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Big words on gun control

Posted by Ralph Ranalli July 10, 2007 11:21 AM

(PR Newswire image)


It looks like a ransom note, but it is not being sent by kidnappers. It is being promoted by the Patrick administration, the Boston Police Department, and the State Police, and delivered to drivers on the Massachusetts Turnpike courtesy of John Rosenthal, a provocative gun control activist from Newton.

"We have your President and Congress," declares the message in letters that look as if they had been snipped from a newspaper, staff writer Michael Levenson of the Globe's City & Region section reports today.

It is signed simply, NRA, referring to the National Rifle Association, and will be unveiled today on a 252-foot billboard on the Mass. Turnpike near Fenway Park.

The message is the latest from Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence, who has for more than a decade used the billboard, which he owns, to promote stricter gun laws. In the past, he has erected a mock road sign that declared, "Welcome to Massa chusetts -- You're More Likely to Live Here," because Massachusetts has "the most effective gun laws," and a display that featured photos of 15 children who were shot to death, under the slogan, "The cost of handguns keeps going up. 15 kids killed every day."

His latest message has drawn support from Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray, Public Safety Secretary Kevin M. Burke, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, and State Police Colonel Mark Delaney, all of whom plan to attend a press conference to unveil the billboard today.

It has also drawn the ire of gun owners' groups, starting with the NRA. "It's a shameless publicity ploy, and I think that's all we can say to describe it," said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the NRA.

Read more about the giant billboard in the online edition of today's Globe.

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