Bramson Campaign Launches Vile Attack Ad Implying His Opponent is Responsible for Gun Violence in Westchester

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The latest ad to come out of the Noam Bramson campaign is titled “Our Pain”. It is an emotionally charged appeal to liberal and left of center voters in Westchester County who are favorable to ever expanding firearm restrictions. Bramson’s campaign states that “this shouldn’t be about politics”. However, this is exactly what his ad is about. Politics. After all it is a political ad during a political campaign. How could it be about anything other than politics?

Mayor Bramson is making it about national leftist talking point politics. The entire 33 second ad is filled with political gun control code words, and stereotypes of gun owners. Most disgracefully the ad insinuates that Rob Astorino is somehow responsible for the actions of criminals that commit gun violence against innocents, and that there is a correlation between gun violence and the former Westchester county gun show.

It goes without saying that tragic incidences of gun related violence are a genuine problem. The magnitude of the problem or the role gun shows play in general will not be discussed here. However, the impact on the lives of the victims and their families cannot be dismissed or taken lightly by anyone. These crimes leave very real and lasting pain for thousands of people and their suffering should never be exploited for political points.

This is exactly what Bramson has done with his “Our Pain” ad.

Bramson shamelessly uses the families of victims of gun violence to give the impression that but for Rob Astorino and gun shows their loved ones would be alive today.

More implausibly, the ad conveys the impression that gun shows at the Westchester County Center between 2010 and 2012 have placed county residents in danger.

The ad begins with an empty room that morphs into a liberal's fantasy of what a gun show looks like with a voice over stating that gun shows were banned in Westchester and that Astorino brought them back.

The actors portraying patrons at Bramson's mock gun show are all white middle aged men -- with a few white women in there for good measure.  Another liberal fantasy of what occurs at a gun show, echoing Michael Moore’s idiotic statement that “90% of all gun owners are scared white people”. The set is filled with hunting gear and camo and even shirts from the popular TV show “Duck Dynasty”. to give the impression that these events are only for “backwards, bitter, country folk” “clinging to their guns and religion” in spite of liberal progress in the Golden Apple suburb of  NYC.

Anyone who ever attend a gun show at the Westchester County Center knows this could not be further from the truth; the people who attended the shows represented the true diversity of the county’s residents and of gun owners across the nation, every color, socioeconomic status and age group were present. After all, the right to keep and bear arms is an American birthright that applies to all equally.

The ad then goes on to say that the shows (in other words, Astorino) made it easier for “criminals and the mentally ill to buy guns”, implying that the citizens who go to gun shows are criminal and mentally ill people. According to Bramson’s talking points you must be either a criminal or mentally ill to want to exercise your second amendment right enshrined in our constitution that he swore an oath to uphold.

As background info to the video on his website, Bramson’s campaign links to an undercover investigation by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that determined some sellers at some upstate NY gun shows did not always follow the NICS Background Checks law when selling to people at the shows.

What Bramson fails to tell you is that Westchester County was never under investigation and that none of the sellers at the county gun show were ever found to have broken any Federal, State or Local firearms laws. This is according to the very announcement Bramson campaign links on their website. Even Attorney General Schneiderman concedes in one of the announcements linked by the Bramson campaign that “ Since most people who operate and attend gun shows are law abiding citizens, my office has had nothing but positive responses to these new safety standards.””

Bramson is left to reach by inserting a misleading claim that the operator of the show was party to the AG deal leaving out that the operator was being cited as a responsible gun show operator by Schneiderman because they were one of 23 parties, representing 80% of New York State gun show operators that AGREED to follow and enforce the new safety standards required by the Attorney General. In other words, the gun show operator was agreeing to enforce the very policies lauded by Bramson elsewhere.

The assertion by Bramson that illegal activity occurred is entirely misleading and unfounded even going based on information from his own sources.

More troubling are the testimonials featured in the ad.

This critique of the testimonials is in no way to minimize the pain and loss these individuals have suffered but they are given completely out of context.

None of them occurred during the time the gun show was operating.

Two out of the four cases did not even occur in Westchester County.

One occurred in Missouri - a woman was shot after she interrupted an armed burglary in her home.

Another occurred at a Harlem Block party.

