An ad by a gun control advocacy group is being changed after the father of a 16-year-old girl killed in Bailey CO, condemned the ad and threatened legal action.
The 30 second ad was made by Giffords PAC, a gun control advocacy group created by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Giffords was herself the victim of an assignation attempt in 2011 which left her severely injured and killed 6 others.
The political ad, which attacks Rep. Mike Coffman’s Level A rating from the NRA, shows a text message conversation between a girl named Emily and her mother.
The girl tells her mother they are in lock down at her school because there is someone with a gun.
“ … I’m so scared. I love u. Tell dad I love him”
Then she stops responding.
The situation portrayed in the ad bears an uncanny resemblance to the last moments of Emily Keyes.
16-year-old Emily was killed during a hostage situation at Platte Canyon High School on Sept. 27, 2006, when an armed man stormed into her class room and took her and 6 other girls’ hostage.
After a standoff the gunman released all but 2 of the hostages, of which, Emily was one. When police stormed the building, 53-year-old Duane Roger Morrison killed Emily, then turned the gun on himself.
Before Morrison took her life, Emily was able to text her parents and twin brother “I love U guys.”
John Michael Keyes, Emily’s father, used that phrase for the name of an organization he started in her memory, the I Love You Guys Foundation, centered around school safety.
John Keyes told 9News:
“Tomorrow is the 12th anniversary of losing Emily, and to see that story politicized is disappointing.”
He went on to say he is considering a legal challenge to get the ad removed.
Colorado Representative Mike Coffman said of the ad:
“I respect Gabby Giffords, but exploiting the name and horrible death of one of our own to try to win an election is beneath basic human dignity, I can take criticism, but this is reprehensible. This ad should be pulled and someone should be fired.”
Jason Crow, Coffman’s democratic opponent, said this is the first time Coffman has been outraged over a shooting. Crow’s campaign spokesman said the ad will be altered,
“ … to respect the Keyes’ family’s wishes and remove any mention of Emily’s name from the ad is the right one [sic].”
The Giffords PAC continues to deny that the ad was intentionally drawing on past events. Giffords Executive Director Peter Amble said:
“This ad was not modeled after any one individual tragedy. We are amending the ad, removing a name all together and making clear that it is not connected to any one incident. Given how many families have experienced gun violence tragedies, there isn’t any name we could have used that wouldn’t be connected to a victim somewhere.”
What do you think of this political attack ad? Was this an innocent mistake which just happened to have the same name, styled text message and situation as the one which took the life of a 16-year-old girl?
Leave us a comment below to let us know.