The National Rifle Association has held firm in its opposition to all gun regulation being considered in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. As the public overwhelmingly supports measures like universal background checks and bans on high capacity magazines, the NRA is trying to convince Americans they are up against a lawless future full of criminals who want to kill respectable, middle-class people. On Thursday, the NRA released a new ad arguing that banning high capacity magazines would leave families unarmed against hoardes of “madmen, drug cartels, and home-invading killers.”
The ad intones:
So, they want to ban high capacity magazines. Not for the security that surrounds the President, Congress, Mayor Bloomberg, rock stars, CEOs and wealthy bigshots. And the madmen, drug cartels and home-invading killers will still get them from the same black market that sells drugs, stolen cars, and everything else that criminals buy. It’s just the rest of us, the law-abiding average people who will have to defend our families with limited capacity magazines. Welcome to Barack Obama’s middle class.
The ad builds on the same apocalyptic narrative in NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre’s Daily Caller op-ed on Wednesday. The op-ed warned that “Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size” and “foreign terrorists” were planning to invade the country via Mexico. The new ad’s dig at security guards for high-profile politicians and celebrities also echoes the NRA’s widely criticized video blasting Obama for giving his children Secret Service guards.
Thus far, the NRA’s fearmongering has only alienated the public — the gun lobby’s approval rating sunk 10 points after LaPierre’s paranoid press conference a week after Sandy Hook, in which he blamed gun violence on media glorification and called for more guns in schools. Meanwhile, 59 percent of Americans favor a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips like the ones used by Tucson shooter Jared Loughner, Aurora theater gunman James Holmes, and Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza.