New NRA web ad: listen to police, not Obama
April 17th, 2013
08:05 AM ET
5 years ago

New NRA web ad: listen to police, not Obama

(CNN) – On the day the Senate begins votes on new gun control measures, the National Rifle Association said they were launching web ad casting President Barack Obama's proposals as detached from the reality faced by America's law enforcement officers.

The 30-second spot, which the NRA says it will spend $500,000 to place on websites like the Drudge Report, the Washington Post, and Hulu, uses polls of police officers showing little support for increasing background checks and banning assault weapons.

"President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg are pushing gun control. But America's police say they're wrong," a narrator says in the ad. "Seventy-one percent of the police say Obama's gun ban will have zero effect on violent crime. Eighty percent of police say more background checks will have no effect. Ninety-one percent say the right answer is swift prosecution and mandatory sentencing. Tell your senator to listen to America's police instead of listening to Obama and Bloomberg."

The poll cited in the spot comes from PoliceOne, an online news site for police officers. The site states "More than 15,000 officers completed the survey, which was promoted by PoliceOne exclusively to its 400,000 registered members, comprised of verified law enforcement professionals."

A coalition of law enforcement groups responded negatively to the ad Wednesday, saying it mischaracterized the views of their profession.

"Only law enforcement speaks for law enforcement," wrote Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson, who chairs the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence. "We hope that members of Congress will listen directly to law enforcement and not those who purport to represent us but do not."

Earlier this year, an NRA ad drew sharp criticism for referencing the president's children. Attacking Obama as an "elitist hypocrite," the commercial asked why he opposes the idea of placing armed guards in every school-a proposal pushed by the NRA-yet his own children attend a school with similar security.

Pro-gun control groups have also been airing their stance on in television ads. The organization backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg went up with a spot last week in seven states and Washington, D.C., urging viewers to call lawmakers to convince them to vote for a measure expanding background checks on gun sales.

That effort – which was the product of a bipartisan deal in the Senate last week – goes up for a vote Wednesday, along with a number of other gun control amendments.

Like the NRA spot, the ad from Mayors Against Illegal Guns used polling to drive home its point; namely, national surveys showing 9-in-10 Americans support strengthening background checks.

"Some Democrats and Republicans are coming together to support comprehensive background checks on gun sales. That will protect the Second Amendment and help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals," the ad says.

The senators targeted in the spots from Bloomberg's group were Republicans Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of Georgia; Dan Coats of Indiana; Dean Heller of Nevada; Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire; and Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Two Democratic senators were also included – Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Meanwhile, two Democratic-aligned organizations - the Democratic National Committee and Organizing for Action, the group formed from Obama's presidential campaign - were sending emails to supporters urging them to call lawmakers asking for a "yes" vote on the background checks measure.

Filed under: Gun control • NRA
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Gee. 15,000 out of a 400,000 subscribership. What about all the Police Chiefs and Sheriffs who support increased background checks, reduced magazine capacity and elimination of assault-style weapons? I guess their opinions don't count. Because in a shooting, guess who takes responsibility for any civilians killed? I will tell you this – it isn't the street cop, but the Chief or Commissioner.

    April 17, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  2. Guest

    They dont want to hear the facts, just the hyperbole. In the same manner that ICE officers are not invited to the table to discuss the new Shamnesty for Illegal Immigrants, police officers are not asked to the table regarding gun control. If we continue down this path the land of the free and the brave will be the land of the freebie and the slaves. They tax us, disarm us....what remains of liberty and justice for all?

    April 17, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    The police? Aren't these the same people LaPierre said knew little or nothing about firearms? Aren't these the same people who would be used to arrest the gun-huggers and confiscate their weapons? The same people that the NRA says are never close enough and never fast enough when you need them, so we need more firearms? I would have thought that one dead six-year old would have demonstrated the mantra the NRA has always put out that the police really don't know anything about firearms. By the way, how did the NRA NASCAR event turn out? Body count high enough for ya?

    April 17, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  4. RomneyWho

    The NRA . . . What a joke of an lobby organization for the gun for murder corporations. ;(

    April 17, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  5. HenryMiller

    I guess it's called "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" because their objective is to make any private possession of guns illegal. Nanny Bloomberg seems to get a kick out of making things illegal–he's obviously convinced that ordinary people are too stupid even to decide how much soda to drink, let alone to own a gun.

