The NRA is trying on a new line of attack to shoot down tighter gun laws by releasing an online advertisement rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.
“President Obama gives a good speech and when you listen him talk about new gun laws, you may think he sounds reasonable,” says NRA executive director Chris Cox. “But what happens when you look at the details behind the president’s policies? How would they actually work?”
Narrated by Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist, the web video cites a memo from the Justice Department (which has not yet been authenticated) stating an assault weapons ban would only be effective with a mandatory gun buyback program.
“This internal Justice Department memo says ‘an assault weapons ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence.’ Unlikely, that is, unless it comes with something else,” Cox continues. “Obama’s experts say that a gun ban, like the one being debated right now in Congress, will not work without mandatory gun buybacks. Mandatory gun buyback–that’s government confiscation of legal firearms owned by honest citizens.”
A break from the gun lobby’s previous ad that called President Obama an “elitist hypocrite” and targeted his daughters, this ad utilizes policy-based arguments to convey their position. The NRA then focused on universal background checks, which appears to be the least controversial part of the president’s gun control proposal.
“His own experts wrote that the effectiveness of universal background checks depends on requiring gun registration,” the ad says of Obama. “Requiring gun registration with the federal government? That’s an illegal abuse of privacy and freedom unprecedented in our freedom.”
“So the Obama administration believes a gun ban will not work without mandatory gun confiscation and universal background checks will not work without requiring national gun registration.” The ad ends with one final question, “Still think President Obama’s proposals sound reasonable?”
The president on Tuesday called on Congress to vote on a package of proposed measures including bans on the sale of assault weapons, high-capacity clips and instituting mandatory background checks. He then introduced the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, the slain teenager who was shot to death near President Obama’s Chicago home a week after performing at his Inauguration. “They deserve a vote,” Obama told lawmakers, hoping to incite them all to action.
He continued, “Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek and Tucson and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence–-they deserve a simple vote.”
The NRA’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre, will deliver his lobby’s official response to Obama’s State of the Union speech on Thursday and will be “carried live on TheSportsmanChannel.com.”
In an op-ed published in the Daily Caller previewing the organization’s new campaign, LaPierre railed against the “hellish world that the gun prohibition see as their utopia” seen after Hurricane Sandy, when “looters ran wild in south Brooklyn.”
Reverting to even greater scare tactics, LaPierre also claimed “nobody knows if or when the fiscal collapse will come, but if the country is broke, there likely won’t be enough money to pay for police protection.”
“It’s not paranoia to buy a gun,” he wrote. “It’s survival.”