In marketing, a desperate ad campaign used by a dying business is called “jump the shark.” A better (and more fitting) term for NRA’s latest trick, though, might be “shoot yourself in the foot.”And even though the lobby group is now running for cover, an opponent is firing back.
An August 4 episode of “NRA News” – a video series the lobby group distributes from its website – features Dom Raso, who speaks of the special needs of the sight impaired when it comes to self-defense. Yes, the blind need to carry guns, too, Raso says. “Every law-abiding blind individual should be able to have whatever guns they want.”
According to Raso, you don’t need to see in order to shoot. “It’s been proven that people that lack vision have an increased awareness of their hearing and spatial surroundings.”
Raso continues with generous use of the NRA’s trademarked fear tactics: “Do you think you need to see where you’re shooting if someone’s on top of you trying to kill or rape you, while their hands are slowly squeezing your neck, yelling ‘I’m going to kill you’? I didn’t think so.”
But this desperate campaign quickly … backfired, let’s say. Media immediately criticized this “jump the shark” attempt; even representatives from the blind community objected. Steven Rothstein, former president of a school for the sight impaired, told the Boston Globe “This video is not only disturbing but also misleading and they are using individuals who are visually impaired in a cynical attempt to further their extremist position on gun control.”
Realizing the failure of this wild stab, the NRA pulled the video from its website less than four days later, and it now shows only a “404: Page Not Found” error.
The lobby group was too slow in the draw, though. Moms Demand Action, an organization calling for background checks and restrictions on assault weapons, made a copy of the video (see it on this page).
In a press release, Moms Demand Action communications director Erika Soto Lam says:
“Just like the NRA was for background checks before they were against them, just like they were against open carry in family establishments before they were for it – this is yet another example of the NRA leadership not knowing what it stands for anymore.
“When the extremism of the NRA leadership and commentators comes into view by the larger audience of Americans – including gun owners – who support common sense public safety measures, we get 404 ‘Page Not Found’ messages because the sensible organization of gun owners can also not be found anymore.”
Seems like the NRA should think twice before they shoot.