have a similar process for guns?

    • Desert Pete

      Indeed times have changed Elissa. I’ll consider giving up my 2nd Amendment rights when you agree to give up your 1st Amendment right to free speech, and your 4th Amendment right protecting you from illegal searches and seizures. Certainly they can’t be all that important to you … can they?

    • Wylee Carter (@WyleeCarter)

      Elissa, you mother could have found a way to get a gun even with very strict gun control laws in place. Or she could have used a knife, pills, or rope to end her life. The fact is, people, especially criminals, will obtain guns no matter what kind of laws are in place. Look at cocaine and prostitution. Both illegal. Both still happening.

    • kody

      Please they will get guns no matter what gun laws you put on it. All it will do is make it harder for us to defend ourselves so dont be stupid and think gun laws are ment to protect us. Its ment to disarm us.

    • Mosquito

      You are free to not own guns. But mind your own business. THAT is how a “free country” works.

    • Mosquito

      Elissa, the past 20 years have seen an explosion in legal gun ownership in the U.S. and a HUGE drop in violent crime. America has never had less violent crime for well over a century.

    • Tired of people above the law

      Elissa, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. My cousin also shot himself. I don’t think any gun control would have helped him. Somebody stole a gun from somebody and gave it to my cousin, none of that sounds legal and I think he wanted to end it so bad that he would of done it even if he didn’t have a gun.

  • maddog6284

    I want to see Glock sue for defamation, and the NRA make a counter-ad showing what would have happened if she was armed.

  • kody

    If he didnt have a gun he would have had a knife. If she would have had a gun then things would have turned out different for her. You wont be able to take our guns away we wont let you plain and simple

  • Mosquito

    Thanks, Lefties, for a brilliant pro-gun ad!

    Ladies, this is precisely why you SHOULD own guns. The police cannot and will not protect you. They will, however, draw a chalk outline around your body.

  • Stalked for Years

    I have lived this situation with a twist. My ex stalked me for years. I sold everything I owned, shut down all online communications and social media, changed jobs, moved out of state, changed my number, changed my kids numbers… everything I could think of to stop the harassment, threats and abuse. I contacted the police put a restraining order on him. But guess what, the police cant do anything until he hurts me again. When the ex couldn’t find me, he begun harassing my elderly parents and my adult son. Then he begun to harass my friends, my teenage daughter and my sons wife. It was a nightmare. When he couldn’t get to me he begun to torment the people I love to bring me back under his control. He almost won and I surly would have died or hurt daily. But I put on my big girl panties and learned a little self defense. I also own a gun. I feel safe now. My family is safe.

    So I am sure there are those thinking, “Oh she had to threaten him with a gun to make it stop.” NOT TRUE. I actually had to have him DEPORTED to make it stop!!! But now our boarders are not safe and neither am I, nor my family, nor my friends. But even if he finds me again, I WILL NEVER BE A VICTIM! He will not kick in my door and even if he does I am not afraid anymore. I will not be the one bleeding on the floor.

    A restraining order is nothing but a paper trail for the abuse. It will never protect anyone, EVER! However, they can use it as “Exhibit A” when they prosecute for murder. Own a gun. Protect yourself. Protect your children.

  • ds

    This is a press release, I read the exact same text on a different station’s site. This does not change my views about gun control. This is a great argument for someone who might be considering a gun for self defense. Also the video implies that the woman wasn’t in real danger until the husband pulled out the gun, but the guy really was a threat to her when he showewd up at her house, and wouldn’t leave. Once inside the house, he could have killed her in a number of different ways.

  • Jim Biorge

    How easy it is to twist a false premise and make it look right. Gun control does not take guns out of the hands of criminals but leaves innocent citizens with the inability to defend themselves. If the woman had pulled out her gun and kept him from entering the home and endangering her child the scene would be completely different. The cities with gun controls like DC and Chicago are the ones with the greatest crimes committed by guns, supporting the argument that the answer is arming our citizens not disarming them. Even our military bases that do not allow guns in the hands of our servicemen have paid the price when those trained to handle a weapon are caught without the ability to defend themselves. If gun control does not work in a controlled environment such as a military base, how can any sane person expect it to work in the public? The main driver is government who cannot control the citizens if we are armed. Check your facts before choosing sides because the facts always support the value of gun ownership.

  • Tired of people above the law

    Jim, I agree. Some people say that’s why we don’t get invaded from enemies abroad because of our 2nd amendment rights…except the cowards that hide behind rocks and fly planes into our buildings. Oh wait, they didn’t invade we let them in, but back to the woman. If the man any man knew the lady was armed most of them wouldn’t be there to begin with.

  • dave

    i love you all. after reading this article i was afraid. knowing this would be a hot topic that i would spend alot of time correcting people with funny ideas about guns but sounds like by beloved Utahans and Americans and i think alike.

    lol by the way watch the video again where dose the child go after he picks him up and then she starts grabbing him

  • chest muscles

    I think this is among the most significant information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The website style is great, the articles is really great : D.

    Good job, cheers

Comments are closed.