Group Launches ‘3 Billboards’-Inspired Ads Calling Out Paul Ryan After Parkland School Shooting

Progressive Turnout Project demands stricter gun control laws

The out-of-home ads were place outside Ryan's congressional office.

Progressive Turnout Project, a Democratic political action committee, launched a Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri-inspired campaign today demanding stricter gun control laws and specifically calling out House Speaker Paul Ryan for not proposing legislation in the wake of another deadly school shooting.

The group’s digital billboard outside Ryan’s Janesville, Wis., congressional office reads: “17 killed in their classrooms. Still no gun reform? How come, Paul Ryan?”

Ryan is one of several GOP members of Congress facing backlash for pushing aside gun control legislation while accepting donations from the National Rifle Association, a revelation brought to light after last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people, including 14 students, dead.

According to a two-page ad in The New York Times today, Ryan has accepted $61,401 in funding from the NRA. Progressive Turnout Project further points out that Ryan received an “A+ rating” and endorsement from the NRA in the 2016 election cycle.

“Gun violence is an epidemic in this country, and as Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan has repeatedly done nothing to address it,” said Progressive Turnout Project founder Harry Pascal in a statement.

Pascal continued: “Rather than addressing the millions of Americans who are demanding action on gun reform, Paul Ryan and Republicans in Congress continue to serve at the will of the NRA and put campaign contributions before the lives of Americans. It’s time we call attention to that and hold them accountable for their actions.”

This is not the first time Ryan has seen his face on a billboard. In early 2017, a group called Stop the Speaker PAC ran a similar ad that called him out for not scheduling a town hall meeting to address his constituents.

On Tuesday, despite pleas from the survivors of the Parkland school shooting, the Florida state House rejected a ban on assault rifles.

Progressive Turnout Project’s campaign mirrors the 2017 movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri about a mother (played by Frances McDormand) who uses traditional out-of-home advertising to press local authorities to investigate the unsolved murder of her daughter.

Last week, advocacy group Justice4Grenfell partnered up with BBH Labs to deploy a similar billboard campaign outside Grenfell Towers in London, where a massive fire ripped through a 24-story block of public housing flats on June 14, killing 71 people.

Those three billboards questioned why, eight months after the fire, there were no developments in the investigation and no arrests had been made.

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.