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. Pandamonius

    If the NRA's argument is that gun bans equals only criminals owning guns, then why are they so adamantly opposed to background checks, which would prevent criminals from purchasing guns?

    April 17, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. Reckless

    Very tasteful, they couldn't even wait a week. Nice to know where their priorities are

    April 17, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. Durundal

    At what point is freedom of speech being abused? If the government was half as bad as these people claim then people wearing black would have taken them off in the night and their feet would be dangling in the wind. Ironically then we would finally be able to deal with the obvious issues and get on to more important ones. These people are preaching open insurrection and labeling it 'patriotic'- this is getting beyond ridiculous

    April 17, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. Bradysdad

    Did anyone else notice that the guy in the Bloomberg ad touting gun control is sitting with his finger on the trigger while his kids play in the background?

    April 17, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Peace

    I get difficulties to understand this Ad. Was the poll taken from those Police Officers who send their subordinates to go and fight those who obtain guns illegally, and end up being killed?? I really doubt whether those policemen who fights and put their lives at risk can support NRA instead of Pres. Obama & Bloomberg who have determined to fight criminals and make policemen's work even much easier.

    April 17, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. me

    I don't remember electing the NRA as part of our government.

    April 17, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. Rufus Cornpone

    Law enforcement does not support gun control...Look at NY SAFE Act recently passed, not one county sherriff suppoorts the gun control law. Of course chiefs of police for big Democrat cities do, as they owe their jobs to the Democrat mayors...

    April 17, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Obama is a totally unreliable source for anyone. Bloomberg is close behind. Both want government to control every aspect of your life.

    April 17, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. fuzzback

    The NRA's argument is undermined by the fact the majority of its funding comes from arms manufacturers and merchants, not gun owners. They've become a shill for gun makers and sellers, and the majority of Americans know this.

    April 17, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. lol

    Cops are more crooked or as crooked as poloticians they just cover themselves better.............

    April 17, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. DJ Reality

    NRA wants you to really listen to psychos. They don't care how many people get killed as long as they can kill too. We will never grow as a nation until we put the lives of our citizens before or need for guns. We are dooming ourselves to a constant repeat of tragedies like Newtown till we do. It is too sad that we refuse to learn from our mistakes

    April 17, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. NameWill

    NRA; NRA, NR Bombs, National Risin Attacks:

    April 17, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. GonzoinHouston

    The only real deterrent to crime is the fear of getting caught. Better enforcement almost always reduces crime, but better enforcement on a consistent, long-term, nationwide basis is a lot easier said than done. Better background checks should eventually make black-market firearms more expensive, and that is a positive step, but only a step. The assault rifle ban make strike some as a good idea, but it won't accomplish squat. A better mental health system would be the best way to prevent mass-shooting events, but that would be expensive. There are neither cheap nor easy solutions.

    April 17, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. Inconceivable

    Why doesn't the King and his Court Jesters concentrate just a little bit more on the almost 17 Trillion in national Debt, the joblessness rate, reconsider or retool his crippling osamacare grip on the middle-class and businesses, NK, IRAN, the Homeless, the Nationwide hunger...? Have they just lost sight of the American People and their needs? To focus on one issue with so much of our taxes, and to perceivably just shelf all the other critical issues is just criminal!

    April 17, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. HearIT

    How about the NRA listen to the American people? In an article in today's Washington Post, a recent Post poll discovered only 23% feel the GOP is in step with American people and on the subject of gun control 83% want background checks for gun sales. In an article in today's Times, it states that guns are available through free on-line classified ads which enable people who would otherwise be banned from ownership to buy guns. If the NRA and its lap dog GOP members defeat attempts to restrict guns, it will be no victory for vast majority of American people. Why is the NRA being allowed to get away with this?

    April 17, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. confused

    For all of the grief the NRA has been given, I think that the opinions in these polls with LEO'S, actually are some of the most educated on this issue. Not like police deal with this sort of thing daily/frequently.

    April 17, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. Tom1940

    The "officials" in police dept's across the country, break sharply with the "rank-n-file" over firearms legislation.
    The upper echelons support gun control, because they support what the politicians (their bosses) want. Generally, that is more not less gun control. The officers on the street know that going after the perps and criminals giving them stiff sentences and not bargaining down charges of using firearms in commission of crimes, deters crime. Not confiscation of firearms. Taking guns away from law-abiding citizens is not the way to end gun violence. Getting the perps, criminals and mentally disturbed away from the guns is the issue.

    April 17, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Bob

    The NRA is a terrorist enqbling, anti-American organization with blood on it's hands.

    April 17, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. Bill

    A self selecting on-line poll is meaningless.

    April 17, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. Just a thought

    Yeah, "As the NRA says, call our paid employees...US make sure they vote as we have paid them to vote. Of course police want lots of guns out on the street, assault weapons in the hands of a delusional paranoid is a good thing. I just don't see the majority of police officers taking that position. Where do the idiots in the NRA come from?

    April 17, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. Greg Smith

    Interesting, swift prosecution and mandatory sentencing occur after the fact. Why not do more to prevent the gun from getting into the hands of criminals in the first place? It won't eliminate criminals getting guns and neither will swift prosecution and mandatory sentencing but combined it will help to reduce guns in the hands of criminals.

    April 17, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. JIM

    NRA = treason

    April 17, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. rs

    Hopefully, they do just that. The police I know are tired of facing a better armed criminal element, and want limits on weapons, clip capacities and ammunition. This costs us in tax payer dollars (supporting an ever more heavily armed police); and it costs us in the lives of brave first responders- people the GOP generally care nothing for.

    April 17, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. Boo

    I don't believe the NRA and their b.s. ad....they're just a bunch of paranoid loons showing their desperation.

    April 17, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  25. Indyswimmer66

    The NRA is one of the most dangerous threats the U.S. faces.

    April 17, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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