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. Sniffit

    "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."

    Except it's NOT like what the NRA is relying on. The NRA is relying on polls that took a particular subset of the population, members of PoliceOne, and surveyed them, which produced results that can be extrapolated ONLY as representative of the percentages of PoliceOne members that believe such and such. The Mayors advertisements rely on NATIONAL polls, which actually CAN be extrapolated to say that a certain percentage of the entire nation believes such and such. It's not a distinction without a difference and CNN reporting on it as though it makes no difference only serves to assist the NRA in its misrepresentations of the polls it is relying on.

    April 17, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. Oakspar77777

    The role of Government is to protect and expand our Freedoms – not regulate them away. Laws that outlaw possession are far inferior to the laws that prohibit unacceptable action.

    A law against murder or reckless shooting is good gun control.

    A law against having or carring a firearm is not.

    April 17, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. keven

    You people that think the "government" wants to "take" our guns are paranoid morons. We HAD a assault weapons ban for 10 years, no "government" take over.
    NJ has strict back round checks for YEARS and I still have my gun.
    Take off the aluminum foil hats. YOUR paranoia is killing people.

    April 17, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. Jeff

    NRA = /ignore
    They are a political lobby funded by arms manufactures. They don't give two cares about safety or freedom, just protecting the profits of their leash holders.

    April 17, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. Cogito

    People like Pete that think this is "propaganda" should go to www dot policeone dot com and find the survey. Having several friends who are in law enforcement at various levels, and having discussed this issue with them in depth, I happen to know that this is not simply propaganda.

    April 17, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Mike Texoma

    Certainly, swift prosecution and stiff penalties for violent crimes or crimes in which firearms are used would be a good deterrent. But that entails gun registration and information technology by means of which pertinent information can be marshaled to generate a list of suspects. You want to hear the NRA scream, try that!

    April 17, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  7. nothing new here

    If anything, the ones that need to be listed to are the American taxpayers.
    If we would only start demanding (which we should), that our government officials overhaul the justice system, we would not have to deal with some of this mess to begin with.
    There are too many people with criminal records. But these same people are NOT career, hardened criminals. They are people that have been busted for marijuana and other petty crimes. These petty crimes should be treated as misdemeanors at best, and people should pay fines or at least do community service. But we have too many rules and regulations, and a lot of these rules are not being enforced.
    The only people that should do extended prison terms are the ones that deserve it, like the people that set off bombs at sporting events.

    April 17, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Johnson

    I hear politicians making comments about Americans coming together after the Boston drama. You have over 500 hundred people being killed every month by guns violence and there is nothing done. The constitution, my rights, no gun laws, no need to register all guns. Are Americans and the politician’s terriost that refuse passing a gun registration bill to track all guns? Terrorism the act of terrorizing occurs; occurs everyday in the urban city areas.

    April 17, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. David

    Just ban guns, we will build more bombs.

    April 17, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. Goblin King

    Senator Reid let the cat out of the bag, when he called the current legislation in the Senate: the Anti-Gun bill. Sometimes politicians accidentally let the truth slip out.

    April 17, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. crabapples12

    if your senator or rep doesn't vote the way you think they should then don't vote for them. Or write them and voice your opinion, be part of the political process no matter your view. This country can only benefit from people being more politically informed.

    April 17, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. lottie

    the NRA is nothing more than a front for gun manufactures and are only concerned with the kick backs they get. Extending background checks which they once endorsed does nothing to infringe on the 2nd amendment. They are pulling out the stops on scare tactics. And unfortunately lots of people believe them.

    April 17, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. joe

    Interesting tools of manipulation being utilized by the NRA to spread false propaganda!! The website "police one" does not require a "police verification" to vote in its poll thus invalidating the survey used by the NRA-Loved the example used by the NRA when it claimed Hitler criminalized gun ownership and confiscated guns from "german" citizens. The NRA using false propaganda forgot one important point, Hitler confiscated guns from Jewish immigrants and alleged "communists" in Germany NOT the GERMAN majority population who voted him into power!!

    April 17, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. anonymous

    So sad that money of the nra will control this country, How could any police officer support not having
    background checks when police officers are the first ones in the line of fire!

    April 17, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. rachel

    The police would know best. None of these new laws would have prevented the tragedy. They are merely non thought out feel good laws for liberals.

    April 17, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. California

    Pro Bill of Rights here.

    April 17, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. Rockymtnrebl

    Just like the republican party, the NRA is nothing more than phony theatrics. Losers trying to win at ANY cost. Stain our soil with their every step.

    April 17, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. OKC

    A national survey question of Do want to keep criminals from buying guns?? I'm surprised it wasn't 100% now ask a question to the point and not designed to get a set response.

    April 17, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. geoff b

    Ya, because the "police" are such an upstanding and trusted entity... you swung and missed, NRA. Less americans have faith in law enforcement than you think.

    April 17, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. rs

    Rick McDaniel

    Obama is a totally unreliable source for anyone.
    You provide far more disinformation on a daily basis, Rick- You just spew hatered and nuttiness- and your credibility suffers for it.

    April 17, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. vincent

    NRA is done will someone tell LaStinky to head back to France we don't need any Cowardly Frenchmen tell us what to do.

    April 17, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. NJ

    “On the anti-gun legislation before the Senate"... in Reid's own words. (!) For all the NRA-haters on this post, at least the NRA is forthright in its agenda to support our civil rights. (FYI: 2nd Ammendment is in the Bill of Rights; equals civil right.) The anti-gunners prey on well-intentioned suckers and fools. For example, if you believed Obamacare would cost nothing extra, Benghazi was caused by the YouTube video, and the Administration knew nothing about Fast and Furious, then you are really naive and probably bought the whole Reid anti-gun legislation as some safety measure that will reduce crime and undo Newtown. Sorry, but time to wake up. I'm not saying that things can't be done like preventing people on the no-fly list from buying guns or prosecuting criminals with the laws we already have, but let's see the anti-gunners for what they are and how they have a singular agenda to disarm the country. Reid's agenda will fail now that he has let the truth slip.

    April 17, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. Malory Archer


    People like Pete that think this is "propaganda" should go to www dot policeone dot com and find the survey. Having several friends who are in law enforcement at various levels, and having discussed this issue with them in depth, I happen to know that this is not simply propaganda.


    I'm friends with my town's police chief, and he disagrees with you and your little group.

    April 17, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. Ron in SC

    Just more desperation from your friends on the right. As usual they use polls that mean nothing because of where they come from and ignore the overwhelming wishes of the American people which is greater regulation of gun sales and who can get them. Instead of using logic they use their usual scare tactics and tell their base that the government wants to take their guns or freedom etc. This argument doesn't hold water because it isn't true. Think about many guns do you need. Even if you take away the large clips and military style guns there are still thousands of other guns you can buy. It is so sad that a group can only rely on lies, scare tactics and misrepresentation to sell what they are selling. What a sad state of affairs.

    April 17, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. rs

    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.
    Good Morning parrot- Yes, only 88 in FEDERAL COURTS, a huge percentage of the remainder were prosecuted in STAE COURTS.

    April 17, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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