    April 17, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    Do not listen to NRA either. These idiots are practically buying laws, law makers. Pass Gun-Ban Laws. This country needs very desperately.

    April 17, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  7. MaryM

    NRA leadership made fools of themselves. They now look like the tea-baggers whom have fallen from favor with the American people

    April 17, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  8. Wake up People!

    It just don't stop with the NRA. They are going to make that money for their p!mps, the gun manufacturers.

    April 17, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    Nice try NRA, but your attempts to stop legislation are futile. I've seen the President give speeches about gun control in front of police and the police seem to be aligned with him, not you! Keep wasting your money on these ads. Bloomberg has money too.

    April 17, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    Tell Your Senator: If you vote against common sense gun reform, you lost my vote.

    April 17, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. wwf

    There have been more police officers speak out in favor of new gun control than against. Is the NRA using them? I think not.
    What a joke.

    April 17, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  12. BCW

    Ask the police if they rather deal with criminals and mentally-ill people who can buy guns, high capacity magazines and military style machine guns without a trace. The background checks is not the perfect solution; bu it is a essential step towards gun control and eliminate illegal gun purchase. Get real people! NRA has too much blood on its hands. More than 80% of the NRA members agree with the tighten background checks. Does NRA listen to its members or just want their membership $$?

    April 17, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  13. Sam Stewart

    I can't believe it. The NRA has all of law enforcement in their pockets now! The only person I can trust is Senator Feinstein!!

    April 17, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  14. Larry

    mandatory sentencing worked so well for america for drug crime and you want mandatory sentencing for a country of gun toting hillbillys everyone will be in jail

    April 17, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  15. Warren

    Please.. Most Police Officers want gun control....

    April 17, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  16. Homer Simpson

    And they say cops arent real people.

    April 17, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  17. md22mdrx

    Yeah ... listen to people who are required to rely on their gun every single day? I'm sorry. The police are a tad bit biased when it comes to guns and are just as misinformed.

    April 17, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  18. Jules

    If you listen to the police, they overwhelmingly want gun control. What does the NRA do – they take police who say the current bills being considered will not reduce gun violence. The truth of the matter is, the police think there should be stricter gun control than the NRA would ever consider. The heads of the NRA are the biggest liars, the biggest manipulaters and the biggest fear mongerers ever. My dad belonged to the NRA because it promoted hunting. I am sure were he alive he would no longer belong to the NRA.

    April 17, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  19. md22mdrx

    The police are hardly an unbiased source when it comes to guns .... and they're just as misinformed as the general population.

    April 17, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  20. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Earth to NRA, the police agree with Obama and Bloomberg... awkward...

    April 17, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  21. Fourleaf Tayback

    To say that the President is biased is an understatement. I will listen to law enforcement, thank you very much.

    April 17, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  22. Jinx9to88

    Right NRA, and who listens to you besides the Senators you have bent over!!!

    April 17, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  23. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    The nra lobby should be taxed to the max and ammo should be taxed at 100. Dallars a round ,the nra is a lobby group just like the oil lobby ,would you send the oil lobby your money ????? I say we starve them to death !!!!! Don't send them any of your money !!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  24. Jinx9to88

    When are people gonna wake up!! The NRA is not in the business to protect the second amendment, they are in the business to sell guns for the gun manufactures, PERIOD!! They fear with background checks less guns will be sold. If your not mentally ill or have a felon it makes it tougher for you to get a gun, PERIOD.

    April 17, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  25. Mike

    The police know what's up. They know that they will NEVER make it in time to stop a crime in progress before serious harm has been done to the victim, and these proposed laws will make it harder for those who want to defend themselves to do so. Why put the criminal on equal ground with the victim? As law abiding citizens we have every right to defend ourselves using whatever tools we have at our disposal including guns. All we have to do is look at the areas with gun bans in place and see that the lack of guns, while causing firearm related incidents to go down, increases all other incidents ten fold. Imagine that in America with our racial and economic diversity. Places like Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, etc. would become war zones that even the police would shy away from.

    April 17, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
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