The National Rifle Association came ready for battle on Wednesday — action-movie trailer and all. Because it's been an important day for guns in America: President Obama announced his executive actions on gun violence and urged Congress to push for gun control, which the NRA preempted with a new ad about Obama's children and responded to with a statement that Obama ignored children in general. But it's been a long road for the NRA since the Newtown shooting, and the country's most powerful lobbying group is not about to let America forget that. As part of its new "Stand and Fight" campaign, the NRA released a pretty ridiculous (but action-packed!) four-and-a-half-minute video late Wednesday afternoon.
And, well, it really is something. Let's take a look at how the NRA's latest push for putting armed guards in schools gets the superhero treatment — and who Obama (and David Gregory!) are very much the villains....
Yes, the theme music sounds like X-Men. And, yes, the graphics look like Iron Man. But there's some point here, right? Something about guns that are already in schools and how we're supposed to feel bad for the NRA? Maybe something like this:
Chapter 1: "Planet Bizarro," Wherein Everyone and Stephen Colbert Hate Wayne LaPierre
Lesson: Yes, the "call me crazy" narrative was created by Wayne LaPierre for a reason. The NRA is the victim now, and Steven Colbert is fanning the flames! With curse words!
Chapter 2: The Villains, Wherein David Gregory's Kids Get More Attention Than Sandy Hook
Lesson: And you thought this was just going to be an attack on Sasha and Malia!
Chapter 3: The Map, Wherein Guns Appear and Membership Ticks Like a Bomb!
Lesson: Guns are already in schools everywhere! Also: the NRA has 4.367 million members now! Count 'em!
But back to our pseudo-narrator: LaPierre's narrative the whole time has been that the only way to solve school shootings is to put more guns in schools. And, America, just look at yourself! Look how fast that map filled up! Listen to your media speak back to you! The bottom line, the NRA's production experts would have America believe, is that America already agrees with its narrator:
And maybe the tale of the tape is true — because the action-movie strategy may have been working, ever since LaPierre unveiled his good-guys-vs.-bad-guys strategy in December. A Pew research poll released on January 14 found that a majority of people favor more armed guards in schools. Of course, President Obama said today that if teachers wanted police in schools, so be it, because teachers want that anyway. And, of course, the poll drops off fast when you ask people about arming teachers, and look at it through party lines. Pew wrote:
By a two-to-one margin (64%-32%), most favor putting armed security guards and police in more schools. But when it comes to more teachers and school officials having guns, most are opposed (40% favor vs. 57% oppose). The latter option is particularly divisive across party lines: 56% of Republicans would like to see more teachers and school officials armed, compared with just 23% of Democrats.
That's more like, "Some of America agrees with Wayne." But that isn't as catchy.