“I kept saying, ‘You cannot tell me that the child I gave birth to is no longer here,'” says Calandrian Simpson-Kemp
A powerful new ad by Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg‘s campaign spotlights a grieving mother who desperately wants lawmakers to take action on gun violence.
The ad will run during Super Bowl LIV on Sunday — and it features a young man with aspirations of playing in the NFL whose dreams were cut short by gun violence.
Houston-area mom Calandrian Simpson-Kemp lost her 20-year-old son George to gun violence in 2013 after he and his friends got into a fight with a group of teens in Richmond, Texas.
George, a mechanics student who played free safety on both his college and high school football teams and had aspirations to join the NFL, was fatally shot.
“I kept saying, ‘You cannot tell me that the child I gave birth to is no longer here,’” says Simpson-Kemp, who a year after her son’s death joined Moms Demand Action, a group devoted to gun violence prevention.
“Lives are being lost everyday. It is a national crisis,” she adds.
Every day, approximately 100 Americans are killed with guns and hundreds more are shot and injured, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A 2016 study by the American Journal of Medicine found that Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed by gun violence than people in other high-income countries.
Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York City, has long advocated for gun violence prevention and founded the advocacy organization Everytown for Gun Safety. He has called for a federal assault weapons ban and more rigorous background checks.
“Calandrian’s story is a powerful reminder of the urgency of this issue and the failure of Washington to address it. People will be rooting for different teams in the Super Bowl, but virtually all Americans — including people in both parties and a majority of gun owners — support universal background checks and other common sense gun laws,” Bloomberg said in a press release.
Bloomberg’s campaign also plans to air additional videos featuring survivors of gun violence from twelve states to show the impact gun violence has on communities around the country.