Gloucester Daily Times
---- — To the editor:
Just when you thought the NRA couldn’t get any more reckless, the organization out did itself on January, 15.
It did so with an ad alleging the president is a hypocrite who cares more about his own children’s safety than he does the safety of ordinary school kids in places like Newtown, Conn.
The NRA ad claims President Obama is a hypocritical elitist because he doesn’t want to provide all American school children with the kind of security the first daughters are afforded — the same security that the Bush twins, Chelsea Clinton, GW Bush and his siblings when their father was president, the Reagan family when the Gipper was in office, Jimmy Carter’s kids, Gerald Ford’s kids, the Nixon sisters, the Johnson girls, and the Kennedy kids were all afforded as well.
That security was something all intelligent and truly patriotic Americans never questioned because those Americans understood, especially in the wake of the Kennedy assassination, the unique risks the familly of a sitting U.S. president faces.
But the NRA’s recent ad changed all that.
For the NRA to put a target, even figuratively speaking, on Sasha and Malia Obama’s backs ought to outrage all Americans. The ad was a blatant appeal to the most far right, Obama hating members of the NRA and other right wing groups whose hatred of the president is well documented and almost pathological in nature.
Anyone reading this letter who doubts just how pathological the hatred of the president is among many on the right is should just read the Gloucester Daily Times’ own anonymous comment threads. If one of the NRA’s Obama hating members, or some other right wing nut, takes the ad to heart and acts out against the Obama girls in the name of gun rights — or in opposition to a hypocritical elitist like their father, as the NRA sees it — Wayne LaPierre will no doubt beat his chest in a national mea culpa and claim the ad was never meant to single out the first daughters.
But the truth is, if such an event should occur, after the running of that ad, the NRA will bear no small degree of responsibility for that event. White House press secretary Jay Carney was spot on when he called the ad, “repugnant and cowardly.”
Let’s tell the truth here. No one is talking about eliminating the right to bear arms — no one. All that is being proposed are sensible measures to better protect public safety — nothing more and nothing less.
Anyone who thinks those measures will not be effective, despite what the NRA says, should look to other industrialized, democratic nations where such measures have been in place for years and the gun homicide rates, per capita, are a mere fraction of what they are in the United States.
It is time to call the National Rifle Association by its true name, the “National Rifle Marketing Association.”
It is also time to tell that marketing association that using the children of a sitting American president as pawns in its propaganda campaign on behalf of the nation’s gun manufacturers is beyond unacceptable.
It is despicable and unpatriotic.
Gloucester & Vieques, Puerto Rico