Opinion: NRA gun ad is a cheap shot

Ryan Sampson

Ryan Sampson

Ryan Sampson is a senior architecture major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

The National Rifle Association recently released an ad depicting President Obama as an “elitist hypocrite,” with a sister ad that posed the question, “Are the president’s children more important than yours?”

Both were met with disgust and outrage. Personally, I’m not quite at the same level of disgust, but I do believe that the NRA made a poor call, and this ad does little more than make the organization seem ignorant.

The ad comes on the tail of the group’s frustration with Obama’s hesitation to endorse its plan to put an armed guard in every school. This is in spite of the fact that he does have a plan to increase security in schools by providing financial aid to hire more resource officers and counselors and pay for other safety-related upgrades, in addition to encouraging schools to update their emergency plans and reexamine discipline practices.

The NRA is doing nothing to help its cause by bringing innocent children into the mix; ironically enough, innocent children were what bolstered the cries for gun control in the first place. No one’s children, especially in the eyes of those who care most about them, are any less important than any other child out there, but some, including the Obama girls, face more pressures and dangers in this world because of the roles played by their parents.

For the most part, the children next door, or the ones at the local day care, are not regularly considered possible targets for those trying to harm our country, nor would putting their lives in jeopardy pose a threat to national security. That does not mean, however, they are any less important, or should not be taken care of. While certain safety precautions could benefit education institutions, it is foolish to say that every child needs an armed bodyguard with them at school just because the children of one of the world’s most important men have that necessity.

Instead of informing Americans about the issues it would like to see handled, or providing the public with information about the plan it has proposed, the NRA instead decided to do the most cowardly thing possible and put a family’s children into the line of political fire. Not only did the girls not choose to have a protection detail, but they also did not choose to be put into the role of the president’s daughters. It is in the best interest of everyone if they are protected.

So no, the president’s children are not more important than anyone else’s, but they do face greater threats. Next time you are interested in swaying anyone — whether it be the American public or the president — to champion your cause or support your legislation, reconsider attacking whomever you hope to win over on a personal level, because, as the NRA can attest, it will not get you anywhere.