Yesterday’s CNN headline said it all: “Shocking new gun control ad released around Newtown anniversary” and they weren’t talking about Thursday’s release of a “Guns Save Lives” advertisement that began airing yesterday on the rival Fox News channel.
The “No More Silence” ad is sponsored by the anti-gun Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). It depicts small children in a classroom having a moment of silence in memory of the Sandy Hook victims, as someone takes something from a duffel bag and walks through the schoolhouse doors.
If an advertisement promoting gun control can “shock” a headline writer at CNN, conventional wisdom suggests the content must be pretty bad. This column mentioned the advertisement yesterday, and as the anniversary of the Sandy Hook attack looms in eight days, the hypocrisy of the gun prohibition movement is fully exposed.
After “Guns Save Lives Day” was initially announced in late September by Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, he was castigated by gun control proponents who complained that the event was pure exploitation of a tragedy to push a political agenda.
Even this week, the anti-gun Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR) – yet another re-packaging of the term “gun control” by a group of elitists trying to hide the true nature of their effort – sent an e-mail appeal asking people to sign a petition demanding that “Guns Save Lives Day” be cancelled. Rather than allow gun banners to monopolize the discussion about gun rights, using Sandy Hook as the backdrop for promoting their traditional gun ban agenda, Gottlieb launched the “Guns Save Lives” ad, which is a poll asking people whether they agree or disagree that guns can prevent and stop lethal attacks.
Coincidentally, CNN yesterday released results of a survey showing public support for stricter gun control laws has waned, with more people opposed than in support of tougher new gun laws. Only 49 percent of the respondents want more gun regulation. That’s down six percentage points from January, when the nation was still reeling from the Newtown school shooting.
What has happened in the interim, according to Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, has been something of a public realization that none of the proposals from the gun prohibition lobby in reaction to the Newtown tragedy would have prevented it. Sanetti spoke yesterday with Examiner, and he has an especially keen perspective because the NSSF headquarters is in Newtown, not far from the scene of the attack.
Recall how Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, was ridiculed and demonized for arguing in favor of armed security at schools? Eleven months later, a number of school districts have quietly done that very thing, but because it was their idea rather than the NRA “Shield” program, the press has been rather quiet about it.
Hypocrisy is nothing new in the gun control movement. While Bloomberg pushes to disarm average citizens, he has his own armed security. While gun prohibitionists pan Gottlieb for exploiting the Connecticut attack, they launch an advertisement that clearly bares their own attempt to capitalize on tragedy, and they want to silence the opposition in the process.
The advertisement that shocked the CNN headline writer clearly is designed to evoke an emotional response, a strategy taken straight from page 6 of the gun control playbook: “Always focus on emotional and value-driven arguments…”
One might observe how curious it is that the “Guns Save Lives” advertisement seeks public opinion and provides an opportunity for gun opponents to express theirs. Meanwhile, the gun ban crowd wants to silence gun owners completely.
Which approach should raise public concern?