Of the 2 cases from Westchester, one pre-dates even the 1994 Federal Assault weapons ban.

All four of the murders were committed or suspected of having been committed by minors using handguns, by definition illegal weapons.

In all of the cases there was a history of criminal and possible gang activity among the perpetrators.

There is no evidence whatsoever that any of the weapons used even originated from any gun show, let alone the Westchester County gun show.

The criminals who perpetrated these acts of violence were breaking the law by acquiring the weapon at the times they committed the acts, they would have been breaking the law had the acts been committed during the time the gun show was allowed in Westchester, and they would still be breaking the law now under the new NYSAFE act. So nothing about the legality of these acts or the ease in which they were committed has changed and County Executive Astorino has most certainly NOT made it easier for criminals to acquire the means to commit crimes.

As to the assertion that these testimonials are purely nonpolitical, three of the four people in the ad are associated with gun control advocacy groups.

Chris Foye of Brooklyn, NY is the father of Christopher Owens. Christopher was killed by a stray bullet during a Harlem Block Party. Foye is the founder of The Chris S. Owens Foundation which is closely associated to Rev. Al Sharpton’s “National Action Network”, and Mayor Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” a group primarily composed of democratic mayors of which Mayor Bramson is a member. Foye is an active participant in Mayor Bloomberg’s national campaign, he has filmed several public service announcements in connection with MAIG’s “demand a plan” campaign. Foye was also invited to the white house by Micelle Obama as part of the Presidents push for Gun Control back in February. The Chris S. Owens Foundation’s Facebook page even has a photo album for the shooting of Mayor Bramson’s “our pain” ad titled “Chris Foye on Set Westchester Gun Show Ban Campaign”.

Lois Schaffer of Great Neck, Long Island whose daughter Susan Schaffer was a victim of teenage burglars who stole a gun from previous robberies and killed her daughter is a member of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and organization that prides themselves in being instrumental in the passing of the NYSAFE act and advocates for further national restrictions on the Second Amendment. In fact by her own admission she has always been a gun control advocate and was a member of NYAGV even before her daughter’s tragic murder. During her testimony to the Connecticut legislative hearing on gun control after Newtown she states that she has “always supported gun control” and that “shooting animals for sustenance may be acceptable”. She also mentions that the meaning of the second amendment “has been twisted”. In her testimony she urges CT to adopt the same type of restrictions as in the NYSAFE act. The only pitfall to the act as she describes it is that it limits magazine capacity from 10 to 7 because “just one bullet can be lethal. But it is a step in the right direction.” would the destination then be the elimination of an individual’s unalienable right to bear arms for self-defense?

Gisela Marin of Tarrytown, NY is the mother of Jessica Santos, the 19 year old college student that was fatally wounded during a random drive by shooting perpetrated by a 17 year old Yonkers Teen with a history of delinquency. An illegal Handgun was also used in this shooting.  Marin is the founder of the Jessica N Santos Foundation. The foundation holds events in her Daughters memory and in the memory of victims of gun violence. These events also push for more gun control legislation.

Mrs. Wilma Frank of Mt. Vernon, NY is mother of Andre Frank. Frank was fatally wounded in 1992 during a street altercation with a group of teens he and his friends had problems with in High School. Since then she has been advocating for the prevention of gun violence in Mount Vernon. Mrs. Frank is the only person in the ad who is not a political activist. She has committed herself to preventing youth from ruining their lives and the lives of others by committing acts of violence. Her son's case was recently revisited in 2011. The assailant’s conviction was overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct because the prosecution failed to present Andre’s killer with evidence that could have served in his defense. This information was brought to light because a FOIL request made by the defendant’s mother indicated through eye witness testimony that there was a rifle or a shotgun with the group that Andre Frank was a part of when they confronted the other group of boys. The entire case of The People v Hairston can be found here and it is well worth the read.

Each of these individuals is undoubtedly well-intentioned people who have suffered a tragic loss in their lives. They are now motivated to bring about changes they believe is necessary to prevent others from going through the same pain and heartache and no one can fault them for that. But let's be clear. Despite Bramson's claim that "it's not about politics" this ad is about nothing other than politics and is using the tragic murder of four people to score political points with his Democratic base in a pathetic but predictable attempt to shore up his floundering campaign.

