The National Rifle Association’s attacks against potential gun control legislation have officially become personal.
Only hours before President Barack Obama is set to debut a series of new proposals to combat gun violence, the nation’s largest gun lobby released a new video branding the president as an “elitist hypocrite” for opposing the group's plan to place armed guards in schools. The video thrusts the First Daughters into the center of the nation’s growing debate on firearm safety, alleging the president takes advantage of the armed Secret Service detail offered to his own children, but won’t let others have the same gun-based protection.
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"Are the president's kids more important than yours?" the ad's narrator asks, referring to Sasha and Malia Obama. "Then why is he 'skeptical' about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools? 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”
Obama, during an appearance on “Meet the Press,” said he was “skeptical” of an NRA-backed plan to place armed security guards in schools to prevent future mass shootings in the wake of December’s elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn. Instead the administration, propelled by a task force headed by Vice President Joe Biden, has focused on identifying a package of concrete legislative proposals to reduce gun violence.
A new assault weapons ban, a measure to outlaw high-capacity magazine clips and an effort to close gun show loopholes – which typically allow individuals to purchase a firearm without a background check – are expected to be among the proposals unveiled by Obama.
The NRA ad came under almost immediate attack on Wednesday. Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called it “disgusting on so many levels” during an appearance on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” show.
Gibbs added: “This reminds me of an ad that somebody made about 2:00 in the morning after one too many drinks, and no one stopped it in the morning.”
Polling suggests Americans support a broad range of measures to combat gun violence, including banning assault weapons and posting armed guards in schools.
The Pew Research Center reports more than 60 percent of respondents to a recent poll supported measures to close the gun show loopholes, improve laws to keep firearms away from individuals with mental illnesses, and place armed security or police in every school.
More than half of respondents in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll said the Newtown shootings have made them more supportive of firearm restrictions.