Thursday January 17, 2013

That’s a question the National Rifle Association is asking in a new advertisement attacking Pres. Barack Obama’s efforts to reach some sort of consensus on how best to reduce gun violence in America.

The ad called the president an elitist hypocrite for opposing the NRA’s proposal to put armed guards in every school in America while his own daughters are protected by armed Secret Service Agents.

"Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security."

The NRA ad is called "Stand and Fight," and according to the Associated Press, the group’s confrontational video bears the hallmarks of a conventional political attack ad. It uses grainy, unflattering visuals of Obama, has a grim-sounding narrator and ominous music.

"Protection for their kids," the narrator says, "and gun-free zones for ours."

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, told Fox News the ad was "spot on."

"It points to the hypocrisy that we see so much from our ruling class. The president seems to be convinced that the American people don’t need to be able to protect themselves."

The response to the ad was almost immediate.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said the NRA’s ad was "beyond the bounds of human decency."

The White House quickly called the ad "repugnant and cowardly."

In response to the criticism, NRA President David Keene told the National Review "What we said is that these are people who think that their families deserve protection that yours don’t."

While every child is justifiably important to any truly loving parent, the simple truth is not all children are in the very real danger of being kidnapped or killed every day as are a president’s children. Any reasonable person should be able to understand that’s why they need 24-hour protection.

To equate the need for such protection with the need for armed guards at our schools is outrageous bunk.

Expect even more inflammatory hogwash from the NRA as the discussion heats up over gun control and the 23 executive "actions" the President announced Wednesday.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that a fresh fundraising appeal, circulated this week by the NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, to the group’s membership, calls the current debate "the fight of the century."

We wish we could say we are surprised by the NRA’s hyperbole, but that’s one of the things they do best: Stoke the flames of fear and paranoia, all the while pocketing millions of dollars from its puppet masters -- the gun and ammunition industry.

Writing for Reuters, Samuel P. Jacobs said the ad reflects the awesome cultural abyss that divides the sides in the debate over the limits of the constitutional right to bear arms.

That abyss is made wider and deeper by organizations such as the NRA, which exploit delusional fears of a government running roughshod over constitutional rights to slip their hidden agenda quietly under the door of Congress. The NRA’s one true mission is not to make sure you have as many guns as you want, but to make sure the weapons industry continues to make money hand over foot ($11.7 billion in sales in 2012, $993 million of that pure profit. Since 2007, the industry has grown at 5.7 percent a year).

While the NRA is fanning the flames, it drives Americans apart, who, instead of having a rational discussion over how the Second Amendment and gun control can coexist, shout manufactured epithets at each other across the abyss.

It’s not good for our families, our friendships, our communities or our country, but it’s very good for profits.