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. Gerard

    Wait, so Police say we shouldn't have new laws on background checks or mental health databases because it won't affect the crime rate.

    Yet they propose 'changes' that have already been tried and did not only not affect the crime rate, it also created the prison industrial complex and a revolving door multi-billion dollar expenditure for virtually every single state.....


    April 17, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Abbey

    Superb! The anti-gun haters care little about public safety and more about banning firearms outright!

    April 17, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Jim V


    You're very wrong. The difference between you and me is that you blame the NRA for gun violence, while I blame people like Holmes, Lanza, etc. My beliefs about guns were not arrived at trivially or emotionally. I have put alot of thought into them, and in the end they're based on what I honestly feel is right. That wouldn't change if something tragic happened to people close to me. When you let raw emotion change your values on a whim....well, that's how you wind up with the killers you listed.

    April 17, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. destro

    The police are so dumb. Only the worse graduates or students join the police.

    So why have criminal background checks POLICE! I don't see a drop in crime with all your CRIMINAL CHECKS. Lets cancel criminal background checks for everything.

    April 17, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. aCriticalEye

    So, dont listen to the President of the United States, the highest elected official in our country. Listen instead to some GOP flunky flat foot cop. The NRA's position is borderline teason.

    April 17, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Jim V

    I respect your view and I'm not wishing you or your love ones any ill feeling. But there comes a time when we differentiate between the good guys with guns perhaps like yourself versus the bad guys with guns who are out to harm innocent civilians and then take the appropriate measures to ensure that they don't have access to guns to harm innocent civilians. I doubt for one minute that the current gun legislation being proposed is to take guns away from law abiding Americans.

    There was a 10 year ban on certain assault weapons during the Clinton administration in 1994 and NO American's guns were taken away and NO Americans were deprive of their right to defent and protect their property. As Americans, we must find common ground if we're going to move forward as a civilized nation.

    April 17, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. MeanOldMan

    The NRA represents about 4-5 million out of over 300 million people. Actually they represent gun manufacturers but I'll give them that they represent their membership. The respect given their opinion should represent that same 5 million to 300 million balance. I have relatives that are in law inforcement. Have yet to ever hear any of them say they would prefer that thugs have better, higher powered weapons. Like many other arguements made by the extreme right, it defies any rational thought process.

    April 17, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Ancient Texan

    The anti-gun crowd is also anti-police? Who would have thought?

    April 17, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer


    No, don't say that about the cops. Don't believe the lives that the NRA is posting simply because there is not ONE single cop in American who wants to go oun on the beat and have bad guys he or she is apprehending to be shooting at them with assault weapons. Most of the cops out there are good cops and they protect us. Just be careful not to be misled by the NRA lies. That statistic they put out there is bogus like 100% of the garbage the teabags do and say.

    April 17, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. CaliforniaAC

    The NRA wants Americans to rebel our country; blood in the streets so they can make more money.

    April 17, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. hypatia

    Bordering on sedition.... Typical of the tobacco,chaw type.

    April 17, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. BSH

    Sad to say, the NRA is the only group out there calling for gun proposals to have a rational basis in reality. All the evidence suggests that background check expansions, scary rifle bans, magazine limits will not do one single thing to reduce crime and homicide rates. There's plenty of emotional appeal (not to mention ad hominem attacks) working for the anti-rights folks, but no sound rational reasons. Not one proposal currently before Congress would have prevented Newtown – or Tucson, or VA Tech, or Columbine, etc, etc. Is that not enough evidence that the proposals should be rejected?

    April 17, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. GaryS

    Truth. Since all background checks are based on the NICS system and the reporting to that system is at less than 44% how in the world could extended background checks do anything!!
    Unless the broken reporting system is fixed so that prohibited people will not have access to guns, additional checks would be futile and of no value whatsoever.
    So unless you fix the system that controls access to guns nothing has a chance of changing.
    Obama and Bloomberg are both clueless twits on gun control.

