New NRA web ad: listen to police, not Obama
April 17th, 2013
08:05 AM ET
10 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. Bob

    Well if the expanded background checks won't have any effect, then change them so they will- include private sales and transfer of ownership records like we have with cars! Why should a gun be easier to transfer (straw purchase) than a car? Anyone (within reason) can have a gun just like anyone can have a car but law-abiding, responsible owners should have no issue with registering and notifying transfer because it protects them AND society (just like with cars). According to the NRA, "law-abiding citizens" already buy their gun from dealers and go through background checks SO the only people that are going to be "inconvenienced" by increased background checks will be the lawbreakers. If a gun is used in a crime why shouldn't it be immediately traceable to the owner (like a car can)? Law-abiding, responsible citizens won't be incovenienced because their guns won't be used in a crime. "What if their gun is stolen?" Well a law-abiding, responsible citizen would report a gun stolen (and know if it was stolen) just like with a car. What is the issue? Other than the same paranoid people who think Newtown and the Boston bombing are "false flag"operations, who would think that gun owners actually being responsible and accountable for the use of their guns (just like a car) is unreasonable?

    April 17, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. Howard's Daddy

    "What disaster with guns in the last 10 years would have been prevented with a background check?"

    The VA Tech shootings

    April 17, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. The Contentious Otter

    The Policeone poll consisted primarily of officers from Southern rural jurisdictions. Only a tiny fraction of those polled were from large urban precincts. Also, to call Policeone a police publication is ridiculous. It's actually an "Oathkeepers" publication, and appeals to far right wing lunatics who are an absolute disgrace to the badges they wear.

    April 17, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. Jim V


    Yes, there was a ten year ban on so-called "assault weapons" that was found no have no significant impact on crime. This is not suprising considering these types of weapons are rarely used in crime. The FBI's own crime reporting statistics show that many more people are killed by blunt objects/hands/feet each year than by rifles of any type, including "assault weapons". Though no guns were taken away during this ill-conceived ban, the manufacture and sale of new weapons was criminalized. All this did was limit law-abiding Americans' rights to keep and bear arms.

    You want us to be a civilized nation, but we won't get there through feel-good, ineffectual restrictions on individual freedoms. Me, I value freedom more than civility...government-enforced civility can come at a heavy price. That being said, with freedom comes responsibility, and if people use their freedom to deprive others of life, liberty, or property, then those people must be punished.

    April 17, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. TheTruth

    "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."
    Wrong – the Mayor of New Orleans sent his police department out to confiscate all legally owned guns just after Katrina.They were helped by the National Guard. And how did they know who had legal guns? Lists from sales and background checks. Don't say it didn't happen – it did. Don't say it won't and can't happen – it did.

    April 17, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. Rick

    We need you Ralph Nader. Or at least a politician with your balls. Quit bickering over the jobs people aren't already doing. Let's modernise these assualt weapons. We have the technology to insure the owner is the only one capable of using this gun. Why would we want anyone else using it? Unfortunately all our politicians are good for is insuring that bulge is in their pockets, not their crotch. No, this won't help our present situation. There are already too many of these weapons out there. We've expected greater safety measures on pill bottles and we certainly can't go out there and buy a new car without seat belts in them. That would for some silly reason be a crime. Help us Ralph.

    April 17, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Mark H.

    PoliceOne? Are you kidding me? No credibility whatsoever!

    April 17, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Kuron

    This is BS. I've never heard of a cop that wants more guns on the street.

    April 17, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Jim V

    Let's face it, we cannot just wait for another tragedy to happen , then turn around and say well we didn't thought the shooter would have used a certain kind of gun or just ignore the lives taken because you cherish individual freedoms. Furthermore, what about the FREEDOM of the 20 little kids whose lives were taken in Sandy Hook and the lives of the six educators? What about the FREEDOM of those whose lives were taken away in Oak Creek, Tucson, Aurora? Is that your best efforts at criminals the FREEDOM to take away the FREEDOM of decent law abiding Americans? You have to try better Jimmy V.

    April 17, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. Joe

    We do need tougher gun laws. If a straw purchase is made the buyer should get a mandatory 5 year Federal prison term. If a Felon attempts to purchase a firearm either through a licensed dealer or individual sale, he should get the same mandatory. Individual using a firearm during the commission of a crime should get a mandatory 10 year prison term. Are the politicians willing to get tough on the real issue? It's miss use of firearms, not firearms that are the problem. We need to include serious mental disease as an ownership impediment until such time as the disease is cured. We need safety officers in schools to prevent the type of horrific incidents as those in CT., armed if necessary. I believe everyone would support these type of laws. Nothing mentions would infringe on the 2nd amendment,

    April 17, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    I believe someone asked how would the current gun legislation being proposed have prevented any of the mass shootings in the last ten years. Following the Sandy Hook tragedy many conservatives said this legislation would have done nothing to prevent Adam Lanza from carrying out his assault. Gee, I beg to differ. First and foremost, the Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho, James Holmes, the Aurora shooter and Jarred Loughner, the Tucson shooter all had a long history of mental illness and they had also been arrested on drug and other related charges. Therefore, had the current background-check system being proposed been in effect, the mental health records as well as the criminal record of these individuals would have been in a federally mandated data-based-system that all federally-license gun dealers and private dealers would have been required to check before the gun sales were made and therefore, the trio would have been deemed unfit and unstable and they would have been denied the sale of their weapons and ammo.

