NRA Puts Its Mouth Where Its Money Is With Ad Targeting Obama Kids

Obama secret service
On Wednesday, President Obama released his long-awaited gun control proposal, a combination of executive orders and suggestions for legislation that are designed to close background-check loopholes, ban assault weapons, protect schools, and increase access to mental health services. Yet even before the president announced his plan, opponents of gun control were moving into action. On Monday, former Attorney General Edwin Meese became the latest -- and highest-profile -- public figure to suggest that such unilateral moves could lead to the president's impeachment.

Secret serviceMeanwhile, the National Rifle Association, the nation's largest and most powerful gun lobbying group, was busy releasing a controversial ad that asked viewers, "Are the President's Kids More Important than Yours?" Drawing a comparison between calls for placing armed guards in public schools and the Secret Service detail tasked with protecting Sasha and Malia Obama, the commercial went on to call the president an "elitist hypocrite."

The NRA's ad release was perfectly timed. By noon on Wednesday, when the president announced his proposal, most major news websites were already reporting on the NRA's response. And, while the ad only ran on the relatively obscure Sportsman Channel, most of the news outlets reporting about it also screened it as part of their stories, which means that it ended up getting seen widely on sites -- and in homes -- that it normally wouldn't have reached. (If you're interested, the ad can be found at the end of this article.)

The ad was extremely disingenuous. After all, unlike most of us, the president received 43,830 death threats between 2008 and 2012 -- more than 30 a day. And unlike most of our children, Sasha and Malia Obama have also had death threats leveled at them.

The notion that celebrities and their children are especially vulnerable to attack should be familiar to many members of the NRA's board of directors. For example, one director -- Oliver North -- was famously censured for accepting a $13,800 security fence from Iranian-American arms salesman Albert Hakim. Another member, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, had a bomb threat leveled against his office in 2011. Likewise, to NRA directors such as former Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), actor Tom Selleck, and musician Ted Nugent, the notion that well-known public figures require more protection than the average Joe should hardly come as a surprise.

On the other hand, it's no shock that the NRA isn't pulling its punches -- it has a huge financial stake in the game. In 2010, the organization pulled in $227.8 million. Memberships accounted for about $100 million of its revenue, while contributions and grants -- many of which came from gun manufacturers -- accounted for a further $71 million.

And the NRA's leadership also has a lot to lose. In 2010, CEO Wayne LaPierre earned $970,000 a year for his advocacy, making him the second-highest paid person in the company (No. 1 was Kayne B. Robinson, executive director of general operations).

For that matter, the NRA invests a lot to ensuring the support of key politicians. In 2012, it disbursed almost $19 million in political contributions. In fact, it wasn't so very long ago that even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was courting the group's support.

With an estimated $4 billion in annual sales, firearm manufacturers can find a lot to worry about in Obama's Wednesday proposal; in context, it's hardly surprising that they're pulling out the big guns when it comes to fighting the White House. But the president's kids, and the Secret Service detail that protects them, aren't legitimate targets -- they're non-combatants who belong outside the fight.

Here's the full list of President Obama's gun control proposals.



Read more in AOL's special series on Guns in America:

Murder by Numbers: Digging Into the Data of America's Gun Culture
Confessions of a Gun Shop Owner
Gun Safety at Home: Stolen Firearms a Big Problem


Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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Linda C.

I believe that the only way to decrease the violence is not to decrease the guns but the ability of those with mental ilness to carry one.Guns don't shoot themselves,so theindividual can use anything to cause havoc.Again it is the individual behind the arm.It is like a car,we don't need to take cars of the road,because people die in car accidents,instead we need to EDUCATE more on drinking and driving in the schools before the are allowed to drive.Gun laws are a constitutional freedom and gives Americans the sense that this is still America.Please uphold and stand for the Constitution of this republic.It is time to stand as American people to rebuild the community spirit in America.Freedom is a the driving force of this country.America the republic will cease to exist is our liberties are being taking away slowing but surely,but then...America will never give in.the will walk a small distance,but then The halt would be definite...this nation was based on the constitution and it is our religion.Are you with us or against us?(quote from our past prez Mr.B).GOD BLESS AMERICA!

January 22 2013 at 11:28 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
repgrp

I all my 55 years on this Earth, I have never seen such a divide in our country. Just look at the anger and total disregard for reason and most importantly, TRUTH. What have we bcecome? We have now allowed the media to brainwash us and the GOVT to attempt to take away our freedoms and rights. Its all about me and screw everyone else right?
Are you truly happy with the way our country has evolved? Im not.

January 21 2013 at 11:11 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to repgrp's comment
chris1011

There was a huge divide during the Vietnam war era also. These things won\'t last People get old, die and younger ones take their place. They will argue and fight over other things.

January 21 2013 at 7:58 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
democrackso

Gee I wonder who's keeps voting my comments down. Could it be Boney? Mitchodope? or one of his other 100 screen names? LMAO.

January 18 2013 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
democrackso

mitchnoconnell
LOL, the official AOL message board screen name patrol officer is on board....got your assault weapon while patrolling your beat????

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Never had a gun never owned one. Ask that question to inner city Obama supporters, you know gang members. They love their guns and love using them too.

January 18 2013 at 2:37 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to democrackso's comment
democrackso

You voted my comment down cause the truth hurts huh.

January 18 2013 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
democrackso

boehnerisababy
Mexican Drug Cartels don't need Eric Holder to get guns. Mexican Drug Cartels can buy guns in America easily.

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The Obama administration will gladly supply them with guns.

January 18 2013 at 2:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
democrackso

boehnerisababy
The Mexican drug cartels and terrorist know where to get easy access to guns, America.

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You're right. Compliments of the Obama administration. Glad to see you finally admit it

January 18 2013 at 2:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
democrackso

boehnerisababy
LOL!.......if you're a hunter that needs more than 12 semi-automatic rounds to shoot a deer you should'nt be a hunter.

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How many rounds do your gang member friends in Chicago need?

January 18 2013 at 2:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to democrackso's comment
rfwestex

Where in the bill of rights does it mention deer hunting?

January 21 2013 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
democrackso

mitchnoconnell
Hi Evan!!!!

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Wazzzzzzzzzzzzz up Evan . haven't seen you here for a while. Where were you? 26th & california sporting an orange jump suit no doubt.

January 18 2013 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to democrackso's comment
democrackso

Hit a nerve there huh?

January 18 2013 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
democrackso

mitchnoconnell
That's pretty funny coming from you. We all know your comments are always so "on target". LOL


democrackso
Leave it to Somehole to come up with his usual lame comments
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What's even funnier is that you have 100 screen names and think everyone's name is Evan like yourself.
LMAOOOOOOOO

January 18 2013 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
democrackso

boehnerisababy
Yes,......we already know the republicans don't care.

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Obama doesn't care. All Obama cares about is living a life of luxury (4 million $$ vacations,) pretending he's dictator od the US. and knowing that when he leaves office he'll be able to freeload off the tax payers for the rest of his life.

January 18 2013 at 2:22 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply