Tone-Deaf NRA Ad Asks Why the Secret Service Protects the President’s Kids

More guns in our children's schools!

The National Rifle Association has, perhaps unsurprisingly, really gone for broke with its latest spot, its first after the horrifying Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting spree in December. Many peripheral culprits have been blamed beyond gunman Adam Lanza, who killed himself at the scene, including violent video games and violent movies, but the most prominent scapegoat has been the firearms industry. Many in the news media compared the shooting to the 1996 Dunblane massacre in Scotland, which resulted in the United Kingdom's prohibition on handguns.

The NRA has not exactly been a model of restraint in the weeks following the shooting. A week after the murders, executive director Wayne LaPierre said that his solution to the problem of gun violence was more armed guards at schools, prompting even harsher criticism of the NRA. LaPierre drew criticism even from the right after refusing to answer directly when NBC's David Gregory asked him on Meet the Press if he wanted as few children killed as possible. The organization went on to suggest a national database of the mentally ill, to oppose a national database of gun owners and released an iOS shooting gallery app approved for children as young as 4.

Now it's digging the hole even deeper. The new ad asks why the president has armed guards for his own children but is against the posting of armed guards at every elementary school. Besides dragging the president's children into the debate, the NRA has also for some reason put Gregory behind the wall of secret servicemen—as well as New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, who might want to be president, but is not yet—presumably as punishment for having the temerity to ask whether or not the NRA was into child murder.

For those to whom this seems like a laughable false equivalency, it's worth noting that this particular debate blew up the right-wing blogosphere last week when the president signed into law a reversal of the 1994 statute that allowed for only 10 years of post-term secret service protection for holders of the nation's highest office. Some saw the bill as evidence of hypocrisy, though it was sponsored by Republican representative Trey Gowdy of S.C. and passed through both the House and the Senate unanimously.

UPDATE: Looks like Gregory's kids go to school with the Obamas at Sidwell Friends School, which has armed guards in addition to the Secret Service.