Wednesday, January 16, 2013

NRA gun ad referencing Obama's girls is wrong

President Obama's proposed initiatives to tackle gun violence in this country have already drawn heated debate. Some of the debate about the initiatives was under way even before he announced them Wednesday. There should be debate about these initiatives as long as the debate doesn't squash meaningful strategies. This is a problem that you'd have to be living under a rock not to know is serious and in need of addressing promptly.

But there should be no debate about whether to condemn the National Rifle Association's use of Obama's children in an ad to push for armed guards in schools. The ad was inappropriate. The family of presidents, especially their children, should not be dragged into these political fights. Traditionally, political opponents and the media have respected that line.

This ad is particularly repugnant given the nature of this conversation - one that focuses on lethal weapons and how their misuse can and have had devastating impact on children. Zealots, particularly unbalanced zealots, need little encouragement to do destructive things. They don't need the NRA giving them ideas about where to inappropriately focus their ire.

Moreover, the ad is off point in its contentions. Trying to draw a parallel between the president's family receiving Secret Service protection and schools having armed guards to protect school children is a specious connection. The president's family faces danger because of the nature of his job. There is an ongoing risk that a president's family can be harmed or endangered. Credible threats are made against the family often in attempts to intimidate the president and use such circumstances to try to force him to do things that would harm this country. That makes protection of the president's family a matter of national security.

Protecting our school children is a serious issue but it is not the same thing. Trying to portray President Obama as an "elitist" for questioning whether armed guards in schools is the only solution to tackling gun violence - a stance of the NRA - while his children receive the necessary protection all presidents families have been accorded is nonsensical. It was wrong of the NRA to trot out this ridiculous contention, and the group made a big misstep in trotting out this ad.

Republican talk show host and former Congressman Joe Scarborough of the "Morning Joe" show shared the feelings of many on both sides of the political aisle: "What's wrong with these people?" he asked his co-host Mika Brzezinski. Her answer: "They are out of step, out of the mainstream, totally out of sync with what's going on in our society, and quite frankly after seeing that, I think some of the people who run that thing are sick... I think they are sick in the head."

Added John Weaver, a Republican strategist who worked for presidential candidates John McCain and Jon Huntsman: "It's wrong to target in advertising the family of the president of the United States, regardless of the issue. If they're trying to appeal to the broad cross section of America, or they're trying to appeal to swing votes in the Congress, this was not their best first step they could have taken. It comes across as unhinged.''


Worse, as Ron Fournier of National Journal noted: “The ad is indisputably misleading, and is arguably a dangerous appeal to the base instincts of gun-rights activists.”

It was wrong. Period. The NRA should take it down, if it hasn't already. Focus on the real debate.

Posted by Fannie Flono 

16 comments:

SREINECKE said...

No it is not wrong, why shouldnt every child have the same protection as his? David Gregorys? or Rahm Emanuel? They are hypocrites.

spaceghost said...

The security provided at the school for the Presidents children is not by the Secret Service. The school has its own security force.

Also, it is ok for Obama to use other peoples kids as props during his presentation but we are not supposed to talk about his? I find that repugnant.

Redlight said...


All school kids need an armed guard on campus---period!

The President's kids have them, so should the other kids----case closed!

Aubrey Moore said...

It will be impossible to have a real conversation on this so long as we have the NRA setting fires everywhere to scare their backers. Comparing the children of the first family to other children in the area of protection is absurd, always has been, and will be again when the heat drops on this issue.

We have allowed the NRA and thugs who worship at their altar to bully the rest of us for so many years now. They quit reasoning years ago and turned to nothing less than threats to do great harm if they were not allowed to operate totally free of all reason and law.

So, this is not a conversation between equals who see things differently. It is nothing less than the majority of the people of this land getting together the grit to tell these bullies that the end has come. We may be about there now.

Those pictures taken at Sandy Hook before any cleanup was done should be published in every newspaper and news web site. We need for everyone to understand what the bullies have told us that we can do nothing about.

Wiley Coyote said...

Aubry,

The NRA is spot on. Why are the president's children's lives any different than mine or others?

I get he's the president, but the hypocrisy is pathetic.

This comment from you is ridiculous:

We have allowed the NRA and thugs who worship at their altar to bully the rest of us for so many years now. They quit reasoning years ago and turned to nothing less than threats to do great harm if they were not allowed to operate totally free of all reason and law.

We have a president who has skirted Congress on many issues for the past 4 years, allowed his DOJ to run guns in Mexico that cased the deaths of Americans and others, doing EXACTLY what you stated above - operating totally free of all reason and law.

I suggest you Google "oklahoma city bombing pictures" and look at the carnage which killed 19 children and tell us how your gun control measures would have prevented that horror.

Allan said...

The NRA ad asks a very simple and pertinent question.

There's nothing "over the line" about it.

Tvan said...

Aubrey,

I have seen crime scene photos that would make most people buckle at the knees. However, since we see death and destruction on a daily basis in TV shows, movies, the internet and very realistic video games, I doubt that you will get your end result with today's people.

To really shake someone up, take them to the morgue and show them the end result. Then again, this is used in various cities with at risk youth. Sadly, many of these kids end up on the coroner's cold slab anyways.

As for the ad, I have watched it objectively many times today. At first, I disagreed with it. Slowly, I started to see the point. Many of the people speaking out against guns right now have armed security details and their children go to schools with armed guards. Personally, I want my kids...all kids really...to be safe at school. School should be as safe or safer than home. And if that means an armed guard is on-site at every school, then so be it.

Finally, you claim that we have allowed the NRA and the thugs who worship them to bully the rest of us for years. While I am not a card carrying member of the NRA nor do I agree with them 100%, the statistics show that the vast majority of gun crimes were performed by people that had obtained the weapon illegally.

David I said...

Why is it acceptable for the President to surround himself with children when he gives a press conference outlining his 20+ Executive Orders on guns yet it is unacceptable to mention his children in a 30 second commercial?

This entire debate on "gun control" completely misses the point. All we hear about is how "assault weapons" are killing our children. Yet the statistics simply don't add up. Of the 12,000+ homicides in the US in 2011, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, only 323 involved rifles of ANY type (less than 3%). By ANY type, this includes bolt action, shotgun, muzzle loaded, single shot, etc. From 1982 - 2012 (over 30 years) there have been a total of 62 mass shootings in the US, just over 2 per year. Of these 62 mass shootings there have been a total of 142 weapons involved, which consisted of 68 semi-automatic handguns, 35 "assault weapons", 20 revolvers, and 19 shotguns. These figures show that less than 25% of all weapons used in every single mass shooting in US history over the last 30+ years were these "assault weapons". Yet we are led to believe by the media and our elected officials that banning such weapons would make us all safer? If we did eliminate these weapons, the numbers show that we would only have reduced less than 3% of the homicides last year and have only gotten rid of less than 25% of the weapons used in all the mass shootings in the last 30+ years. These are the facts.

Jim said...

Inappropriate? I think not! My person and my family are as important to me as the President's are to him. Yet he would have me (or mine) assaulted, shot or killed before aid became available. The ultimate in class distinction!

spaceghost said...

Why is it unreasonable to expect the same level of security at school for my daughter? I will handle her security outside of school. The Presidents children are no more important than mine - to me they are less important. All children are precious and need to be protected.

jay1937 said...

I believe Fannie just can't get her mind around what the President is actually attempting to do. Most likely, he wants to get rid of the Constitution and if he can, via Executive Order, circumvent the 2nd Amendment, how long will it be before he circumvents the first and puts Fannie out of a job? He, in my opinion is a two-faced so & so and I have no use for him and his way of governing. I do, however, respect the office although currently it is occupied by an Emperor Wannabe.

CarolinaDrums said...

Fannie: the Obamanation was wrong to use children in his Hitleresk lecture on guns yesterday. He's still a liar, a fraud and an incompetent. He's interested in nothing more than Obama.

KJR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Garth Vader said...

You're wasting your time commenting. Just as Obomber and his kids are above us all, Fannie is above us all and refuses to respond to comments.

In fact judging by her apparent unawareness of Obomber's exploitation of children yesterday, I wouldn't be surprised if she just scowls through life with her eyes closed 24/7.

Her profile picture shows she doesn't even like looking at photographers.

John said...

I didn't even have to read more than the headline to know this was a Fannie Flono piece.

Champion of the broken record!

Aubrey Moore, there is a little matter called the US Constitution... and there is a proscribed method for amending that Constitution. Executive orders and collective disdain and name calling is not part of that method.

More dangerous than any madman with a gun, is the sane man who makes law out of anger.

John said...

Fannie, where was your commentary on inappropriate political ads when the Obama campaign was running ads showing an Romney look-alike pushing an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff?

Why don't you just go away and quit playing the journalistic "sniper" who only pokes her head up now and then to take a shot at somebody she disagrees with and then buries it back in the sand so you don't have to deal with the responses?