    Now, you may ask how would Adam Lanza have factored into this equation since the guns he used were allegedly purchased "legally" by his mother." Well, that's an easy answer. See, Adam Lanza's mother bought guns for her mentally ill son and as they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. In other words, a mentally ill mother bought guns and ammo for her mentally ill son who took her life and the lives of 26 others before taking his own life. Therefore, with the current legislatiion being proposed, Adam Lanza's mother would have likewise been deemed mentally ill and unstable and thereby being denied the purchase of these guns. There you have it!

    April 17, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. Jim V

    So your answer is because those people had their freedoms taken away, I should have mine taken away too? Even if we accept this as sensical, there's the inconvienent fact that gun control doesn't work. If it did, you might have a point, but it doesn't, so you don't. Look, Sandy Hook could have been done with a revolver or a double barrel shotgun. They were defenseless little kids and teachers. It's not a matter of giving criminals "Freedoms" to do bad things...they take what they want, regardless. That's why they're criminals. Our Founding Fathers enumerated our gun rights for very specific and articulable reasons. I recommend you do some reading on the subject, and freedom in general, as it's evident to me that you don't understand why the right to own guns is so important.

    You seem to be a very emotional and passionate person. That's fine, so am I on certain things. However, I prefer that our system of laws is based on cool-headed reason and hard facts, not knee-jerk reactions and personal bias. Especially when we're talking about curtailing rights for the so-called "common good".

    April 17, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Larry

    NRA=National Republican Association.

    April 17, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Do you want to know how much the NRA really cares about the American people? Following the Sandy Hook tragedy, Wayne LaPierre and other conservatives said they too were grieving because they have loves ones too. Yet, the NRA and their base have laughed at the Sandy Hook families and other families affected by gun violence as they struggle to cope with their tragedy while calling for more stringent gun laws.

    And just yesterday, this is what Richard Feldman, president of the gun rights group said: if you have 100 missiles coming at you and you knock out 99, I would say you were successful. After the Sandy Hook massacre I was worried. The talk was about an assault weapons ban, a gun registry, background checks. Everything was on the table. But the only thing legislatively coming down the pike, the only thing we're talking about is background checks. I would count that as a success for the NRA. So what this troll is doing is glorifying the Sandy Hook tragedy and saying this tragedy has strenghtened the NRA's positiion. America, please wake up!

    April 17, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Jim, how's your freedom being taken away? After 9/11 alot of our freedoms were taken away. You go to the airport and you are interrogated and searched from head to toes. You go to the DMV and you have to have sis points of IDs to get your DL renewed and so on. But while some of us complain, we know it is being done with good intention for our safedy. We now habve Home land Security that does all sorts of things that affect our personal lives. In America, if you don't buckle yp, you get a ticket. In what way is your freedom being taken away Jim? O' now I've got it... perhaps you're either mentally ill or an ex con of the sort or perhaps you have a long history of domestic violence, drug abuse and a very long rap sheet. Got it!

    April 17, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Jim V


    Since you've resorted to personal attacks of character and other such silliness, I'll just say this about "good intentions" and bow out:

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

    -Benjamin Franklin

    April 17, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Nonsense

    @blah, your comments regarding freedoms being taken away illustrates what I believe many are concerned with. Yes, after 9/11 we have had TSA shoved down our throats. In my opinion, what they do somewhat violates the Fourth Amendment. Does that mean we have to like it? NO...heck I don't even have to agree with it. My point is this: Our freedoms and rights continue to be chipped away at. At what point do YOU say, "enough"? I am already there.

    April 17, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Kathee

    I'm not sure why this is such a shock to everyone. Sadly, violence is now the face of America and money rules our Country, not common sense. Let's just hand out more guns and make bombs legal, we can fight violence with more violence and soon we will look like Syria. This should keep the immigrants away!

    April 17, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. straight talk

    This is simply garbage. The merchants of death won. Nothing more. This has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment and any reasoned person understands this. Sarah Palin who never misses an opportunity to show her ignorance and shocking insensitivity naturally did not fail to tweet her outrageous comments today. I stand with the family of Sandy Hook. Assuredly in the light of the righteous.

    April 17, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  20. davie

    I'm glad I'm not an American today. While it is so nice to see how you come together in the face of a tragedy such as Boston. You willfully endanger your own children. To the gun proponents, and politicians who support could not pass the bill: When one of your children is shredded by Bullets, you will realize it is too late to act.

    April 18, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  21. that guy

    has anyone noticed that all these school shootings and massacres are in urban areas? places where the gun restrictions are the highest in the country. when was the last time you heard about a mass shooting down in the southeast. People these days need to stop with the, "hippy" mentality. This is real life. when you take weapons away from HONEST citizens your only taking away their ability to defend themselves. Not to mention if people would i don't know teach their children responsibility when it comes to guns, then we wouldn't be havin all these problems. I grew up in the south, we love our guns, but we also know the power of guns and what their capable of. This country seriously needs to wake up. and if you actually take a look at gun violence around the country you would see that the areas that have more guns have far less crime then the places like LA, and New York. Mainly because we know that if someone is planning on doing a crime they have to realize that just about every house their about to break into has at least one firearm in it.

    April 18, 2013 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
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