We don’t want to wade too far into the politics of the contentious gun control debate, but from a PR perspective we have to say: we really don’t get the NRA.
First, the organization’s spokesman blamed video games (many of which are directly supported by gun manufacturers) and movies for mass shootings and proposed armed guards at every American school right before releasing a video game for kids. Now, as President Obama prepares to unveil some proposals regarding tighter regulation of illegal gun sales, more intensive background check requirements, and a renewal of the “assault weapons” ban that will never pass the current Congress, the NRA chose to issue an ad that indirectly attacks the president’s two daughters.
The ad asserts that Obama is an “elitist hypocrite” because his daughters have armed Secret Service guards while he opposes the idea of placing a man with a gun in every primary, elementary, and high school in this country (different polls tell different stories about Americans’ opinions on that proposal, but most clearly support tougher gun laws). The president and every member of his family may receive more death threats than anyone else in the US (as do most presidents), but that can’t mitigate the fact that he thinks his kids are “more important than yours.”
Here’s the logic behind it:
Since all members of Obama’s immediate family have Secret Service protection–as have the family members of every single president in the modern era–then he must support the idea of armed guards in every American school (while, we presume, finding the money to pay for all those armed guards somewhere in the cushions of one of the White House couches). Otherwise, he hates your children.
Got it. That was the message, right?
NRA spokespeople made the media rounds today to say that anyone who thinks the ad is about Obama’s daughters is “missing the point” and “trying to change the subject”. But the very fact that they had to make that assertion tells us a great deal about the effectiveness of this campaign.
We don’t claim to know the solution to our country’s problem with gun violence (if such a solution even exists). But if the NRA wants to convince more Americans to support every proposal they make, they’re clearly doing it wrong.