WASHINGTON — In what may be a first, Rep. Ed Markey Tuesday invoked the Newtown massacre in a television ad touting his record on gun control.
The ad, titled "Keep Standing Up," kicks off with a clip of Charlton Heston's famous "cold dead hands" NRA speech and highlights Markey's longstanding opposition to assault weapons and active pushes for gun control.
The ad then shows a Boston Globe front page about the Newtown attack as a narrator solemnly says "long before tragedy swept our nation, it was Markey who forced the Chinese to stop exporting assault weapons to our country."
"Congressman Ed Markey led the charge in Congress to ban Chinese assault weapons, working with President Clinton in 1994 to keep millions of military-style, semi-automatic weapons off our streets," Markey spokesman Andrew Zucker said Tuesiday.
"No one will fight harder in the Senate than Ed Markey to stand up to the gun lobby and pass comprehensive gun control measures that protect our children and keep guns out of the hands of criminals," he added.
According to Markey's campaign, the ad will run on television state wide.
Although a number of national organizations have used the Newtown massacre in advertisements either supporting or opposing gun control legislation, the Markey ad appears to be the first time a candidate for national audience has invoked it in an ad.
Gun control could become a major issue in the Massachusetts special election, in which Markey is squaring off against Rep. Stephen Lynch for the Democratic primary.
Much of Lynch's current House district is significantly more conservative than the rest of the state, and his voting record in Congress has reflected that demographic. While Lynch, who lost a cousin to gun violence, has backed a number of gun control bills on the state and national level, he also was given relatively high marks by gun groups during his time in the state senate.
John Stanton is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New Orleans. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.
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