January 16, 2013

Strike one for the National Rifle Association occurred one week after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Wayne LaPierre, the gun rights organization’s chief executive officer and executive vice president, delivered a defensive, crackpot speech that was an insulting response to the slaughter of 20 children (ages 6 and 7) and six adults in Newtown, Conn.

Strike two for the NRA happened on Sunday, the day before the one month anniversary of that heartbreaking crime. Under the guise of promoting gun safety, the group released a free iPhone and iPad app that let players shoot at targets shaped like coffins with a range of guns. Popping off with an assault weapons like an AK-47 will cost you $.99. Initially, Apple recommended the game for children as young as 4-years-old. Thanks to an uproar, the company raised the age to 12. Cold comfort if you ask me.

Strike three came this morning when the NRA released an ad that pulled President Obama’s two daughters into the national gun debate.

Are the President’s kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?

 

Mr. Obama demands that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security. Protection for their kids and gun-free zones for ours.

Given the previous two strikes, this third contemptible strike by the NRA shouldn’t come as a surprise. But questioning the security for the first daughters who, as Joe Scarborough said this morning “have targets on their backs” because their father is president of the United States, is low — even for the NRA.

At what point will the NRA realize that it is out of step with the nation? A nation where 52 percent of those polled by The Post and ABC News say they are more supportive of gun control measures in the wake of Newtown. A nation where two years ago, a poll commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and conducted by Republican pollster Frank Luntz showed that an overwhelming majority of NRA members favored some of the same measures pushed by gun-control advocates. A nation that was moved to action when a madman forced his way into an elementary school and targeted children for murder.

”Whoever thinks the ad is about President Obama’s daughters are missing the point completely or they’re trying to change the subject,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said in a statement today. The NRA is a proven master of changing the subject. But the American people have had enough.

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.