By Kevin Bohn and Kevin Liptak
(CNN) — On the day the Senate begins votes on new gun control measures, the National Rifle Association said they were launching web ad casting President Barack Obama’s proposals as detached from the reality faced by America’s law enforcement officers.
The 30-second spot, which the NRA says it will spend $500,000 to place on websites like the Drudge Report, the Washington Post, and Hulu, uses polls of police officers showing little support for increasing background checks and banning assault weapons.
“President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg are pushing gun control. But America’s police say they’re wrong,” a narrator says in the ad. “Seventy-one percent of the police say Obama’s gun ban will have zero effect on violent crime. Eighty percent of police say more background checks will have no effect. Ninety-one percent say the right answer is swift prosecution and mandatory sentencing. Tell your senator to listen to America’s police instead of listening to Obama and Bloomberg.”
The poll cited in the spot comes from PoliceOne, an online news site for police officers. The site states “More than 15,000 officers completed the survey, which was promoted by PoliceOne exclusively to its 400,000 registered members, comprised of verified law enforcement professionals.”
Earlier this year, an NRA ad drew sharp criticism for referencing the president’s children. Attacking Obama as an “elitist hypocrite,” the commercial asked why he opposes the idea of placing armed guards in every school-a proposal pushed by the NRA-yet his own children attend a school with similar security.
Pro-gun control groups have also been airing their stance on in television ads. The organization backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg went up with a spot last week in seven states and Washington, D.C., urging viewers to call lawmakers to convince them to vote for a measure expanding background checks on gun sales.
That effort – which was the product of a bipartisan deal in the Senate last week – goes up for a vote Wednesday, along with a number of other gun control amendments.
Like the NRA spot, the ad from Mayors Against Illegal Guns used polling to drive home its point; namely, national surveys showing 9-in-10 Americans support strengthening background checks.
“Some Democrats and Republicans are coming together to support comprehensive background checks on gun sales. That will protect the Second Amendment and help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals,” the ad says.
The senators targeted in the spots from Bloomberg’s group were Republicans Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of Georgia; Dan Coats of Indiana; Dean Heller of Nevada; Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire; and Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee.
Two Democratic senators were also included – Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.
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