    April 17, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. Theo

    NRA Preaches fear that means they are lying and why ? MONEY/GUN Sales

    April 17, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  15. Joe

    N*R*A preaches fear to sell more g-uns

    April 17, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. Joe

    I wish these gun supporters would get a clue and know that more thorough background checks DOES NOT mean banning guns!!!! Get real. More thorough background checks keep guns out of the hands of criminals that should not be having them! Get your thoughts straight and be realistic!!!! Don't try to twist the effort! If you are legit, you won't have any problems getting a gun. Only the criminals should worry... Are you a criminal that has to worry??

    April 17, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Abbey

    Millions of law-abiding citizens who own firearms put their trust and ability when it matters to self-defense. Politicians who seem to care only about registering gun owners makes me wonder what their true intentions really are.

    April 17, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Nodack

    Put a conservative ad at Drudge? LOL. That's like putting a conservative ad on FOX News. Preaching to the choir.

    April 17, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. Paulmsn

    So they didn't actually do a scientific poll of police officers, but rather the questions were asked of self-selecting registered members of PoliceOne, a conservative web site catering to police officers.

    In effect the NRA is lying through their teeth. They have no idea what the opinions of police officers nationwide is.

    April 17, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. Annie

    I am not into conspiracy theories but since I have been following the gun debates very closely , i cant help noting the timing of this bombing is perfect for the NRA/ GOP supporters .

    The NRA & the TEA Party hacks in the GOP having been coming after the POTUS with all they have. I just find it a very strange coincidence that on "Patriots Day" in the city where the first "Tea Party " was held there is the scene of a horrible tragedy, not shooting(no guns) but bombs!!! I just find it really strange especially since white supremacists are involved in killings recently & everyone knows they are part of the gun lobby!!! I am just wondering thats all.

    April 17, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. Mike

    why did dhs buy 2BILLION rounds of ammunition if not for gun control????

    April 17, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. Malarchy

    Paulmsn, you are exactly correct. And the exact same thing can be said of democrats pushing the Quinnipiac poll of 1711 residents of Connecticut suggesting that 90% of Americans support more thorough background checks. Let's change the words slightly, shall we?

    "In effect liberal democrats are lying through their teeth. They have no idea what the opinions of American citizens nationwide is."

    April 17, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. NJ

    Joe, techically, you are correct that much of the proposed gun legislation does not invole banning guns–but the informed person knows that the people who are pushing these restrictions view this only as a small step towards a larger goal of banning and confiscating guns; it's just that simple. If we could end the conversation with gun registration and magazine limits, then it would probably pass no problem. The real problem is that the anti-gun crowd will never stop and they will fight very hard to chip away this freedom by any means necessary. The root issue the prevents any progress is the gun prohibitionists are not to be trusted in any manner.

    Nodack, excellent point–if the NRA really wanted to get the debate going they would tread into hostile waters like MSNBC, New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Mother Jones, etc. Heck, I'm sure NPR would even take their money since they've indicated they would rather be free of all the taxpayer money and the aweful burden of trying to seem unbiased.

    April 17, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. Dhop

    Most are missing the main point. What disaster with guns in the last 10 years would have been prevented with a background check? The answer is NONE. So why spend more tax dollars for a program we know will not work. Chicago has some of toughest gun control laws throughout the nation with background checks. Yet, Chicago also has the highest murder rate with guns. Ask any criminal if they will get a background check? Seriously, criminal do not do background checks. Are we doing something just to say we did something? We need to get at the root cause. A background check will not address the root cause of any of the violence during the last 10 years.

    April 17, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Aaron

    In Denver and surrounding area in the 4 months we have had the police shoot 2 family pets and a somewhat tamed neighborhood trophy elk. They have also paid well over a million in the last few years for wrongful death suits. While seraching for a killer in LA police opened fire on a truck the "kind of" looked like the suspects truck and critically injured both ladies who were delivering the mornings new papers. Last month a police resource officer in a school had an "accident discharge" of his service weapon while school was in session. Two weeks ago a police officer left his weapon out in the open and unsupervised only to let a very young child get a hold of it and shoot a family member. So YES, lets trust the police...they know what they are doing

    April 17, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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