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. Larry L

    The N.R.A. will spend big bucks to protect the very lucrative gun market. Dollars are more important than human lives – even those of children in school. They don't want the Congress listening to the American people – since about 90% want very comprehensive background checks.

    The gun that will slaughter somebody's children is being sold today – to a person who would be screened-out by a real background check rather than the watered-down version the Republicans prefer.

    April 17, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. BrianMemphis

    Much of the FOP is ran by east coasters and they have supported gun control in the past, that's why a lot of the country's officers are not FOP. PBA (Police Benevolence Association) is a much better organization and it supports our 2nd amendment rights. So essentially the NRA is correct, most police support our 2nd amendment rights.

    April 17, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. anothermuse

    The poll of police officers seems about right. The bill in question won't have much if any impact on violent crime. The background check portion however does actually make the federal forms you fill out for gun purchase actually mean something. But other than a few crazies probably doesn't help.

    If I'm not mistaken, Columbine took place during the Brady Bill ban on assault rifles. Probably not real effective, The reason for that ban was basically to slow down the acquistion of high powered weapons by gangs and drug dealers while the police caught up armining themselves.

    Other than gaining headlines for relelection campaigns, this debate is meaningless and will have little if any impact.

    April 17, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. don in albuquerque

    The NRA can go square too.............

    April 17, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. Anonymous

    The NRA is INSANE ! If background checks save 1 life isn't it worth it ? How many lives will it take to make the checks "effective" ? How many times has a damn background check ever prevented any of them from owning a firearm ?

    April 17, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. Pete

    More propaganda from the extremist NRA..You posters as well as I know factually more people including civil servants want a more strengent set of background checks and gun manufactures agree as well..If a felon or other are as stupid to try purchasing a gun they should serve time because its again against the law but at gunshows as usual many require no ID to purchase one and its been proved time and time again..Psychological testing should be another requirement but it would eliminate many a civil servant because many as you know have psychological problems and don't take care of them until someone is ultimitly affected...Just tighten up the old laws and install a psychological test and you'll see what the NRA doesn't ,lower gun related crimes and lower legal gun sales as well!!

    April 17, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. mikemc58

    I like it, good common sense follow the law stop listening to politicians who just want to control your life.
    President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg are the worst hypocrites they say do as I say not as I do.
    Bloomberg is a joke with his armed guards and his lux island home.
    We are Americans and can think and do for ourselves we don't need elites telling what and how to live.

    April 17, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. Marie MD

    Once again these fools are taking polls, end up with small numbers and, like the weeper of the house, think that this is what the American people want!
    In 2006 there were over 700,000 officers so we take the word of these liars of 15,000 and then bash the President while they are it? That's about 2.143%. That rep kyl most have done their math.
    BTW, the President's children, pretty much ALL presidents, have secret service protection. Can these people get any more dumb?

    April 17, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. g

    those against back ground checks-drug dealers-gansters -poeple who would not pass the smell test-nra

    April 17, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. sativa619

    So... let me get this straight. The NRA, who claims that the government is out to get your guns, is asking you to trust the POLICE (agents of the government and enforcers of its laws), amid their harping that the government's gunna run a blitzkrieg on the citizens and impose a Hitler-esque type of rule.... hey simpletons.... the police are the government's enforcement wing!

    April 17, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Plumber

    It's ok for Obama to tote the kids and families from Sandyhook for his political agenda, but let someone say something about his kids and their security and that's off limits? Obama is tryng to make martyrs out of the people in Sandyhook, but where do the 72 virgins come in? There are enough laws on the books that are not enforced now. He should be more concerned about all the wasted tax dollars that we keep sending to countries that hate us and then maybe the police would have more funds to hire more officers and then and only then would they be able to enforce more of the laws rather than turn a blind eye. Or maybe he should try and locate the 1500+ guns that the government sponserd "fast and furious" fiasco lost to Mexico.

    April 17, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. Annie

    Yeah right!!! And of course we believe the NRA which is backed by the rich gun manufacturers not the gun owners!!!!

    April 17, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. California

    Ban all Pressure Cookers NOW!!!

    April 17, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. acdcguy

    and if they don't........they will be voted out!!!

    April 17, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. Jack

    I am a gun owner and I'll listen to anyone but the NRA!

    April 17, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. Randy

    There were 88,000 failed background checks last year and only 66 were prosecuted. All the laws in the world mean nothing if they are not enforced.

    April 17, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. BloomBama

    The NRA has it right – We should not listen to a couple of zealots like Bloomberg and Obama spout rhetoric, there is much more at stake here than simply "passing some legislation" – namely your fundamental rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment. People need to be critical thinkers. The proposed laws do nothing to prevent another Newtown, and it only erodes the rights of the 99.99% law abiding citizens of the United States. The proposed "medicine" is going to have far reaching cancerous repercussions, and cynically leaves the root disease untourched – Mental Illness.

    April 17, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Constantine16621990

    The nra is lame

    April 17, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. Anonymous

    "which was promoted by PoliceOne exclusively to its 400,000 registered members"

    selective sampling of a population SUBSET = invalid poll unrepresentative of the population AT LARGE

    Ergo, those percentages apply to ONLY the 400K members of PoliceOne, i.e., 80% of PoliceOne members believe such and such, not 80% of the entire US police force. Therefore, the ad is making a gross misrepresentation as to the meaning (and credibility) of the poll results it cites.

    April 17, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. NJ

    "Pro-gun control groups" is just a silly and misleading term. These are left-wing anti-gun groups with the singlular agenda of disarming the country.

    April 17, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. California

    Knee jerk reactions are a way of life for democrats.

    April 17, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. Sniffit

    oops, forgot my name lol

    "which was promoted by PoliceOne exclusively to its 400,000 registered members"

    selective sampling of a population SUBSET = invalid poll unrepresentative of the population AT LARGE

    Ergo, those percentages apply to ONLY the 400K members of PoliceOne, i.e., 80% of PoliceOne members believe such and such, not 80% of the entire US police force. Therefore, the ad is making a gross misrepresentation as to the meaning (and credibility) of the poll results it cites.

    April 17, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Mike Texoma

    I am tired of the gun violence and I want it stopped. More than 3,000 people have died as the result of gun violence since January 1st, and we cannot seem to keep these highly efficient, high capacity, firearms out of the hands of criminals and people with mental illnesses. What they do is, they make it possible for criminals and mentally ill people to kill and wound many more people than they could otherwise. We also need to expand background checks to include as many sales and other transfers as we can. The NRA wants to talk about anything other than the bloodshed. They want to talk about your constitutional right to bear arms but they do not want to talk about the rights of school children to be safe at school or of movie goers to be safe at the show or of constuituents of a candidate to be safe at a shopping center. They refuse to admit that your constitutional right to bear arms does not overide the rights of of others to live life or of society to be free of violence – so the carnage continues. Well, it is time it stopped!

    April 17, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    -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...
    Sherrifs in NY are elected, and teh vast majority of counties here are rural. Of course they don't support it because the voters would turn them out. Its politics, not law enforcement. The police chiefs who are not subject to electoral politics support gun control, even in small towns

    April 17, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. Juan Palacio

    By limiting law abiding it will not detour or in any hinder criminals from acquiring illegal weapons, in fact would create a bolder black market create a lucrative market, tempting any and all to fast money in this time a economic uncertainty.

    April 17, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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