New TV ads from Bloomberg's anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, have hit the airwaves, and they go right for the heartstrings: The two ads—a 60 second version and a longer 90 second version—depict family members of Sandy Hook victims describing their deceased loved ones, punctuated by photographs of smiling victims and set over somber piano music. The ad wraps up with Jillian Soto, sister of Sandy Hook first grade teacher Victoria Soto, who was shot to death while trying to defend her class, gently reminding viewers that "it's not taking guns away from people, it's making it a safer place for everybody." The ad comes on the heels of the mayor committing $12 million of his personal fortune to push for tighter gun laws, which will be voted on by the Senate in early April.

The Newtown ad will run only in Connecticut, but others will have a wider reach. Striking an entirely different tone, another ad released last week features a bearded, flannel-clad Second Amendment enthusiast appealing to his like-minded brethren: "For me, guns are for hunting and protecting my family," he drawls into the camera while perched on the back of his very manly pickup truck. "But with rights come responsibilities. That's why I support comprehensive background checks, so criminals and the dangerously mentally ill can't buy guns." This ad will run in 13 states—states with senators whose favor Bloomberg thinks he can curry.

The NRA does not intend to take all this anti-gun airtime lying down. A lobbyist for the group told the Times last week that it plans to roll out its own campaign, though it certainly won't amount to the scale of the wealthy mayor's ad blitz. Then again, the lobbyist says it doesn't have to.

“What he is going to find out is that Americans don’t want to be told by some elitist billionaire what they can eat, drink and they damn well don’t want to be told how, when and where they can protect their families,” the lobbyist told the Times.

But Bloomberg already knows that. Which is precisely why the ad features not him, but devastated family members whose lives were torn apart by the Newtown tragedy. Will it work? Only time will tell.