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NRA Backs Away From Hard-line Approach in New Ad

By Lisa Barron   |   Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013 09:41 AM

The NRA unveiled a new online ad on Tuesday night that adopts a kinder, gentler tone than its last campaign, which drew criticism from all sides for highlighting the security surrounding President Barack Obama’s daughters.

The new commercial, which is narrated by Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist, rather than executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, who spearheaded the last effort, cites the administration’s own research to take down its gun proposals.

The ad’s debut coincided with President Obama’s State of the Union address, in which he made emotional introductions for several victims of gun violence who were in the audience and said they deserved a vote on the issue.

Showing an internal Justice Department memo, the new ad highlights statements saying that an assault weapons ban is unlikely to affect gun violence without buybacks of those weapons already in the hands of the public. Another document suggests that universal background checks wouldn’t work without gun registration.

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Gone is the rhetoric of the last ad, which concluded with the question, “Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” That was widely seen as detracting from the NRA’s message at a time when it was on the defensive after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 first-graders were killed.

Even veteran NRA lobbyist James Baker disagreed with the tone of that commercial, telling Reuters it was “ill-advised.”

The new ad ends with the words “mandatory gun confiscation” and “requiring national gun registration” in bold on a plain background before Cox returns to ask, “Still think President Obama’s proposals sound reasonable?”

The ad will appear on websites visited frequently by people in South Dakota, Colorado, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alaska, all of which have Democratic senators facing mid-term elections in 2014.

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