In the process, Noam Bramson is throwing all of his calls for “fairness” and “truth” out the window. It will be interesting to see what the Democrat dominated Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee will say about Bramson’s ad. Clearly there are grounds to say that this ad is inappropriate and unfair. But this is a group stacked almost entirely with Democrats. So I am not holding my breath.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Laraine Karl on Wed, 10/09/2013 - 21:45

It seems Noam got out the troops to address last night's CTBH meeting. Jobs have been promised to the young people in New Rochelle. Abe N.(Forest City Rep) was in the audience and looked like the cat that swallowed the canary. Picture taking and hand shaking all around. If you did not watch the shameful display,it will be on cable this evening. It was very uncomfortable watching our young people being used. Do they realize if the project is approved it will take about 2 years before any construction jobs will be available. I think Noam has stooped to a new low.

John Imburgia on Wed, 10/09/2013 - 01:32

Bramson so nicely stacked CTBH with his followers last night, many of who had prepared statements in favor of Echo Bay. A last ditch effort by Bramson to save a failed development project and his floundering campaign.

John Imburgia on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 00:50

Take away the abortion and gun control issues, and the only thing Bramson can tout is his "vision" for the County that is carved right out of the pages of Agenda 21. The man is a lost cause. Somebody call the nice men in the white coats to cart him away.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Wed, 09/25/2013 - 22:45

Moises,

You really did your homework here.

While I share your sentiment that the four people in this ad have experienced terrible tragedies, they have chosen to enter the political fray and so we have to deal with their political message and, as they have, set aside those personal tragedies to have a political discussion.

This strikes me as quite a bit of Michael Bloomberg seeking to inject himself (and his money) into the race for Westchester County Executive.

And I certainly do not understand why a woman from Long Island (Lois Schaffer) has any standing to opine on who Westchester residents should or should not choose to be there County Executive.

I guess Noam's point is that if you elect Noam Bramson gun shows at the County Center will be cancelled -- except Astorino already cancelled them. Oops!

Just another example of Noam seeking to make his campaign about a national liberal political agenda rather than his own record in New Rochelle.

Moises Valencia's picture
Moises Valencia on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 14:09

Thanks Bob! As someone who is a law abiding citizen and who actually attended 2 of the shows at the county center I was offended at the insinuation that people like me were somehow engaged in criminal activity.

The stereotyping bothered me, especially being of Hispanic background. I know from first hand experience that EVERY single seller was doing background checks at all the shows.They even did them for Kevlar vests, which are non lethal and actually prevent people from becoming victims.

That was the reason I personally went to the show especially after all the random shootings of recent years. In actuality Rob Astorino gave me the chance to be MORE secure and the means to actually save my life. Noam on the other hand would have me be defenseless and another gun crime victim, instead of having the ability to save my life and the lives of others.

These shows were also frequented by our law enforcement officers and our military men and women, are they criminal or mentally ill now too?

They even recruited for our armed forces there, now Noam wants that opportunity to recruit our finest for the armed forces banned just like he banned the ROTC from Harvard in his college days.

The shows had ATF agents and other Law Enforcement actively enforcing all the relevant laws and background checks, I saw them there with my own eyes.

Any firearm that was brought in was checked and any firearm sold was checked before it left the building. There were no one selling outside the grounds of the show, as that is illegal, there were plenty of LE outside the show as well to enforce this.

Even if you did not want to buy a gun there was plenty of other things to see, and it was fun. God forbid people have some fun and enjoy their birthright as American Citizens.

What bothers me most of all is the shameful exploitation of the dead. It appears Noam has been taking notes from Piers Morgan's playbook. Piers has the worst rated show on cable news precisely because this kind of thing turns people off, no one listens to Piers so I hope no one will Listen to turncoat Noam.

Laraine Karl on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 14:50
Title: A Suggestion

Please do not miss the opportunity to find out the real facts where Rob Astorino stands on the issues.

Come meet Rob on Monday, September 30, 2013 at 8:00 P.M at the Radisson Hotel, 1 Radisson Plaza, New Rochelle, NY 10801

Mr. Astorino will speak about his plans for protecting taxpayers, preserving essential services and promoting economic growth in the coming years. He will also be taking questions from the audience.

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